Taken by M.A. Church ~ Review by Optimist ♰King’s Wench♰

This could be a bit long winded, so the CliffsNotes version is:  extremely romantic; not AT ALL dub-con; two dimensional characters who behave disingenuously; affected language/dialogue that I’ve heard in movies, comedy specials or read before; harvesting premise doesn’t hold water; some sexy moments especially involving the tail and knotting; prosaic writing; unsatisfying ending.

harvestTitle:  Taken (The Harvest #1)

Author:  M.A. Church

Publisher:  Storm Moon Press

Rating:  2 out of 5 Stars

From the Publisher

In the year 2050, humanity finds out they are indeed not alone.

Massive space ships appear without warning above the capital cities of all major nations. The planet Tah’Nar is dying. Chemical warfare has reduced the once-intersexed warrior race to sterility. They need fresh DNA in order to reproduce and have an idea for a harvesting program… and so they turn to Earth.

Earth governments negotiate a lottery, and Dale Michael assumes he’s safe since he’s under the Harvest age limit. How wrong he is. He’s illegally harvested and claimed by Tah’Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. From the moment Keyno sees Dale, he knows he must claim the spirited human male for his own. What he doesn’t expect is a spitfire with a mind of his own—and a deadly disease that will require a risky procedure to cure.

My View

Hypothetical situation:  say you’re a hot, young twenty something guy, you get abducted by aliens who perform a surgical procedure on you without your consent and inject you with their DNA which will modify your internal organs so you can bear their young among other things and you can never go home again. What’s your reaction? If it’s something in the neighborhood of ‘make lemonade out of lemons’, this book is for you. STOP READING HERE. If your response is something along the lines of ‘WTF?!?!’, then we have much to discuss.

Dale does put up a token fight, but its pitiful and short lived. I was so flabbergasted by this whole situation and his response to it. I mean, a couple days after his abduction he’s rushing off to console and comfort another abductee who’s having trouble with being abducted by aliens? And you’re going to “help” him? What? I thought you were fussy about being abducted and pretty much forced to have some young’uns? I get the whole ‘resistance is futile’, but these aliens are wimps. Seriously. Keyno is the moodiest freak show of a character since ‘Christian Grey’. If Dale says something even remotely passive aggressive Keyno’s does some weird alien/cat whine/whimper thing that hits Dale right in the feels and he’s immediately apologizing. Again, WHAT?!?! I swear, I think that alien DNA kickstarted a PPD (Pliant Personality Disorder-not a real disorder) in Dale. About a week into his stay on the ship he becomes a whiny, needy, clueless and insecure wife/husband/mate/chosen who is in constant need of his man’s protection??? I’m not going to say it again, but I’m thinking it.

I’m really trying not to hold the whole MPREG thing against the author since I’m the idiot who saw dub-con, flailed and requested this book. Lesson learned. Nevertheless, I chose this book and it’s not the author’s fault that this idiot reviewer skimmed the blurb. Thankfully, Dale avoids getting knocked up in this one. However, the relationship between Dale and Keyno is M/F masquerading as M/M even if you subtract the MPREG. The entire story arc and relationship development is M/F from the crazy possessive alpha-hole male who carries around his wo/man, has weird mood swings and wants the little wo/man at home barefoot and pregnant. Dale occupies all his time lunching with his friends, looking at plants, magically solving everyone’s problems with his accidental bluntness, which everyone finds charming and making sure he’s home by the time his man gets off work. Frankly, if I wanted to read M/F I’d read M/F, but this type of story arc is precisely what annoys me so much about M/F. What is so appealing about taking two people who are so hot for each other that they’re swinging from the chandeliers 99% of the time to having them get hitched and within a blink s/he’s knocked up effectively ending the smokin’ hot monkey sex they were having? Does not compute.

However, we should consider sending Dale to the Middle East. He could have that mess sorted out within a few minutes. Every single situation is handled dismissively, some of which are serious, life altering events and deserving of at least a modicum of gravity. Would that international relations were as easy as inviting ones enemy to have dinner at your house thereby ending a long-standing feud.

Now, let’s talk about this harvesting program and its credibility. How can the Tar’Harians mate with all these different races? None rejected the transition? But all the women of these planets rejected? Why can the mates never go home again? If the end goal is re-populate the Tar’Harian race then after they’ve all bred their mates why do they have to stay forever and ever? And why keep harvesting? Seems like this harvesting is a never-ending process, but the aliens are really thoughtful and nice guys? o____O

The sexy times are really the only thing I found remotely stimulating, although I’m disappointed that the tail didn’t get put to more use. The chasing and knotting are in the medium heat range.

What I had envisioned when I skimmed the blurb was something along the lines of what happened to Cam (Dark Space) during his Faceless captivity. I’m not comparing, but you say space and dub-con and that’s where my head went, so to say I was disappointed by the complete and utter lack of anything remotely dub-con would be an understatement.

The ending seemed arbitrary. The writing is uninspired and overly reliant on cheesy dialogue which kept jerking me out of the story. However, it did illustrate just how much useless pop culture information I’ve accumulated over the years. Also, I feel like some of the dialogue/characterizations verge on prejudicial, but perhaps I’m being overly sensitive.

I’ve read some of the other reviews and people have 4 and 5 starred this book. It wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for you. If you like fluffy escapism that’s feel good and schmaltzy, you will love this. It required a little too much reality suspension for me. I reserve my reality suspension for SM and his porky fluffery.

Where to Buy

Storm Moon Press

KOBO

ARe

Amazon

I would like to thank Storm Moon Press for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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