Review of ‘The taking’ by Celeste Castro
This was different and a little weird but in a good way. In the last five years or so I have read more than 700 lesfic and mainstream fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal books. So imagine my surprise when I read this fantasy, with a slight paranormal feel, and discovered that this book was unlike anything I have ever read before. I can’t really compare this to anything else it was so different. And because of that, I could not be happier.
Castro is an author that I have read since her debut book. I’m happy to say that each book she has written has been better than the last one. I love to see growth in new authors and it makes me excited when I see she has a new book out. This book is not perfect, it still had a few bumps when it came to the execution. I had a little trouble with the pace that would speed up, slow down, speed up and repeat. However, this is clearly Castro’s best and her imagination absolutely shines.
The book is about a young woman named Peachy who is living with one of the last Voodoo Queens of New Orleans. When she is asked to steal an amulet that is a family heirloom, Peachy has no idea how drastically her life is about to change. With danger lurking around every corner, will Peachy find who she can really trust not just with her life but also her heart?
This is absolutely a lesbian fantasy book. It takes place on Earth but also in an otherworldly fantasy place. And while this is a fantasy book first, it does have some mix of paranormal with beings like shifters, fae, and even zombies. But the way the paranormal elements are done is really unique. It is not the type of shifters and even zombies that we are used to in every book. I keep mentioning Castro’s imagination but I loved the new take and approach she decided on here.
This book does have a romance. It felt a tad fast to me but then I realized months had actually gone by instead of the days I thought. A clearer timeline is something that Castro could improve on. The sex scenes are slightly explicit but not overly so. I do wish there was a little more time spent in the in-between phase that happens after attraction but before love, but Castro had to move the plot along so I get it. The romance was solid enough that I believed it and was rooting for the potential couple.
I do have to mention that this does end on a cliffhanger. It’s not a horrible cliffhanger but it is definitely one. I didn’t think I would say this but I am actually glad it did end on one. I had forgotten about the cliffhanger as I was reading and when I hit the 80% mark I got really worried. There seemed to be too much story left, how could it end so soon? I thought it was going to be super rushed since it just didn’t seem possible. So to find the cliffhanger, to know there is at least one more book where a good unrushed ending can still play out, made me one happy camper. I know some people don’t like to read cliffhangers until all the books are out, but I think you can go ahead and read this. The cliffhanger is not awful and you might as well see is you like this unusual read. I would recommend this to fantasy-romance fans or people who want to try something different. Readers who want a story they have not read before. I will absolutely be reading the next installment. 4 stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.