Saturday, November 26, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Broken Wings, by L. Stoddard Hancock

I consider myself part of many Fandoms, but by and large, the one I hold dearest will always be Harry Potter. I assure you, that will be a post for another day, but it should be mentioned as I introduce you to this book.

So anyway, just earlier this year I begrudgingly delved into Fan Fiction - fiction written by fans that features characters or the world of an established piece or series of genre fiction, movies, TV shows or comics. I really never thought it would be my thing. It just sounded cheesy. I could not have possibly been more wrong.

The most recent one I've read was called Cruel and Beautiful World.

Imagine if Voldemort had won the final battle of Hogwarts. The world is now under his supreme control and Muggles and Mudbloods are either executed or worse, put into a slave trade.

The original fan fiction story mostly takes place 5 years later, following Hermione who manages to escape their control and ends up having to trust Draco Malfoy to keep her hidden, even though he is one of the Dark Lord's most trusted Death Eaters.

Through it all, these two very broken souls grow very close and work to take out He Who Must Not be Named, and escape the city to join the rest of the resistance.

Right around the time I was finishing up my reading of it, the author announced that they were taking their story to publication! Of course this meant stripping it of all Harry Potter references. It also sadly means, that Cruel & Beautiful World, in its original form, is no longer availably online.

Luckily, in its place is something just as magical!

I could not be more honored to be among the first readers of Broken Wings – Cruel and Beautiful World Book One by L. Stoddard Hancock.

When I first started I was so lost in my head with trying to make the connections  between the changed names to their original character mirrors. It took me about 5 chapters, plus starting over to make my mind stop doing that and just appreciate THIS book for what it was.

In a futuristic, technology driven world, President Saevus calls all the shots. He has convinced the majority of his constituents that the outside world is toxic and the air alone will kill you due to an ancient war. This book takes place in the arrogantly named city of Utopia, a dome shielded city that shuns those born on the outside.

Many Outsider children have been forced to become Guards for the city. When Outsider resistance stormed the halls of Eagle Training Center to get back their own, all hell broke loose. Many were killed, and those that weren't became slaves, passed around by the most elite guards, known as Guardians.

Deryn Leon, daughter of the Outsider's leader has been treated worse than any of them and after five years has little fight left in her.

The key to her escape, a knife, is slipped to her by another slave, and she uses it the first chance she gets. She has no money, is badly beaten, and is a wanted fugitive.

A Guardian, whom she trained with at Eagle Center finds her on the street and convinces her to come home with him. With few options, and seemingly losing either way, she takes a chance on the Guardian, Xander Ruby.

Although he is President Saevus' favorite Guardian, we learn he does what he has to in order to survive, but hates himself for it at the same time.

How close will a slave in hiding, and a Guardian be able to get? Will she ever trust him completely? Will he ever forgive himself for the role he played in her initial capturing?

I don't want to give too much away, but I'm busting at the seams to talk about this book!

While I want to recommend this book to anyone and everyone that can read, it should be noted that there are some mature subject matters in the book:

There is discussion of rape, physical abuse, and consensual sex scenes so use your judgement on that. I think the story is beautiful, no matter how cruel it is at times. The relationship between the characters are so incredibly special it makes you want to know them yourself.

Not to make this political but can I just say I had a hard time reading it for a few early days there in November what with a scary dictatorship premise....

But if you don't end this book wishing you were Cupcake girl, loving Black Bird by the Beatles, or wanting Bronson as your BFFL, you're lying.

This is only book one! There will be 3 books in all. The second, titled Sunken Eyes, became available Thanksgiving day - November 24th, via Kindle for $4.99.

So read this one so you can dive into the next!

It's important to remember that this wonderful book was self published and edited, so there are a few typos, and grammar issues but not enough to derail the story.

Also, while the cover art is absolutely STUNNING, I don't like the texture or the material used on the paperback. It's hard to explain, but its kind of plasticky and picks up fingerprints horribly.  I expect that's a cost issue - if you enjoy reading books rather than e-readers, you may want to put a book cover on this one.

You can own a digital copy of Broken Wings via Amazon for just .99! If you'd prefer a paperback version, that will cost you $16.95, or you can enter our Giveaway to win one of your own!

Read on to see how to enter!

One winner in the US (including APOs) will receive a paperback copy of Broken Wings, by L. Stoddard Hancock, valued at $16.95.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to US residents (including APO addresses) and will end just before midnight ET on 12/10. 

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Once the winners have responded and confirmed, their first names will be posted on our Giveaways  page.

Good luck!


  1. This sounds right up my alley - I like that she made the transition from fanfic to original tale! My favorite genre fiction is urban fantasy and SF, as well as historical fiction (especially alternate history).

    1. What does urban fantasy mean? Examples?

    2. Well, Harry Potter or this one, for example - supernatural/fantasy stories set in the present rather than in the past or on some other planet. Tends to be a bit dark.

    3. Neil Gaiman's stuff is a great example - TV examples would include Buffy, Supernatural, True Blood, etc.

  2. Oooh. Than me too! Lol I've never heard the term

  3. I've been meaning to read this for a while! Everyone talks so highly of it so I'm excited to see what the buzz is about. You did a wonderful job describing the plot without giving too much away!I also didn't know the second book had come out.

    1. You definitely should!! I'm glad you liked my take on it. I tried to make it enticing without tooooo much givaway lol

  4. i love the power dynamics in play... i dont really have a favorite genre though!

  5. This is not my genre I read, however, sounds like a good read.


  6. This sounds like SUCH a fun book!! Love that it was originally Harry Potter fan fiction... that's such an intriguing dynamic. I love sci fi and fantasy of all kinds so... fingers crossed I win! ;)

  7. I loved the original fanfic..didn't think I could love it more but the new work is absolutely amazing! Can't wait to start the second book.
    -Whitney Carrizales

  8. I found the original fanfiction many years ago, and I told people then that it could be it's own series so I am so excited that it's been released as a trilogy (although the third book hasn't been published yet). I can't wait to see how the story ends.

  9. I read mostly Harry Potter fanfiction! Lol. I also like mysteries. :)

  10. I am currently reading the original Cruel and Beautiful World, and you are correct. Wishing to be the cupcake girl, and needing my very own Bronson. Amazingly well written and a captivating story, I'd LOVE to read this version!

  11. I first read CaBW on recommendation, fangirled hard when the author was introduced and loved the first book when I downloaded it to my kindle!

  12. I like that it has a futuristic sense to it. I like fantasy and mysteries the most but lately I'll give any good book a chance.

  13. I like future speculative and dystopian fiction so this hopes on my TBR list

  14. I love anything that is humorous.

  15. I like the futuristic side to it. I love mysteries genre.

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