Title: The Harvest, Book One: Taken
Author: MA Church
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 165 (anthology of 5 stories)
Genre: Science Fiction
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 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.
This is a page turning book that kept my interest from start to finish. The story revolves around Dale Michaels who is 17 years old when Earth finds out that Aliens exist. In the face of overwhelming force Earth doesn’t fight but capitulates to the Aliens request to harvest mates. Mates taken from the male population aged between 23 and 28 by way of a lottery for a period of 5 years.
Told entirely from Dale’s point of view the story begins one week before Dale’s 23rd birthday when he is illegally Harvested by the Tah’Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. We follow him through the initial medical procedures and into his new life with Keyno which doesn’t run entirely smoothly but there were few real surprises.
This is first story I’ve read by M A Church and sadly I found myself dropped out of the story disappointingly often as descriptions and references left me recalling famous films and TV shows I have watched. This led to the world building being less convincing as I have read elsewhere and the characters a little too predictable. However the introduction of Keyno’s hair and tail to the sex scenes was refreshing, well done and probably my favourite idea in the book.
This is an anthology of five stories which are seamlessly linked together to make one long story but even so it lacked enough highs and lows to make this a really memorable story hence only 3 kisses.
Reviewed by Smidgeson