Harvest: Taken (book1)

Title: Harvest: Taken (book 1)
Author: M.A. Church
Amazon: Buy Link The Harvest: Taken
Genre: scifi gay romance
Length: 70000 words
Rating: 2 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius:

Summary:  After reading this story I really can see why sometimes warnings are a really good thing for me.

Blurb:

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.

Review:

So before we go any further, I invite you to reread the blurb. Granted, the talk about reproducing should have clued me in that the pregnancy could be involved, but the talk about using the DNA and the fact that book is classified as scifi made my mind wonder in the direction of collecting the DNA and actually using it for scientific experiments. So now I am reviewing the book which has male pregnancy.  I had to think long and hard about whether I can be fair to this one – but I did read one fanfiction with this trope which I liked and one original story which I truly loved, so I figured that as long as the possibility exists, I can review the book.

No, I did not like it as you can see from looking at my grade, but reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive and I did like the writing style somewhat, so I definitely suggest you check out other reviews.  The narrator does not get pregnant in this book, I am assuming it is going to happen in the next one, but he is fully primed for it – he had all the necessary organs grown inside of him, etc.  And one of his friends/mates is getting pregnant in this one.

Despite my irritation about male pregnancy the other issue that bothered me about this one just as much or probably more was not the male pregnancy itself. I thought that the narrator adjusts to his new life and lets go of his anger ridiculously quickly. His whole life had been ripped away from him, he would never see his family again and his anger lasts what, a chapter or so? And then his abductor becomes his Love of his life . Okay, sorry, just no, his reactions made no sense to me even with his disease being cured by aliens as a reason for him to be a little grateful. Actually, they did, but only as much as I could see that author needed Dale to react that way because she wanted to tell a sweet story and do it in the outer space instead of somewhere on Earth.

I mean, the alien would never abuse Dale because  he loves him so much? I am sorry, what? He already abused him big time, this whole harvesting program is of course benefitting aliens because their world is dying, but let’s own the story which is actually being told. It is the horror story, not a cute and fluffy love story, which narrative quickly turns out to be in my opinion. These guys (humans and beings from other planets) have been abducted or abandoned by their governments, these aliens forcibly changed their bodies. What, do you think it was painless for Dale to grow the uterus (or the equivalent of it, because they used a different word)? No, it was not. That’s abuse in my book and the fluffy bunnies just did not work for me.

I was also confused about them becoming mates – did the aliens’ scent act as an equivalent of mating bond? Because really no matter how we arrive there, what we get in the love story department is “you are my mate, I am your mate”, the story certainly did not give me enough time to observe Dale actually falling in love with Kayno. Any internal obstacles between them becoming a couple disappear just so very fast.

I cannot recommend this one.

4 comments

    • So the writer could tell m/m story instead of m/f? 🙂 . Seriously there is an explanation, or at least I assume it was meant to be one because for me it did not work. Aliens race used to be intersex – they would give birth to their young themselves but they looked like male so I am assuming they are only attracted to male species. However if you are both doesn’t it mean that you are attracted to both species? It is kind of annoying now I think about it that the only thing which was to remind us I human females was their ability to gve birth. That is all your female part is reduced to and rather than take somebody who is already capable of giving birth ( also question is how willing they will be of course) you would rather mutilate the males from other planets? The more I think about it the more irritated I feel :(.

  • Great review Sirius. I was waiting for this review because I knew how conflicted you were about the story. So this is a cross between sci fi and paranormal? As you said, the reviews on Amazon are mostly positive but some reviewers are just as negative about this book. Good writing does not excuse a flimsy plot in my opinion, and for Dale to turn around and love his captor, someone who is changing his body so that he could grow female organs, is illogical, at the very least. I think I’ll pass on this one.

    • I do not think logic matters much here – love does not know logic or reason ( or something like that ;)). Seriously remember plot zombies characters from Nicole Kimberling’s series ? Narrator is a prime example of that IMO. I do not think it is a paranormal? Scifi romance I would say.

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