ARC REVIEW: This Broken Wondrous World by Jon Skovron

Posted on July 24, 2015 by Regina | 0 Comments

“My fellow monsters,” said Moreau. “No longer will we hide in the shadows, cringing, cowardly, hiding our true potential. You see, the humans do not view us as people. We must force them to expand their view of personhood to include us. By any means necessary.”

A year ago, Boy, the son of Frankenstein’s monster, had never even met a human. Now he’s living with his human “family,” the descendants of Dr. Frankenstein, in Switzerland. That is, until the maniacal genius Dr. Moreau, long-ago banished to a remote island for his crimes against humanity, asks for Boy's help.   Moreau wants Boy to join his army of animal/human hybrid creatures and help him overthrow human society. Boy will do anything to save this broken, wondrous world from the war that threatens to split it in two. But how much will he have to give up? And is the world worth saving?

I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series when I got it for review. Otherwise, I would have read Skovron’s Man Made Boy before diving into TBWW.

Man Mad Boy cover

 

This book was like reading a graphic novel for me- something completely out of my comfort zone and my predictable preferences. The fact that I ended up enjoying this book (a lot, actually), makes me question how well I know myself.

TBWW is rife with political, cultural, and societal commentary dressed up in a wonderfully insane premise and wonderfully colorful characters who are far from human, but surprisingly humane.

Jon’s writing has a mad genius feel to it, and he regularly mixes instances of pure juvenile prose with clever, enlightening moments of eloquence. (Yes. I just said that.) I found myself reflecting on what I was reading often, trying to piece together what the author was ”really saying” beneath the gruesome and fantastical story. I even found myself staring at the cover, trying to figure out why the KEN was lighter in the word BROKEN. Now, that may just be me going overboard reading into things, but I love stories that make me do that. Stories that make me think a novel stands for something greater than the sum of its parts. And I think that’s maybe one of the things the author pieces together about our monstrous, “flesh golem”, Boy. Although quite frightening on the outside, he is often times more human in thought and emotion than those around him.

“…I have not seen your kind here in over a century.”

“My kind?”

” Ya. A giant man made from dead men.”

“The technical term is ‘flesh golem’.” Golems were people made from inanimate objects. The material could be anything- clay, stone, metal. As far as I knew, my parents and I were the only ones made from body parts.

The world building is nicely done between the different time zones visited throughout the novel, but the characters definitely steal the show over the action packed plot. At some points in the novel I found myself thinking “I’m gonna throw up in my mouth”. The Doctor Moreau thread to the story was wholly grotesque and gut- wrenching.

The-Island-Of-Dr-Moreau

While La Perricholi, a Latin American bad ass, was my favorite character in the novel, there were plenty of others to choose from, though none as show stopping as her in my opinion.

Then a slim figure dressed in black and red ran into the middle of the fight, striking out at the pig men so fast that the movements were only a blur. A moment later, the three pig men dropped to the ground and a women stood next to Henri. She looked to be in her early twenties, wore a black dress with red ruffles, and had a single red rose tucked into her long black hair.

This Broken Wondrous World takes the reader across continents and across the vast complexities of the human psyche. Fast-paced and thought-provoking, TBWW is as entertaining as a novel can get. After finishing the book, I imagined myself sitting across from an intimidating and mysterious looking Jon Skovron with a note pad in one of my hands and a pencil clutched in the other, desperately asking, “But what does it all mean?!”. And of course, he responds, “Silly girl. Trix are for kids!”.

 

Was anyone else traumatized when they were younger by The Island of Doctor Moreau movie starring Val Kilmer?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QagEozqPZs

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Classical music nerd by day, freelance writer and blogger by night. When I review books, I don't dish out and rehash every character and detail. What's the point of reading a book if you give most of the deets away in a review??? My reviews are more about my impressions and over all experience with the book. I am also a world-renowned armchair psychologist, and love to psychoanalyze authors.
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