Cover Image: Shattered


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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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4 stars for "Shattered" by Lee Winter!

In a world where aliens landed on Earth and became its protectors, not all is as bright as it seems. What the publics sees isn't even close to the full story, and Lena Martin knows the truth. She just doesn't care. She's a tracker, it's her job to find and return the overworked superheroes who have had enough and escaped, not to question if it's fair. Lena doesn't expect to ever care about how these heroes feel, until she finds the elusive Shattergirl and is forced to acknowledge just how broken things really are.

Well golly. I really enjoyed Winter's writing and I gosh darn devoured this book. However! I didn't realize that "Shattered" isn't actually a romance. So that unexpected discovery did decrease my level of enjoyment, haha, especially since I really liked the two women together. I do indeed like the message of how much one person can positively change your perspective and life, even when the relationship doesn't become what you'd have expected... but alas, I wished for things to be different between Lena and Shattergirl. Or I at least wish I had realized before starting "Shattered" that this isn't a typical romance and to not go in expecting it to be.

Overall, a good book - just don't start it thinking you're in for a love story ;P

Thank you to Literally PR ltd. and NetGalley for the review copy :D

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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

This is the third lesbian superhero book I have read and I am ready for more. This is a fast read that delves into issues of today, such as racism and misogyny. Some of the characters you will love and others you will want to hate. I feel this builds angst and conflict. The world building is fabulous and the author takes their time with charactersl development as well.

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Holy smokes was this an enjoyable read. The gamut of emotions I was put through. Wow!

I don't often read scifi but this queer superhero story was truly out of this world. Winter's created a world that I want to luxuriate in for the simple experience of feeling all the feels. Whether they be awfully sad or triumphantly proud. Fair warning though, this story take some very dark turns. But in the end the heroes win.

Thank you Netgalley and Ylva publishing for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Lena Martin is the best tracker the agency has. So she's surprised to discover she wasn't the first choice to send out after one of the most famous guardians to ever go off the grid: Shattergirl, the aloof black lesbian superhero who may have been an inspiration for Lena as a child. Now she only has a few days to get Shattergirl to trust her, and convince her to come back into the fold. But Shattergirl has her own ideas of how this is going to go, and Lena's just going to have to keep up.

I really loved the concept of this book: the alien guardians begin to run from their agreement to be the heroes of earth, and a silver-tongued detective is sent to track them down. The world building was interesting, and paced well throughout the book (that good slow reveal). Winter wraps social expectation and historical racism well into the narrative, and I did enjoy the push-pull between Lena and Nyah.

But it took me a long time to warm to - or even begin to empathise with - the main character. Lena is brash, angry, and wildly overconfident, and it's difficult to empathise with her over Nyah: powerful, destructive, controlled, and full of grief. There were large sections of the book - particularly in it's first half - that I felt we were repeating events and conversations, and I wasn't entirely sure I understood the mcguffin of it.

I've seen other reviewers say they didn't like the ending, or that the final third of the book felt rushed. I disagree utterly. I think it was the best part of the book, and slotted nicely into the character development that we'd been rolling with up to that point. A great ending.

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I was blown away by how much I liked this!

I was excited to see this take on the superhero lifestyle, the tiredness it can bring. There was a lot of social commentary, strong female characters.. just overall unique.

The ending was a little meh for me, but overall the story is pretty great.

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Thank you to the publishers at Ylva Publishing for a chance to read “Shattered” by Lee Winter.

A black lesbian superhero who gets into an enemies to lovers plot with a detective on lookout for her? Sign me up. If a spicy queer rom-com met a superhero sci-fi story, you’d get this book!

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A very good book!

Lena has a mission: find Shattergirl, the first black, lesbian superhero who has disappeared, and bring her back. The alien guardian refuses to save people, longing for a peaceful life, but Lena has many tricks up her sleeve. Their conversations are heated, almost violent, until they finally decide to open up and share their stories. Secrets are exposed, attraction blooms, and everything Lena fought for changes suddenly.

I absolutely loved this book! It's not you usual superhero stories. The author offers us a "behind the scenes" story of what being a hero really is like and it was super interesting to read. I liked seeing the dark secrets behind all this and how Nyah experiences it all. Both characters were quite fascinating and very strong-willed. I admire that about them. It made their conversations really hot and strong and vibrant, which led to a beautiful relationship as the two women got to know one another. This story is not just superheroes and romance, it's about finding your purpose, choosing what to do with your life instead of what people forced upon you. And I find this quite beautiful. Not to mention that there is a romance of course and it's sapphic and hot and with a little bit of spice that was very entertaining to read. The writing is strong and powerful as well, describing the characters' emotions quite beautifully. The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it didn't prevent me from really enjoying this amazing, unique story!

I highly recommend if you're looking for a superhero romance with intense subjects.

"Lena supposed she should feel guilty about all of it.
She didn't."

