Publisher/ Year: 2013
How I Read It: Kindle
Why I Read It: Many of my favorite booktubers recommended the book.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
This is the first book in the Harken series by Kaleb Nation. I was originally interested in this book due to the fact that many of my favorite booktubers (who I trust very much with recommendations) have read this book and were so captivated by it. I was captivated as well.
Summary from Goodreads: 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?
Quick Review for those who have not read it yet:
This book was very captivating and quick paced and was so full of mystery and suspense. The characters and the plot were very well thought out & Kaleb has really come up with such a great story. If you like mystery & action, this book is for you. Yes, this is a YA/ MG novel. To be honest, when I first started reading it, I thought the concept was awesome, it's just that it was a little hard for me to sit down and keep reading. Like, after certain chapters when I should have been urging myself to move on because something significant happened, I just didn't get that feeling. Otherwise, great book & recommended.
Michael Asher is a very interesting character with an interesting power. He has the Glimpse, in which through photographs, and sometimes through direct eye contact, he is able to see the emotions of the person in the picture at that exact moment in time. His room was full of faces. Each face had a different emotion, a different story to tell, and it was known as his Great Work. I LOVED his character. I thought he was a great protagonist for the book. The only thing is he didn't think through things and didn't think about how his actions affected others. He spoke without thinking. Yet, he was so freaking brave. When he found out about the conspiracy against him, he wanted to know more. When he discovered he had claws and scales, he may have been confused, but of course he wanted to find out more. This led him to Thad and Callista.
Thad and Callista are Michael's Chosens. Michael is a Guardian. Near the beginning of the book, Callista was thought to be dead, until Thad saves his life from the monk and Callista shoots down a plane for him. Thad and Callista have this amazing connection with Michael and they are sworn to protect him. I love Thad and Callista's characters. Thad was brave, strong, and wise. Callista was strong, strong-willed, and was a killer female lead. What killed me about these characters was their backstory. I love it when characters you thought you knew tell their backstory to another character, and immediately, your mind is blown. The thing with Thad and Sophia killed me. We don't know what happened to Sophia (though I hope we do by the next book in the series). Callista lost her entire family to an evil Guardian, Wyck, who is trying to kill Michael. They both lost everything they love for Michael's sake. Then when Michael lost his mother, you saw his vulnerability and he finally feels the brunt of what Thad and Callista had felt. All three of them are strong characters and their personalities balance each other out.
So more about the plot. My mind was blown when Michael, Thad, and Callista discover that they are reincarnations of a former Guardian and two Chosens who attempted to finish what was started the first time. When they found out that the Blade was probably the only thing that would give them the power to save the world from these evil Guardians like Wyck. The dreams each of the characters had led them to each other, and most importantly to the Blade, which was their key to success, but also could have been their downfall if it was in the wrong hands. This is what made the book so suspenseful! You didn't know what the character was going to do next. Michael kept putting himself in danger to save the ones he loved, even if it meant risking his life (which meant risking Thad and Callista's lives as well).
This book also showed the cruelty of society. Michael couldn't trust anyone. Usually, you would think the police or people like the monk were on his side, but they were controlled by the greater power that wanted Michael and his friends dead. When the false headlines went out that Michael was a psychopath that murdered his family and crashed a plane, everything was hitting Michael at full force. His mother had just been murdered by Wyck, his house was burning down, and he was made to believe that Alli, one of the people he cared about most in the world was gone. The concept of a society against you was a well thought part of this book. It made the reader think.
The thing I didn't like about this book was that I couldn't really get into it at the beginning, and I felt like I had to force myself to keep reading. Also, I found some parts predictable. I had a huge feeling that Callista was still alive. I also had a huge feeling that Alli never really died. I mean there were some parts of the story line that I was unable to predict, but for the most part, I found myself saying, "I totally knew it". And I gave myself a little smile.
I thought this book was so great and the last chapter made me want to read the next book. I love Michael and Callista's relationship & I want to see where it will go. That last sentence killed me. I also want to know what happened to the rest of the Guardians now that Michael has the Blade. I am also kinda confused about why in the first place the rest of the Guardians are trying to kill Michael, Thad and Callista. Maybe I'll get it more in the next book.