Culture Magazine

Book Review – Fractured by Dani Atkins

By Manofyesterday

In Fractured, Rachel is just about to go off to university and is wondering how the lives of her and her friends change. Then an accident happens and her life is irrevocably damaged. Five years later she has to return home for the first time since the accident, but there are so many ghosts and memories she’s unsure whether she’ll be able to handle. But in another time it’s also five years later, but things are different, she’s living her dream life and is actually happy, but she can’t shake the nagging feeling that something is wrong, but as she tries to find out the truth all the evidence points to the fact that this is her real, true life. But then how is it that she remembers details from an entirely different five year span?

I found the concept of Fractured intriguing. I really love these stories that examine the nature of reality and ones in which you’re never sure what is real or what isn’t. This is incredibly well-written and I was almost instantly invested in the protagonist and her struggles. Parts of the story were quite heartbreaking and other parts were hilarious. I like that even though it dealt with a sci-fi concept the story was given a human focus, and the real thrust of the story was Rachel’s struggle to determine what was going on. I liked most of the character interactions and a lot of the characters were well-developed. However, a few of them seemed to disappear as the story progressed and I would have liked to have seen more of them, Sarah in particular. 

While I did like the story I found the ending predictable, and I think this was in part due to the fact that it spent so much time in the ‘good’ five years. I’m a little disappointed that there wasn’t more of a split narrative where we experienced both sets, so we could compare and contrast the events in her life. I also thought the five year gap seemed a little arbitrary, and I didn’t get the sense of temporal distance that five years brings. I liked the developments of the relationships in her life as well, although sometimes she seemed a little too oblivious where certain things were concerned. She also seemed to cry a lot as well…but that’s just me nitpicking. 

The other main criticism I have is that the ending felt rushed, as if the author was moving things far too quickly in order to gain the maximum amount of emotional impact. This worked for my friend who recommended the book to me, but I’m sad to say it didn’t for me. I found it a little unrealistic and it just felt like the author was forcing things to be framed in a certain way. 

However, despite those criticisms I enjoyed it a great deal. It’s a fun, engaging read with a good voice and interesting characters. If you like this sort of concept then I’d definitely suggest checking it out. At the moment it’s only 59p for Kindles and I think that’s a very good bargain. There’s a lot of drama and tension through the story, it’s just the for me it didn’t quite carry through to the ending, but I’m still glad I read it. 

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