The Harvest: Taken Review
Author: MA Church
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
American release date: October 30, 2013
Format/Genre/Length: E-book/M/M SciFi Romance/274 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Imagine, if you will, a future in which the human race is unable to reproduce—sterilized by chemical weapons—facing extinction. This is the situation faced by a group of aliens known as the Tah’narians. Once a unisexed warrior race, they find the selves about to die out. What can they do but seek outside DNA?
So they approach the leaders of various planets, including Earth. The people of Earth are frightened by the sight of the hovering spacecraft, but world leaders explain the situation and how it will be settled—through the use of human males, who will travel to the Tah’narians’ home world to contribute their DNA. A lottery program is put into effect—a five year plan, which includes young men from twenty-three to twenty-eight.
At seventeen, Dale knows he’s safe from being taken in the yearly ritual which has been nicknamed The Harvest. But he learns that isn’t true when the government comes for him and takes him from his parents, prior to his twenty-third birthday, because apparently Dale has been chosen.
Dale has caught the eye of the starship captain himself, Keyno Shou. Dale is injected with Tah’narian DNA—double-dosed, because of an existing condition he is unaware of—and he finds himself in the hands of Keyno, who is determined to woo and win his mate.
Dale is very much opposed to this idea and wants to go home. He is thrilled to learn that his best friend Chad, harvested a year ago, is on the ship, mated to Keyno’s second-in-command, Gibor. Chad tries to tell Dale everything will be all right. But Dale isn’t convinced—especially when he learns the DNA injections are to prepare him to carry Keyno’s young!
The Harvest is both a romance and a coming-of-age story, set against a sci fi backdrop. Although Dale begins as a hostage to the situation, he quickly learns to adapt to his new life, as Chad has done, and he develops feelings for Keyno. Dale also grows and matures. He brings his own brand of justice to the Tah’narian starship—particularly in interactions with the Onfre, the aliens who originally brought about the current situation, and with the criminal gangs the government offloads on the unsuspecting Tah’narians.
I loved the relationship between Dale and Keyno, as they fell in love and began their lives together. The secondary characters are every bit as rich as the primary. Ms. Church’s writing style is homey and familiar, reflecting her Southern heritage, and liberally sprinkled with humor. Such as Keyno’s “nickname” for Dale—“Dammit Dale”! Dale is very mischievous and at time Keyno is easy to get over on, but then Keyno knows how to turn the tables on Dale when he suffers from an attack of cockiness. Their give and take is priceless. As Dale assimilates into the Tah’narian culture, he invests a bit of himself, and shows them his humanity in the process. The two races gain a greater understanding of one another, as Dale and Keyno look forward to taking the next step together—parenthood.
I can’t wait to read the next book. The sex is hot, and I just love these two to death. You won’t be able to put it down—a must-have book for any collection of m/m novels.
Note: I have to comment on one thing, which is not a reflection on the author. The editing leaves a great deal to be desired, and the editor did a less than stellar job, and failed to omit errors which were pointed out in the editing process (which I was a part of, as a beta). On the whole, I cannot recommend this publisher, but I do recommend this author.