Author: Erin Bowman
Published: April 16, 2013
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Category: Dystopia, Romance
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 is one of my 2013's most anticipated titles. I've seen mixed reviews of it but my excitement didn't falter. I wanted to see for myself whether it is worth the hype of not. My gut tells me all the time that it would rock my world and it sure did!
When the world you've learned to appreciate suddenly isn't something what you've always thought it was, or when what you believed you are suddenly are all lies, you would find answers, you would seek the truth. That's what Gray Weathersby have chosen, to leave what he used to call home and risk everything just to find out the truth and go beyond the wall. He's eager to know what is the secret his mother told his brother, Blaine, who also never told him anything even before he's gone to the Heist.
The pacing of Taken is wonderfully fast-paced. I never got bored and true enough, I couldn't put it down. The world building is very intriguing that at first I thought it wasn't dystopian. Every chapter brought surprises and I very much love that the point of view is from a male protagonist! Taken's world building did not jeopardize its richness by its pacing. It managed to built it in the middle of unraveling the main plot. And the romance didn't happen instantly. It developed together with the story.
My favorites are Gray and Blaine Weathersby. Their relationship as brothers is very knit and perfectly balanced since Gray is a little bit aggressive while Blaine is patient. I loved and cried watching how intact their love for each other in amid of hardships, betrayal and loss. Gray's loyalty to his loved one is very heroic if I may say especially with the norm these days. But Emma didn't deserve that loyalty. You have to read the book to know why. Then there's Harvey which totally tore my heart apart and Bree who is strong, independent and embodies leadership.
The questions I have though are: if all of this happened after a war that majorly devastated the world, where did they get the resources to fund such experiments and how the Heisting is performed?
Taken is surely a very strong debut novel! The pacing is right, the twists are surprising, the romance is thrilling and the overall plotting is uniquely delivered and I thoroughly loved and enjoyed it! Bowman did a fantastic job in giving us a one of a kind dystopian approach that I would love to read over and over!
Thank you so much Sarah of HarperCollins for the ARC!
"People have all sorts of pasts, sometimes dark or dreary, but perhaps the actions they choose in the present are the ones that carry the most weight."