Review of Broken Peopleby Ioana Visan
Genre: SF / Thriller
A Fantastic Kaleidoscope
A strangely fascinating work, nominally SF, Ioana Visan's Broken People is hard to categorise. A complex cast of characters revolve in suspense about the Nightingale Circus's visit to Bratislava, and the plot tends toward that of a thriller - but really, this is all about the broken people.
Because of the circus setting and the oddly deformed people, I found it strange enough to be a little challenging to get into the book, but by the end of the second chapter I was hooked. Not so much by the story, but by these same weird characters. Visan enabled me to engage with not only the protagonist (incidentally one of the less engaging characters) but with nearly all of the vividly drawn individuals within these pages.
Every character has her or his strengths and weaknesses, many artifically augmented or damaged, and each one has found ways to live life fully. This book is something of a prose poem celebrating the variety of being human across a fractured view of abilities and handicaps.
For me, the most disappointing element was the climax in which the protagonist's motives (or rather, his directors' aims) are revealed. I felt that this was very weak - and seemed worse because of the great strengths of the book in all the other areas. But this is a personal feeling, and other readers may not agree.
The action scenes and the denouement of the story as a whole are, on the other hand, wonderfully done.
The plot and pace were very good, and the romance was really beautifully done, with great subtlety and insight.
On the whole I was very impressed and strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes the description.
I received a free copy of the Kindle edition of this book for the purpose of providing an honest and objective review.
by Marc Secchia
About 25% and enjoying it...