TW: violence, death, sexually explicit scenes, homophobia, misogyny

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Interesting idea, while I mainly decided to go for this book was because I recently read some things by Lee Winter and really liked it, this superheroes plot appealed to me a lot.
And even though it didn't completely live up to my expectations, I did spend a couple of nice hours with it.. My main issue is with the repetitiveness of every single thought process both main characters have. As a reader you get the dialogue and then again but inside one of their heads and then the other perspective and then... Too much for me. Yet, lesbian superheroes...never a bad idea to read about that!

***Thank you Netgalley and Ylva publishing for the chance to read and review ***

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Alcohol to ‘unwind’ and ‘free up’ strikes my non-alcohol 😆 angst.

𝗠𝘆 𝗧𝗶𝘁𝗹𝗲: Guardians
𝗙𝗮𝘃 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿: Nyah
𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆: Normal
𝗧𝘆𝗽𝗲: Novel
𝗚𝗲𝗻𝗿𝗲: Sci-fi heroes

~ Aliens turned guardians of earthlings
~ Association dedicated to partnering & monitoring aliens
~ Super heroes (aliens) losing it because humans can be horrid
~ Mystery of aliens’s powers & breakdowns

Gave me an ‘Powerless’ vibe at the beginning, a show a loved, and some of ‘The Boys’ maybe even ‘Watchmen’ - ANYWAY - Lena, tracker supreme, is on the hunt for the stunning - Shattergirl - super hero supreme, missing (not acting as a hero) for the last 18months. As the best tracker in the game, Lena follows her leads to Socatta, where she meets a Guardian who is much more than she expected, & has a live changing encounter that has ramifications for the whole world.

This was a good read with some unexpected, yet satisfying bits (especially relationship-wise). I enjoyed the interaction & knowledge exchange & the acknowledgement of finding a space to thrive AND being in a relationship with someone who is similar as opposed to polar-ly different.

✨𝗚𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱.

~ 🤔 somewhat tone deaf MC
~ an attempt at discussing refugees, heritage, race relations & ‘otherness’ that unfortunately isn’t clear or very successful

♡🌱 𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁'𝘀 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗺𝗲 ;)

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I very rarely read anything in the superhero genre but I was pleasantly surprised by this title. It is very different than other titles I have read by the author. I also liked the fact that it features a lesbian woman of color superhero.

One hundred years ago, “Guardians” landed on Earth. In exchange for being allowed to stay on the planet, they are on call at all times in aid humankind. They are loved and worshipped but the public doesn’t know they can go rogue and it is the job of a trackers like Lena to bring them in.

Lena is tasked with bringing in a mysterious and bitter guardian named Shattergirl and as she gets to know her better, she realizes how the agency she works for abuses and manipulates the guardians. Shattergirl helps her find herself and gives her the courage to expose the truth..

This is an older book but Ylva has just reissued it and it now has new cover artwork.

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I really like the characters. That was the biggest Takeaway of this book is that the characters were enjoyable. There were a bit of other point so I couldn’t get behind. Overall, I’d say it’s enjoyable.

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This book was a cute, fast paced, cozy Sci-fi/Fantasy book. The characters were likable, and the story dealt with tough albeit important issues in a straightforward manner that turned out better than usually executed.

- fun and likable characters
- important conversation
- leaves you thinking about what matters
- forces you to look at both perspectives
- unexpected plot twists (words the end)

- felt like a slightly rushed ending (although I must admit it was still executed well)
- Was repetitive at times

Overall, I would absolutely recommend this book. Especially to those who enjoy more dialogue vs action in their books. Or to those looking for a cozy, low stakes Sci-fi/Fantasy book.

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It’s always disheartening reading a book you are excited about, only for it to fall flat. Shattered is a fantastic concept that could have delved into some interesting themes in a complex, nuanced way, but it utterly fails to deliver on any of them. I wavered on whether to give this a two or a three star rating, because I think there’s some wonderful ideas here, but ultimately, seeing great ideas dissolved in this narrative like wet cardboard in the rain was arguably a significantly more frustrating experience than seeing a shallow story badly executed.

Shattered pretty much disappointed me on every front. The dialogue and prose were fairly rote, and the latter was bogged down by excessive rumination from both PoV characters. It’s absolutely not necessary to have them rehash every conversation in their heads after it's occurred, re-explaining to the reader how they feel and how terribly conflicted and/or affected they are. It got tedious extremely quickly, which was a real shame, because these characters could’ve been fantastic. I loved Lena’s introduction and was very excited to have an unapologetic bastard as a female lead, but by the seventh time she exposition-ed at me about how very tragic and repressed she was I had lost patience with her. Similarly, Nyah’s character feels inconsistent- I appreciate she’s in a difficult position with conflicting feelings about her role- but her complete abhorrence for being put on a pedestal does not seem to mesh with certain twisty elements of her backstory.

