A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows the city of Poughkeepsie, New York, after parts of it have been catastrophically altered. Shows female main characters taking charge.
Family members need to stick together in times of trouble. Young women can be formidable opponents in battle.
Positive Role Models
Features especially strong female main characters. Addison, a tough-minded survivor of a mysterious disaster, is brave, resourceful, protective of her younger sister. She's able to stand up to the possessed rag doll Vespertine, the U.S. Army, and an invasion by beasts from another dimension. Her sister, Lexa, is more proactive in this installment, rather than a mysterious, damaged victim.
Violence & Scariness
A villain is killed with a poisoned dart. Interdimensional animals chase Addison and Lexa through the Zone.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lexa wonders whether her older sister is hooking up with Wiley. An animated doll is betrothed to a giant wolf-monster.
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Swearing includes up to a dozen uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus an equal measure of "hell" and "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the villains smokes cigarettes. Wiley and Addison seem to share a bottle of wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Broken Vow is the second volume of a science fiction/horror graphic novel series by Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and co-author of Zeroes. It continues the adventures of sisters Addison and Lexa, who are dealing with the consequences of an interdimensional civil war. The level of violence is low (a death by poison dart, bloodless deaths of people trapped in the Zone), and there's only a hint of sex-related talk. Strong language includes up to a dozen uses of "f--k" and "s--t" plus an equal measure of "hell" and "damn."
Is It Any Good?
It's not always clear what's going on in this trippy graphic novel, but there's plenty of action and intrigue to engage fans of science fiction and fantasy. Author Scott Westerfeld and illustrator Alex Puvilland continue to work well together, the sometimes psychedelic artwork complementing the X-Files-esque plot. One point worth discussing is that the main characters, with one major exception, seem to be white, while the villainous supporting cast mostly seems to be people of color. The creators leave a few loose ends, but this volume ends on a note of resolution. Westerfeld proves that he's as adept in the medium of comics as he is with straight-ahead prose, and his many fans won't be disappointed by his experiment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.