March 28, 2014

Review of Taken by Erin Bowman

Release Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Harpercollins
Page Count: 360
Format: Paperback
Genre: YA 

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 by Erin Bowman has been on my TBR list since 2012 when I heard about it but I wasn't able to get a copy until I won a paperback of it from Erin Bowman. The two main things that attracted me to Taken was the cover and the interesting description. When I was starting it I was hesitant at first because of all the 2-3 star reviews it had received from other people. However, I was completely blown away from how good it was and hated myself for waiting a whole year to read it.

From the first page of the book I noticed something unique, Taken was set from the POV of a MALE character. This might not sound like a big deal but I can't remember more than a few YA books that weren't from a female POV so that was a refreshing change. The male character I'm talking about is Gray Weathersby who lives in a town called Claysoot where every boy at the age of 18 disappears (the citizens of Claysoot call it being Heisted). The town is surrounded by a wall and anyone who crosses the wall comes back burnt and dead. Gray has a one year older brother Blaine and a niece. His mother died several years ago because of pneumonia and his dad was Heisted at the age of 18. Taken starts off on the day that Blaine is set to turn 18 and be Heisted. Around page 6-7 I already started feeling sad as Kale, Blaine's daughter says she misses Blaine after only being apart for several hours. As the day goes on, other characters are introduced like Chalice (a girl Gray hates), Emma (a childhood friend that Gray likes), and several other minor characters. Blaine's Heist happens at midnight and a ceremony is held for him. Several days later Gray knocks a painting to the floor and notices a note from his mother to Blaine behind the painting that is cut off half-way through. This causes Gray to get interested and he goes on a search that ends with him finding out that he was Blaine's twin, not his brother. He decides to climb the wall to look for answers and is joined by Emma at the last second (they were Slated together and had grown closer to each other). They set off and have entered an abandoned structure when two soldiers burst in and "save" them from being burned to death. Together they travel to a domed city called Taem where they find Blaine and several people that had been Heisted from Claysoot. Through a series of events they find out that Frank (leader of the AmEast one of two parts of the country) and decide to leave and find the rebels. In the process Emma gets captured and Gray barely escapes, after traveling for a while he finds a group of soldiers with Blaine in it. He gets captured by them but the rebels attack and he and Blaine escape. Later on he gets captured by the rebels and discovers that his father who had been Heisted years ago is one of their captains. He is then led to the rebel headquarters and eventually adjusts to the rebels. He finds out that Harvey whom Frank had blamed for creating Claysoot as an experiment was not responsible and Frank was. After a while the rebels find out that Frank is going to send a virus to the rebels to kill them and that they need to steal the antidotes. Gray, Bree (a rebel that Gray becomes friends with), Harvey, and several others are sent on this dangerous and risky mission. They get to Taem, steal the antidotes, rescue Emma, but lose Harvey who is killed. Gray had earlier found out that five towns like Claysoot had been in the experiment, during the mission they see camera footage of what looks like people in Group A even though they were supposed to have died off.  Taken ends with a new mission to visit Group A and find out if there are any survivors.

Erin Bowman did an AMAZING job setting up the book and each of the separate scenes. Whether it was Claysoot, Taem, or the rebel's headquarters she described them perfectly and I was able to picture them clearly in my mind. There are several twists and turns in the story that kept me intrigued and wanting more. Especially the revelation that Gray was Blaine's twin, I was shocked by this and couldn't stop myself from continuing to read. Taken reminded me of The Maze Runner, they both had some type of settlement surrounded by a wall that couldn't be passed. I really enjoyed The Maze Runner so Taken was even better for me, elements of The Maze Runner mixed together with Erin Bowman's writing and unique story. The characters were also very developed, there were several main characters and many minor characters. Even the people who were mentioned only once or twice stayed on my mind as I thought about what happened to them through the course of the book. There was also a LOVE TRIANGLE between Gray, Emma, and Bree.  The book ended with Gray unable to choose between them but was leaning more towards Bree, I'm really looking forward to reading Frozen (the sequel to Taken) and finding out who Gray chooses. This book was so good that I bought an ebook of it even though I owned the paperback just so that I could keep on reading in school. I finished Taken in the middle of lunch and just fell silent for several minutes just thinking about the book. Aghhh, Taken was so good and ended on such a cliffhanger that I don't think I will be able to enjoy another book until Frozen comes out.

Taken was full of mystery, suspense, romance, action, and awesomeness, why wouldn't you want to read it? If you like The Maze Runner, action, romance, big cliffhangers, an amazing YA book, and a gorgeous book cover you should DEFINITELY read Taken RIGHT NOW.

5/5 - Amazing book

No comments:

Post a Comment