Review: ‘Shattered’ by Sharon M. Johnston


Mishca needs to save her sisters, but only Ryder can save her.

The truth about Mishca’s past shattered her heart. She deals with the pain by focusing on a new mission: saving her newfound family from their creator. With her sisters scheduled for termination, Mishca and her friends set out on a journey up the North Queensland Coast to save them before someone else dies.

Ryder understands the need driving Mischa. It’s in her DNA. But he’s not giving up on the chance they can still be together. She’s the only one to have seen him levitate. The only one to watch the sparks dance across his skin. The only one he trusts enough to know what is in his heart. And now, he might be the only one who can stop Mishca from losing her humanity.

Driven apart by secrets, will they come together in time?

Shattered is the second book in the Open Heart series by Aussie writer Sharon M. Johnston. For those that missed it, and in the interests of full disclosure, I was part of the book launch for Shattered at the start of the month; Sharon is also part of the Aussie Owned and Read blogging team.

I originally read the first book in the series when it was published under another name by a different small press; it had a not-quite-cliffhanger-y ending, and I had to wait for years for the sequel. (Not quite a GRRM number of years, mind you, but still an inconvenient amount of time!) I was delighted to see that Shattered picked up where Divided left off; Mischa, having discovered the truth about her origins and a threat to her previously unknown sisters, is determined to save them.

Thus begins a road trip across Queensland. I loved the Australian setting and speech patterns. Americanisms are one of those things that Aussie readers get used to seeing in our fiction, to the point where, when Mischa commented that she had to go to the loo, I sat back and grinned about it. (That being said, I’m curious as to why the publisher chose to refer to cell phones rather than mobile phones. Or maybe it’s a Queensland dialect thing?)

There’s a fair amount of action in Shattered, and quite a few different supernatural factions at play. At first I had categorised the series as modern-day sci-fi, but in hindsight it’s more of a mash-up between that and urban fantasy. The nature of the different supernaturals would be a spoiler (and in one case a guess, as it hasn’t been revealed), but it’s a really interesting combination. I’m looking forward to learning more about the reasons for it in the third book.

Ryder and Mischa make an adorable couple, and I was glad to see that whole pesky “Colin” complication take a back seat in Shattered — though I expect Colin is less pleased about the situation! Each of the pair has comic-book-style “origin story” issues as a result of being adopted as babies, which gives them something to bond over and makes their lives more than a little freaky.

The only reason this isn’t a five-star read for me (and I say this with much love for Sharon) is that I feel like her press has let her down in the final copy edit department. There were a few grammatical errors that made me twitch. To my mind, if a press is taking a cut of the profit, they should do a better job at weeding those out — the author can’t really do it because they are too close to their own work to see them! Gah! <end rant>

Still, if you want a fast-paced Aussie urban fantasy/sci-fi with kissing and a supernatural mystery, why not give the Open Heart series a try?


Four stars

One Comment on “Review: ‘Shattered’ by Sharon M. Johnston”

  1. […] Cassandra reviewed Shattered by Sharon M. Johnston – a sci fi/urban fantasy second book in the Open Heart series. Cassandra was particularly pleased to see that the book picked up where the first one left off: […]

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