Genre: Paranormal Romance
Opening Chapter: 1
Plot Development: 1
Plot Pacing: 1
Character Development: 1
Overall Score: 7.5 points (4 stars)
Rating: 18+ (violence, profanity, graphic sexual content)
As I mentioned in a previous post, in the past I have avoided PNR. The idea of humans and supernatural creatures being involved in intimate relations just seemed bizarre to me. But Mistral Dawn’s novels came highly recommended and since I reviewed PNR in the past and found it to be more or less palatable, I went ahead and gave Taken by the Hunstman a go. I got an unexpected treat.
Cassie is a loner, raised in the foster-care system, eking out a meager existence, and determined to be self-reliant. When Caderyn, a huntsman from Fairie (a world inhabited by Fae), is searching for a child murderer who is said to be hiding out on Earth, he spots Cassie and immediately knows she is his eternal soul mate. Without time to convince her to go willingly with him, Caderyn abducts her and takes her to live in his castle. He knows that the only way to Cassie’s heart is to win her forgiveness and trust, and sets out patiently to help her she that they are destined to be together. The fiercely independent Cassie is suspicious and understandably angry, but slowly comes the realization that she belongs in Fairie with Caderyn, and cannot deny the powerful attraction she feels to him. Will she be able to forgive him and accept her place as queen, or will she live the rest of her life plagued with doubts. Or, will she return to Earth to continue to impoverished life?
In addition to the steamy sex (which, I have to be honest, some of the scenes are incredibly awkward) that is expected with PNR, Ms. Dawn also incorporates many social themes, which she pulls off flawlessly. Among these are environmentalism, the questionable additives in food, feminism, child sexual abuse, poverty, the justice system (rehabilitation vs. remunerations), and child welfare. Ms. Dawn should be proud of herself; she pulls these themes off like a boss in Taken, which has the desirable effect of neutralizing the syrupy sappiness you often find in romances. The narration is flawed in some places, but it doesn’t matter. There are only a few novels I’ve read where I was dying to get my hands on the sequel right away. Taken was one of them and if I didn’t have a whole mess of pending reviews staring me in the face, that is precisely what I would have done.
The novel is not without faults. Taken needs another round of editing and a reformatting. But if you get too close, you will get sucked in like a vortex. Don’t pick this up unless you’re prepared for your butt to be glued to the sofa for at least four hours. You will NOT be able to put it down. Well done, Ms. Dawn!