Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee

Engines of the Broken World

Goodreads: Engines of the Broken World

Rating: FIVE stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


My Thoughts

A few years ago, this book made its way onto my forever shelves. The cover drew me in and the blurb on the back cover intrigued me enough to make the purchase. Plus, I am a sucker for books that I’ve heard nothing about and have just kind of, stumbled upon. Especially if the book turns out to be a five out of five reading gem. Oh happy day!

I hadn’t even read the Goodreads synopsis of the book before making the purchase, OR reading it. What I did know about the book was from this mysterious back-cover blurb, which also happens to be the first two paragraphs in Chapter 1. It went something like this:

It snowed the day our mother died, snow so hard and so soft at the same time that we could neither bury her nor take her out to the barn. So we set her, my brother and me, under the table in the kitchen, and we left her there because we didn’t know what else to do. There wasn’t anyone else to ask, our father dead for years and the village nearly empty and no one to help out two kids left alone in the winter.

Except it wasn’t winter, not really. It was October. Storm like that, with snow like that, we shouldn’t have had til much later, til Christmastime, or even past that more like. But we didn’t spend much time thinking about how the weather had gotten all strange. We just dealt with it.

Now I won’t tell you how to read, or claim to know there is a right way or a wrong way to read a book. However, if you decide to give this book a read, my personal recommendation is 1. don’t read the synopsis or any reviews on it (minus this one of course 😉) and 2. go into it with an open mind, meaning the less you know about the book may be better than knowing until you read it.

Our two main characters are alone in the world and having to deal with some very strange things, some more frightening than others. They are challenged with choices and decisions that will determine the course of fate, or maybe that’s just what they’ve been told. Truth and lies swirl, making the air thick with uncertainty, and these two siblings are all the other has left in the world. The reader certainly gets taken along for a chilling and unsettling ride. Head spinning situations will leave you with questions better left unanswered, as the truth tends to be more disturbing than its comforting counterpart.

This is not a religious book, nor does it aspire to convert the reader. There are religious themes within, but these themes are mostly centered on philosophy. And philosophy is amazing brain food in my opinion. At about 5 pages in, I remember thinking that the book was slightly strange, weird even..maybe even too weird for me to continue. But I’m glad I kept going. If you find yourself thinking the same thing, continue reading because you will adapt and it won’t take long at all. This is where horror and science fiction blend in a delightful way.

I’m not going to say anything more about the book because I really do stand by my “less is more” perspective. I am really impressed with the author’s writing style and the fact that the story is gritty and deep. The atmosphere itself adds an element that pulls the reader into the lives of these children, feeling each emotion as if this world were one with theirs at the same time. This is a book I wish I could go back and read again for the first time. If you decide to read this story, I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Happy reading! What stories have you read recently?

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