Author: M.A. Church
Cover artist: Lou Harper
Amazon: 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.
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.
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.