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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Harken (Harken, #1)
Kaleb Nation
Release Date: January 13, 2013
Source: Author
After surviving an assassination attempt, teenager Michael Asher discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy reaching higher than any earthly power. A supernatural organization desperately wants him dead. He doesn't know why. Everyone who might have the answers has already been killed.
Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to fight back and dig up the truth. He begins to question how much of the world is truly as people are led to believe it is. Are there things that humanity is not being told? Who is the puppet master? And how far into the maze can he venture before he is lost forever?
I really, really loved this book. Like, I really, really did. I've been somewhat lucky in my reading lately, which is awesome, and this book cemented that streak for me. The characters were memorable and it used a fairly unique concept. It was unputdownable and held my attention amazingly well, which, while not exactly an accomplishment unique to this book, is still fantastic considering I have a book I started back in July still sitting half-read on my bookshelf. Some books suck at the attention-grabbing thing. Some books, like this one, rock at it.

When we're first introduced to Michael, I wasn't entirely sure what to think of him. He's something of a risk taker, and while he clearly loves his family he still does what he wants. As the story went on, however, I grew to love him more. He doesn't mind risking his life for the people he cares about, and that's incredibly admirable. At the same time he isn't an idiot and he isn't overly impulsive. Michael keeps a clear head most of the time, but he also gets panicked at times, just like anyone else. He's also a photographer, like me, which is awesome.

Callista is an interesting character, and I'm not a huge fan of hers. I get that she's hurt inside and that she's grieving and I sympathize with her. Believe me, I do. At the same time, that is not a free ticket to be rude to everyone. Sometimes she just goes off and starts blaming Michael for things he had no control over. Again, I get wanting to place blame somewhere, but placing it wrongly isn't helpful. Still, she isn't wholly unlikable, and she's a very strong character, which I do like.
Thad might be my favorite character. I adore him. He's fiercely loyal, which is one of my favorite traits. He isn't bitter about the past or what's happened to him. He doesn't let it get to him. He doesn't have a problem devoting himself to Michael, and he's self-sacrificing but somehow isn't annoying about it. Which is amazing, right? Of course it is, because I just said it was.

In the world of Harken, Guardians protect the earth. Or at least, that's what they're supposed to do. Something like that isn't a unique idea on its own. The way it is executed is what makes it truly memorable.

Michael's life isn't normal from the beginning. He can see people's emotions in their eyes, particularly when the eyes are those in a photograph. He's made a business out of this that causes him to leave his house one night. That's what leads him to meet Mr. Sharpe, and consequently sets off the events of this novel.

This plot involves a lot of action. It is definitely event-driven, which I really liked. One thing leads to another–no matter what choices Michael makes, it is going to cause something else down along the line. I was pleased by the clarity of that and the ease by which events and people connected.

Mostly, it was highly enjoyable. There was a lot of anticipation involved. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. And the best thing? It wasn't irritatingly predictable. I loved being surprised. Just when I was sure I had everything figured out, something would come up and it would be turned upside-down completely. I was left guessing until the very end.

So, if I had to sum this up in one word, I'd use the word thrilling. It was deliciously intense and basically just marvelous, and I loved every moment of it.

As much as romance happens to be one of my favorite things in the universe (which most of you know by now) one of my favorite things about this book was its lightness on it. I wouldn't go so far as to say there's none, but it isn't the main focus of the novel like about 99% of YA paranormal these days and I loved that. There's chemistry, but there're still so many roadblocks to any chances of that. It's complicated is probably the easiest if most cliché way to phrase this. I like it, and I'm definitely curious to see where it goes.

I have mixed feelings here. The writing flows easily, and Michael has a distinct voice. It lets a lot of his personality come through, but occasionally it does fall flat. It's a little bit too simplistic, I think, and could use a bit of work as far as that goes. It's not horrible, not even bad, but it's not perfect. Mostly I would say that it needs more specificity to the word choice and more focus on the wording in some areas. But other than that, I really don't have any complaints. It's lovely, and has a very open and readable quality to it.

Endings are tricky. Plus, I have a tendency to be overly critical about them. Happily, I was extremely satisfied with this ending. It left me wanting to know more, but at the same time it didn't feel like a cheap trick or a ridiculous cliffhanger. Don't get me wrong–there is a cliffhanger–but I thought is was nicely done. There was one point near the end where I think the book could have ended, and most authors probably would have ended it there to drag it out. But I liked that Harken didn't do that. It gave the sense of a complete book with more to come.

If it isn't obvious to you by this point how much I loved this book, then…well. It should be obvious. It was an incredible story with action and just a touch of romance, and I adored the concept of Guardians. I will definitely be continuing this series. As to would I recommend this? Um, yes! I especially recommend this to all you lovely people whose guilty pleasures include bad action movies. I'm only half kidding. But in all seriousness, I absolutely recommend this. Harken was a gorgeous and modern read.


*****FINAL RATING: 4.75 RED ROSES*****


  1. This book sounds really good! And I just saw it on Goodreads YESTERDAY? What is up with that? LOL. Anywho, I occasionally like an event driven book, so lets see how this one works for me. Fab review, Annabelle! (:

    Megan@The Book Babe

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  3. Wow! 4.75! That's a really high rating! Sounds like this book really did it for you!
    I haven't heard of this one before - like at all! I have to say that I love a bit of romance too so I wasn't really sure when you said that there's only a touch of romance in it, but with a rating of 4.75 I think I'll overlook that! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention, I don't think I would have ever given it a chance otherwise :)

  4. Yay for light romance! And I love love LOVE a book that can surprise me. I'm adding this one to my Goodreads :)

  5. Thanks for the great review! This is the first I've come across this book and it sounds awesome! Definitely running over to check it out on more!

  6. Great review. Can't wait to read it myself =)

  7. Very detail review. I don't know how you do that, your review is always complete and pretty sums up the story, there's praises and also critics. I always love reading your honest review (following you by newsletter)

  8. Great review. I already wanted to read it and I liked the cover, b your review confirmed it for me. Thanks.

  9. I love conspiracy theories. I believe they are all around us, we just refuse to see them or realize there is nothing we can do about it so just ignore it. I like the cover, drew me in.

  10. Good review about the different characters.

  11. Nice, thoughtful review! I should pick this up soon :D


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