The vast majority of Shattered is that cookie-cutter dialogue I mentioned earlier, which simply isn’t strong enough to support the narrative. This was an unwelcome surprise after the story opened with a dramatic (and engrossing!) action scene, only to a grind to a halt, interspersed with a couple of less relevant action scenes with less compelling stakes.. Lots of the arguably most interesting parts of the central conflict are hand-waved in a slew of exposition at the end, and I couldn’t help but desperately want a book that actually tackled the subject of a burned-out population of superheroes trapped in oppressive contracts head-on. It wasn’t credible that the changes would take place as quickly and smoothly as the narrative implies, and I felt it did the themes a disservice. The characters also felt pretty one-note: particularly the villain, which was another big disappointment for me, given the strong foundation of an interesting and complex motivation. When the protagonists did have shifts in ideology or outlook, it didn’t feel believable- just that it was time for them to change their mind. The twists that were in this narrative felt stale and predictable, and I was in that unhappy position of feeling irritated at the characters for not being smart enough to cotton on to what seemed so obvious. I actually felt like this read like the lower-aged end of YA, apart from one fairly forgettable intimate scene and a quick stopover into some very heavy themes, which I don’t feel were included with much thought- more so as fuel for Nyah’s angst, which didn’t have the desired effect, at least for me. (Nyah is almost a hundred years old and has been all over the world, reading people’s minds as she goes: she’s come across this before. Why was this particular case so affecting for her? I didn’t feel like that was demonstrated to the reader.)

I wish I could say that I was at least invested in the romantic tension between Lena and Nyah, but unfortunately, they just didn’t compel me. I wanted to root for them desperately, especially given that it’s refreshing to see a sapphic couple in fiction who are both on the butcher side of gender presentation, but I just couldn’t click with them.

Sadly, I wouldn’t recommend Shattered- even though it is bursting with interesting ideas, I just don’t feel like it makes good on any of them.

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Lesbian superheroine! I am sold. It's a fun, fast-paced read, fulfilling expectations. It could have been longer, though!

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I can’t help but feel sad I didn’t read this one before now. I love the new cover and it is infinitely more fitting of this story than the old one. In this world that Lee created we have Guardians, aliens who arrived over a hundred years ago, who act as superheroes for Earth. They each have their own special abilities they use and The Facility coordinates their efforts. Lena is a Facility tracker for wayward guardians and is sent to find Shattergirl, AKA Nyah. When she finds her the world she knows is turned on it’s end. They spend a week together and their time is spent understanding each other and the state of their world a bit better and from new perspectives. The character development in Winter’s books is unparalleled and we definitely see that here. Nyah’s world and how she came to be here, hiding in a cave is so well described that she feels real. I loved how Lena’s life intersects and they are able to find common ground despite initially being complete opposites. These two are a great pair and I loved seeing them help each other grow, each finding more fulfilling lives than they started with. Definitely peak Lee Winter that you don’t want to miss.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this!

Just a note, I believe this is a republishing of the book and while I knew that before starting the book, I still kind of went in unknowingly other than what was in the description! Let me just say I am a huge fan of Winter and I adore all of her books but for some reason this book was just not my favorite. I also have been in a weird reading slump/mood so that could be it but it took me almost a week to finish when normally I finish books within a few days.
I really did enjoy the world building in the book though!!

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This was great. It felt refreshing to get away from the superheroes that are dominating our screens at the moment and dive into something fresh and new.
Winter's writing is captivating and the characters are fun to read.
Definitely will look into other works by this author.

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This book was a surprise to me. I thought it was about superheroes, but it was so much more. Lena's job is to find wayward/burnt-out superheroes and bring them back to the Facility. She has never missed yet. Now she has to find Shattergirl who has not been able to be found by anyone else. She needs to be returned before the Centennial celebration. Lena tracks Shattergirl but somehow, they begin to talk, and Lena begins to see the downside of being a hero. She realizes that they may have a point and begins to open her eyes to the problems and how their lives are nothing like she had thought. Very thought provoking. I should have known since I am a fan of Lee Winters writing. Really great book and makes you think about our place in the world. Ultimately, both Lena and Shattergirl come out changed for the better. Well worth the time and effort.
I received an ARC for an unbiased opinion.

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I went into this without a lot of expectations, but I was very surprised. Yes, it is a romance, but it plays a bit with the expectations while still delivering a happy ending. But the surprising part is the take on superheroes—essentially enslaved by constant need for rescues, driven by a society that is dependent on the heroes to avoid fixing the society that puts its own citizens in danger. Wow. This idea is original, as far as I know. There is occasionally some "hero fatigue" in SF or fantasy, but not like this. The only similar thing I can think of is the comic Nexus (see [book:Nexus Archives, Vol. 1|135757]) from the 1980s.

Yeah, so a full extra star for making me think new thoughts about superheroes.

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