My Thoughts On: Harken by Kaleb Nation

Posted February 21, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 13 Comments

Harken by Kaleb Nation
Series: Harken #1
Publish Date: January 9, 2013

375 Pages
Source: Author for review – 
Thank you!

After surviving an assassination attempt, teenager Michael Asher discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy reaching higher than any earthly power. A supernatural organization desperately wants him dead. He doesn’t know why. Everyone who might have the answers has already been killed. Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to fight back and dig up the truth. He begins to question how much of the world is truly as people are led to believe it is. Are there things that humanity is not being told? Who is the puppet master? And how far into the maze can he venture before he is lost forever? -(from Goodreads) 

Harken by Kaleb Nation

My Thoughts:  Have any of you ever had that book that you followed from the very beginning, the one you got more and more excited about, until you thought you would literally explode when it was finally released and you got a chance to read it? Hello everybody, my name is Asheley and I’d like to introduce you to Harken by Kaleb Nation, because this is exactly one of those books for me. 


The first thing you need to know is this:
I usually give really detailed reviews
but in this case, I CAN’T. 

Harken is one of those books in which almost every detail builds on something else, another piece of information in this giant puzzle. So…if I give you too much information, I will only spoil the book and thus spoil all of the fun for you. And believe me when I say, this book is a lot of fun. 

This book reads best when you have only the information from the summary up above…but I will give you just a tiny bit more than that. 

The first thing you need to know is this:
Michael Asher isn’t an ordinary guy. 
He looks like an ordinary guy and he thinks he is an ordinary guy…well, an ordinary guy with an extra little gift. See, Michael Asher has this thing he calls The Glimpse – he can look into a person’s eyes and see their true emotions or their true feelings. Sometimes even their true intentions. He’s become a bit of a small-town local celebrity for this little gift, even using it as an after-school job. They call him The Eye Guy. All he has to do it look straight into a person’s eyes – either in person or by photo – and he can tell if they are having an affair, if they’re lying about something, if they’re planning to murder someone, things like that. So his gift is very useful. 

What Michael doesn’t realize is that he has other abilities that he doesn’t even know about yet. But OH BOY he’s about to find out…
The third thing you need to know is this:

One night, a job doesn’t go quite the way Michael expects. 
STUFF happens – like an attempted assassination. 

Michael is completely taken by surprise when someone tries to kill him, obviously. First of all, it’s super tough to get away from this guy because he has this insane ability to run incredibly fast and leap incredibly high and far. Luckily, Michael survives. But it isn’t long before these people creatures are after him again. WHAT IN THE WORLD? 

Michael also realizes that he is changing too. He is starting to have some supernatural, superhuman qualities, much like these strange beings that are chasing him. (whispers to you guys: look at the book cover) Not only is he completely freaked out, but he still has no clue why he is a target. What he does know is that he needs to get away from his family before someone he loves gets hurt or killed – and he needs to figure out why he is special enough these things, these Guardian creatures, seem determined to kill him. 

He eventually meets up with a few people that are able to give him a few answers, and from there Michael is able to get started on exactly what is going on. What he finds out is pretty huge and what he finds out about himself changes his life forever. Michael knows that he will never be the same and the world as he knew it will never be the same either. 


Okay you guys, that is the most vague information ever but I’M SO SORRY! You just have to trust me on this one. Harken by Kaleb Nation is one of the most action-packed, thrilling, edge-of-my-seat stories I’ve ever read. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the pages long enough to do anything. At all. The whole time I was reading. In fact, when this book arrived, I got wide-eyed and squeally, and I acted ridiculous. I tend to be a very melodramatic person by nature, but it was an exaggerated form of melodramatic even for me because I was so excited. Those feelings of excitement and eagerness and OMG!! carried through the story from start to finish. I loved this book. 

This story is straight-up a supernatural kind of science-fiction conspiracy theory book. It was kind of hard for me to wrap my head around exactly what that meant before I read it, but as I was reading it made complete sense. These unearthly beings, The Guardians (the bad guys), have a plan. Michael Asher, our main character, is standing in their way. He doesn’t realize it. They have to get rid of him. That’s it – simple as that. Harken is basically Michael figuring out that The Guardians exist, why they care anything about him, why they want him gone, and what he can do to stop all of the madness that results from these things. 

Harken starts with a bang and doesn’t let go. The pacing is quick and page-turning, which I loved. The only time there was any kind of slow-down was when there were some of the more-important conversations going on, which was good because I needed those little breaks to 1) absorb the information being discussed by those characters and 2) catch my breath. While the pacing was quick throughout, it wasn’t so break-neck rapid that it was too quick or too thrilling and thankfully so, because books like that tend to tear my nerves up. Rather, this one kept me turning the pages consistently to find out what happens next, what happens next, what happens next. Every time I felt like I needed to stop reading for whatever reason, I would find myself saying “Okay, I’ll just read another couple of pages and then I’ll stop, I really will…” and then BOOM! the book was over!

Michael Asher is a neat guy. He’s an interesting character, I think. I found myself flopping between feeling sorry for him and wanting to thump him quite a few times – ultimately, I felt very sympathetic to him. He’s a young guy with his entire future ahead of him and then suddenly his life is pulled out from under him and he has no idea why, no choice in it, and no idea where to start looking for the answers to all of his questions. Even though it will devastate them, he makes the decision to leave his family once The Guardians target him, but it is to keep them safe. He is constantly at war with himself over this decision and totally miserable without them. But he is also kind of miserable to be around after he leaves in general, and this is pretty evident in some of his interaction with his new friends Callista and Thad. 

