Like its predecessor, Broken Bridge follows Fern (probably my all-time favorite heroine name) through a magic-rich world ala Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson, where supernatural elements are relatively new to Earth’s timeline. Or at least, as far as humanity is concerned.
Fern’s customer this time is Cobb, and eccentric man with baggage as big as it comes. She quickly finds herself in a deepening mystery that becomes stranger and harder on her life expectancy with every passing day. Each advance paints her further into a corner of obligation, and without her friend Zhirk, it’s a lonely journey.
Sorry, did I say lonely? It wouldn’t be a J Dark novel without a cast of colorful, quirky characters, and Broken Bridge is no exception. Meet Zik’k, Fern’s new hired muscle. His only problem with her, besides her humanity, is that he’s severely allergic to her “tainted magic.” This recipe yields numerous laugh-out-loud conversations and scenarios true to the series’ lighthearted-but-serious tone.
Fern also maintains a genuine, honest, and realistic quality that drew me to her in the first book. She’s realistic about her strengths, and even more so about her weaknesses. She’s decent with magic but not so much with hand-to-hand. Solution? If she’s going into a potentially dangerous situation, she never does it alone, and if someone attacks, she doesn’t wait for a miracle to save her. Fern gets the hell out of there so she can live to fight another day, and deals with the fallout later—which comes a-plenty. This realistic aspect, combined with responsibility and tenacity, makes her an easy protagonist to root for.
If you’re an urban fantasy fan and haven’t read the first book, do that now, then pick up Broken Bridge. You won’t regret it.