Taking the Reins Synopsis: Will and Daniel, two college students fed up with the injustices they witness each day, decide to they take matters into their own hands and right a wrong. Elated by the feeling of being in control of their fate, and having a positive impact on the world, they dare to imagine how their focused determination can change their lives – and the world – for the better.
Refusing to be bound by the law, which they believe offers insufficient protection to the vulnerable, the two students set out to do good on their own terms.
Before long, they are thrust into an underworld, where they are forced to navigate their way through dangerous liaisons while ultimately deciding whether their actions are leading them on the path of making a positive change.
After turning his life around, Will made a promise to his mother that he would do good. Can he keep this promise as he traverses a labyrinth of an underworld where the line between friends and foes, and good and evil, is blurred? – Goodreads
Taking the Reins Review
This was an interesting book that really makes you think. I tend to read extremely quickly, but occasionally I encounter a book which forces me to slow down, and read at a normal pace. Its not a bad thing, it just means that I’m required to think a little more deeply about what the book. Taking the Reins is one of those.
Harrop does a fantastic job of laying out the plot, and making his characters very believable. The language is simple. Harrop doesn’t depend on flowery language and/or verbose descriptions, but instead lets the plot do the talking for him. You can see how the characters reach the decisions they do, even if you don’t always agree with them. This is another book where its believable because not everything is black and white. Good people do bad things, and bad people do good things. And frequently its hard to decide it it was a good or a bad thing that was done to begin with.
The author is also a guy who treats rape like the serious, horrible thing that it is. Sadly enough, that is surprising to me.
Now, for the not so great: It was too easy to tell who the rapist was in Taking the Reins. I had a suspicion almost immediately, but I thought “Nahh, can’t be that simple, can it?” It was. Now, I’m not going to count this too much towards my rating, because even though the plot was great, I feel like it was the character development that ended up being the driving force behind the story. Not finding the rapist.
In general, there were just a few too many giveaways/obvious clues towards various things. Now, a fellow blogger pointed out to me that they might not be obvious to everyone else, because I tend to read a lot of these type of books. So I won’t say any more on it.
Overall: For a second book (first read from me), Matthew Harrop’s Taking the Reins has definitely made an impression on me. I would pick up his next book without reservations. All the problems in this book are just rough edges that I know he’ll smooth out in the future. This is great work from a talented writer trying to make a name for himself. I think he’ll succeed.
Title: Taking the Reins | Author: Matthew Harrop | Publisher: CreateSpace | Pub. Date: 2015-9-10 | Pages: 370 | ISBN: 1517190398 | Genre: Thriller | Language: English | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Triggers: Rape, Suicide (both mentioned, not seen) | Date Read: 2015-11-6 | Source: Received a copy free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Originally published: 2015/11/7 Formatting Update: 2016/2/22