Sunday, 6 January 2013
A Review of Taken, by Kellie Maine
This is a very difficult review for me to write. Firstly because I fear sending mixed messages, and secondly because I don't want to sound like a preachy writer. I had this book on my wishlist before it was released. The blurb drew me in immediately. I love a good captive scenario, and the cover... the cover sent shivers down my spine. There is something beautifully erotic about it without being vulgar.
For me this book failed to live up to the sensual promise made by the blurb and the cover. The hero while a billionaire was not very alpha despite kidnapping Rachael. It did not possess the erotic power-play I expected.
The biggest let down was that the plot made no sense. The motives of the characters did not seem believable in any way. Rachel would not take a job for the sake of her mother. So Merrick learns about her and decides to kidnap her for her own sake... Maybe, maybe on some deluded planet that might be feasible IF (and this is the bit that shatters the plot) he did not manage to send her mother on a holiday before kidnapping her. The fact he was able to do that proved he could have reasoned with Racheal, talked to her mother (maybe sent her away anyway) and convinced her. There was in fact no reason or motive for kidnap. Rachel's reservations seemed extreme and made completely irrational considering how easily her mother took to her going away.
However, I STILL recommend reading this, especially if you are a writer. This is one of those books that will give you a chance to learn, and experience something new. It is written in the second person, something most people have not experienced in fiction. Many people will not be able to enjoy it for that reason alone, it is very disconcerting. I would recommend reading it for the experience.
Second person perspective has the Narrator (Racheal the "I" Character) address the reader directly as "You". This means Racheal says things like "You smile. Dimples pierce your cheeks. Your eyes flash. I can't resist". It is a powerful way of writing because the Narrator is talking to you, engaging you in conversation. It is important when a writer chooses a POV to know why they are doing it and who they are doing it for. I don't think Kellie Maine did, which is why this perspective works less well than it should.
The problem with the POV is the reader was forgotten! This is an erotic romance, it is targeted to an almost all female readership. Yet "You" is Merrick! That means that the reader is the male character. It is disconcerting enough to adjust to this POV, without having references made to my non-existent penis. If this was written from Merrick's perspective it would be much, much better. "You" would be Racheal, and the hot hunky Merrick would be able to talk to us directly, seduce us personally, and tell us how we make him feel. It would be like your sexiest hero's coming to life in your romance book to seduce you directly. But no, instead of that you get to read some chick telling you about how much of a man you are... Fail.
Despite my humble opinion sales do talk, and this book preformed well. Its release had perfect timing coming straight of the back of Fifty Shade. Maybe this influenced that result but hey, you can't argue figures. I would really, really love to hear other people's perspective on this one!
Is it for you?
IF YOU LOVE: Reading styles different to what you a used to, this will give you that. If you like the Billionaire/normal girl style romance this is that.
IF YOU HATE: Contrived story lines and characters then don't read this. If you just want something you can fall into without trying then this is not for you.
Overall, I did not get into Taken. I am not sure if it is the fault of the POV or the plot itself. I am glad I read it though and had a chance to experience this style in a romance. Also there were some really pretty phrases.
Love Factor (Possible 1 point bonus) 0