My Rating: 5/5 Stars
For those of you who have still not read this, and/or are a bit hesitant about reading it, READ it. Now. *commanding voice* You will not regret it.
Kaleb, let me just say, you are a genius. Your writing is spectacular, and the plot was, to say the least, heart-stopping and packed with action. This book had an air of suspense and mystery that really kept my interest intact as I was reading Harken. And when an author manages to make me shed a tear or two from the immense connection I feel towards the characters of said book, that is a huge factor in my opinion as to whether I liked, loved, or disliked a book. Which is why I say this with utmost certainty, I loved this book.
Now, there are only a handful of YA action books out there that can be classified as "good" action books. Harken is one of those select few. Well, that and Alex Rider, but that's a whole different topic.
Here is my brilliantly constructed equation for what I believes makes an undeniably amazing action book:
Conspiracy theories + Heart-stopping action scenes + Supernatural beings + Supernatural abilities= PURE AMAZING-NESS
The pacing in this novel was impeccably crafted. The beginning sucks you into the world of Michael Asher. Then, BOOM. Nonstop action thrown at you for the rest of the book. I love, love, loved how all the pieces fit together in a satisfying way by the end of the book.
What really stood out for me in this book is Michael Asher's character. He felt so real. I could feel his emotions, understand his actions and why he chose to do them. Although I didn't always agree with his choices -which is not necessarily a bad thing- I still understood his rationale, why he did so-and-so. That is what made him such a great character -the author made it easy for us, as readers, to connect with him.
Also, the protectiveness he displayed toward his family was a very admirable trait. It felt very genuine. I knew he loved his family, since the author did a good job of showing this. This trait made me respect Michael, and really made him that much easier to relate to.
Usually, in the Young Adult genre, the main character has these faithful companions. These particular companions do not have any notable qualities that set them apart from the main character. I guess the right way to say this is that they don't have individuality. The supporting characters in Harken -Callista and Thad- do not suffer from this quality that makes the characters themselves seem insignificant and flat in comparison to the protagonist. They don't follow and agree with every single thing their leader says or does like two loyal puppies. Of course, they support him, but they do not unquestionably follow him.
The author provides us with background information on Thad and Callista, and this really makes these characters easier to understand, and sets them apart.
Lately, I have come across countless villains that are pathetically lame. There was not anything that made them seem evil to me. For the villains in Harken, that was not the case. They had qualities that were terrifying, and they were twisted, evil people with malicious intents. I also understood their motives. Not that they were good motives, but they explained a load about the plot-line. We were told the reasons why they were doing something, and that they didn't do things just for the heck of it.
I cannot fathom how I am supposed to wait for the next book. I truly feel this uncontrollable need to know what occurs next. I'm hoping that I don't die of excitement when I get my hands on that book.