By: Erin Bowman
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Note: Thank you HarperTeen for giving me the opportunity to read and review Taken prior to it’s release.
I will try to avoid any spoilers causing my review to be rather vague. Taken relies heavily on an aura of mystery to propel the story; so in my opinion it’s best to read prior to knowing much about the story.
The Summary (via Goodreads):
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.
They call it the Heist.
Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.
Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
Taken started out incredibly strong; I was sucked into the story and the town of Claysoot immediately. I was eager to learn more about the inhabitants and find out why the Heist was happening to only 18 year old males and what caused it to occur. Sadly, the further I read the less impressed I was with the where Bowman took the story. While reading I suspected a direction the book would take but hoped that I would be wrong. But alas, it was as I was afraid it would be. Once I realized this, it took me a little time (and a break from the book) to regain my initial interest in the outcome. I found Bowman’s approach at separating the book into four sections interesting, though I felt each section was progressively weaker.
My biggest issue with the book were the characters. I found them likable at first but as the story progressed I found less I enjoyed about Gray (the protagonist) or Emma (the love interest). I did like some of the characters later in the story (Harvey, Bree, etc) but wished Bowman had gone into more depth with them. They were just touched upon and lacked details which made it hard for me to really connect with them or their experiences. Gray became very hard to tolerate in his romantic aspirations. There is a love triangle though it is a bit different as it’s between one guy and two girls. I didn’t feel more toward either love interest unfortunately. It’s sexist, but it’s easier for me to read about a girl torn between two men than the other way around; at least it was in how Bowman portrayed it in this book.
Taken had a lot of things going for it with the story, though parts felt done before, but the characters really lacked for me. I will probably check out book two hoping more depth and character growth is explored.
Taken Book Trailer: