Taken by Amy McKinley
Publisher: Champagne Books
Length: Full (240 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy
Forged through a childhood trauma and cursed by the Fates, Layla vows never to be at another’s mercy. With determination and training she evolves into a deadly weapon and quiets her inner demons—until the prophecy activates, shattering her peace. The gods who want her dead converge and the hunt to end her life truly begins. The skills that Layla honed for protection become an unconscious tool for death and destruction, threatening not only the gods but her family.
Entrenched in clan turmoil, Thaull’s life hangs at a precipice. He’s faced with a condition known only to his kind, the soul-divide. If not dealt with, his soul will rip in half and he will turn into an unstoppable, ice-cold killing machine. As he hunts the traitor within his Phantom Warrior clan he worsens. A fragile thread of hope remains. The love of a female, freely given, can save him. Through a premonition of an alluring demigoddess, he gambles his very existence in the chance she will be his salvation.
She will go dark from her curse. He will go numb from his. To survive, Layla must risk trusting another or become another.
An interesting paranormal romance with a Greek mythology background.
I’m not sure what I expected when I picked up Taken, but it was nothing like what I found on the pages. Though technically, this takes place on modern day earth, except for saying that’s where Layla lives and has her workshop, we may as well be in a fully fantasy setting. The world-building in this book is pretty complex, and honestly I had some moments of being a little confused. That may be partly due to the fact this is the second book in the series, and it really throws you right in to the action with not a lot of background to begin with. I haven’t read book one, and I do recommend that you do — it’s a good story! Why not start at the start?
The author has a wonderful ability with words, though. The book is complex and detailed and very well constructed and edited. That makes it a joy to read.
Layla was a interesting heroine. I didn’t much like her at first, though. She’s independent to a fault (sometimes a little stupidly), brash, arrogant … but with her bloodline and background, that’s not completely unexpected. Thaull has the patience of Job to deal with her. But deal with her, he does, and quite effectively. I really liked him a lot and could see why he managed to wear down Layla’s protests.
I’m not a big fan of the “fated mates” trope, which does exist here … sort of. Thankfully, the author deals with it in an interesting manner and Thaull is a little subtle about that. He’s not subtle about much else, however, and Layla doesn’t love his bossy manner. At least not at first. She does, however, love his hot self and they definitely indulge in some sexy times. That said, the sex scenes are pretty subtle and occasionally even take place off the page.
So much happens in this book. As is typical with Greek mythology, everyone is getting into the game. it’s a massive chess board and a dozen people are moving the pieces. Sometimes the action happens so abruptly, though, I got a tad bit disoriented. There are lots of characters, lots of settings and lots of subplots that take a bit to sort through. Honestly, though, that just ultimately makes for a better story.
Taken is unique. In a world jam-packed with paranormal romance, this one stands alone.