Callista and Thad are wonderful supporting characters because they are sympathetic to what Michael is going through – both have faced very similar circumstances. Both have had to leave their families/loved ones behind, both have had no choice in this unusual lot in life, and both have a ton of questions that they are having to seek out answers for. They are basically a band, an unlikely trio, that are bound together because of A THING (that I refuse to spoil for you). However, Callista and Thad are vocal about how Michael’s actions and words are affecting them (read: stupid) at times, and I love this about them both. They are honest and forthcoming, and they look out for one another and Michael. Callista and Thad are both great, great characters and I find myself liking them maybe more than I like Michael Asher. (Y’all know I have a soft spot for secondary characters.)

I also want to mention the setting, which is Arleta, California and the area surrounding Los Angeles. This is an actual place that exists and I love that so much. I have never been to California – in fact, I live basically AS FAR as I can possibly live from it and still be in the continental US (hello, very far Eastern NC!).  However, the setting of LA is so very well explored in this book that I felt very in tune with it and I actually felt like I could visualize the hills and the streets and the area really well. Los Angeles is a super popular place, as we all know, but I’ve never read it done as well as it was in this book so GOOD FOR YOU, KALEB NATION. I just love a great setting.

Ultimately, this book was just fun and riveting and a great story. I like how this book started and I like where this series seems to be headed. I’ve followed this story from the very beginning (#SecretKalebBook) and I’ll keep following it until I can get my hands on the next installment. I’m invested in what’s going on with Michael Asher and Callista and Thad and the rest of these characters and with the stuff I didn’t mention and AAHHH I really just want the next part of the story right now. Now!

I recommend Harken by Kaleb Nation for fans of conspiracy theories, supernatural stories, and page-turning action-driven plots. I have no idea where the story is going next but I have my eyes on the horizon and I’ll be watching for it. 


Harken will appeal to fans of:

YA Supernatural with some Mystery
Conspiracy Theory
Great Setting: Los Angeles, California
Action-Driven Plot

Harken by Kaleb Nation
is currently available for purchase.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I received no compensation for my review. Thank you so much Kaleb Nation!


Is HARKEN on your to-read list?  

Kaleb Nation has made the first 3 chapters
of HARKEN available to everyone HERE

Check it out! 
Kaleb Nation reads CHAPTER ONE

Watch for #Harken on Twitter everyone! It has even trended a few times. 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


13 responses to “My Thoughts On: Harken by Kaleb Nation

  1. Loved Harken! It was so wonderfully written! If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to fly! Then I could visit my friends and family back home without having to spend all my money on plane tickets.

  2. Before the Harken tour I hadn't heard about this book. The story sounds very very interesting with great characters. I think that It has all, mystery, supernatural and action.

    Great review!

    • Thank you! This story is definitely interesting and I loved the characters. There are some great ones that I didn't even mention. Harken does have it all and it was SO EXCITING! I hope you read it and love it and I'm so glad the tour brought it to your attention!

  3. Harken sounds fricken awesome. I love the concept of being able to look into someone's eyes and know their intentions — kind of like that show Lie To Me. Although it's also a bit creepy.

    ALSO! I wonder what sort of paranormal creature he is. Hmmm. Because that is my guess based on your review.

    WHOO! I am all about the books with strong supporting characters. ALL ABOUT THEM. For real.

    And lol after the Da Vinci Code, I shall forever love conspiracy theories, so yeah I'll def give Harken a chance.

    • There are a number of fun characters. There is a bad guy that I didn't even mention. Wyck. He is such a bad dude! Sometimes the bad guys can be super fun.

      Also, it's really fun that you just have to let this story develop on its own otherwise you spoil the heck out of it. Like stuff happens on pretty much every page or every few pages, and I was constantly entertained and wide-eyed and wondering what was next.

  4. Anonymous

    I know what you mean about everything in Harken building on itself. You can say that Harry's a wizard and Voldemort killed his parents when you explain Harry Potter, but you really can't say much about Harken without giving away something important or exciting! It makes it so much harder to describe to my friends but I manage.

    • EXACTLY. I think all of the building and building and building is part of what this book so much fun to read. I kept anticipating what was next so I would keep reading and never put it down, never put it down, never put it down. I will definitely re-read this one before the next book comes out too, because there are so many details in it. Loved it!

  5. I am so out of the loop because I know nothing about this book or this author. EEK. Anyway, it sounds FANTASTIC. I love fast paced, surprising books with action and conspiracy theories. Plus great secondary characters! Sign me up. SO FUN. I will make sure to read as a little as possible about this ahead of time so that I don't spoil it. But fun. I can tell how enthusiastic you are! I love how much you love these boy protagonists. ME TOO.

  6. Great review! I'm glad you didn't give away too much, but still gave your opinion! I bought the book on the first day but I haven't had a chance to truly read it and past the first 3 chapters.

  7. Ooh, conspiracy theories! Science fiction! Action, action, action! I think all these elements could combine to form a potentially awesome book, and I'm intrigued by the mysterious of who the Guardians are and who Michael is.

Leave a Reply

Want to include a link to one of your blog posts below your comment? Enter your URL in the website field, then click the button below to get started.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.