Thank you to Curiosity Quills for giving me an egalley copy of the book to review.
I loved the premise of “Broken Dolls” – I haven’t read many stories that ventured into the realm of dolls. It reminded me of a story I wrote several years ago and I wanted to see where the premise would go. The only fault of the novel proved to be its biggest: the execution.
I had no trouble following along with Ella and Lisa for half of the book, but it’s when the complex relationship between Ella, Gabby, and the professor began to unravel that I had a hard time following along. Mainly this was due to plot holes that weren’t addressed. I wish some parts of the story were more developed, for instance the epidemic that’s described in only the vaguest of terms. It didn’t feel real or threatening, and I didn’t completely understand what drove the professor to experiment the way he did. Near the end is where it became completely tangled and difficult to distinguish.
The story could’ve been longer and more developed. Characters like Ella and Lisa stayed more in the realm of the common and predictable, and moments that deserved to be marveled at and appreciated, like when the professor finally explains his experiment with the dolls, end up being overlooked. It’s a very promising premise that, in its current state, is too scattered. I was hoping to enjoy this one more than I did, as the premise truly is an interesting one. But the writing and characters weren’t able to make me appreciate it as much as it deserved to be.