Author: Erin Bowman
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
My Rating: 3 Stars
"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?"
This review is fairly difficult to write because there’s so many things, important plot point or characters, that can easily be spoiled. So, I’ll try to not spoil anything important.
Imagine living in a town, Claysoot, the only town that exists to your knowledge, surrounded by walls. These walls are dangerous. To climb over would mean death. No boy grows to be older, not even by a day, than eighteen years. They are all lost to the Heist. On their eighteenth birthday there’s a ceremony with a feast to prepare for his Heist. At midnight, he is taken. Disappears. People mourn, but move on. This has become normal. Natural. It just happens.
Claysoot is rural. There’s no technology, no factories, phones, or even indoor pluming. They don’t even know what technology is.
Then there’s Clay, who’s brother is Heisted. Clay is stubborn, impulsive, and always follows his gut, and this often leads to him getting into trouble. Clay is a very likable character, if not at first, and it’s obvious he has a good heart and good intentions. He’s always searching for answers, and this is what sets the plot in motion.
Overall: I liked Taken, but I didn’t think it was great. It was entertaining, if nothing else. I felt like several of the events were too much of a coincidence, or just plain luck, which is unbelievable, especially if it happens multiple times. There were too many secrets. I felt like there was always something to be learned, something being kept secret, which is okay, but too many becomes tedious and very, very annoying.
I especially didn’t like the love triangle (not going to name names for the sake of avoiding spoilers). It was very random, didn’t add anything special to the plot. If anything, it made me dislike Clay and err… Emma (I guess naming Emma isn’t too much of a spoiler) a little more. It was more annoying than anything.
As for the setting, I really liked the world, with all its problems. It wasn’t the most realistic, but it was very intriguing and somewhat complicated. It was easy to understand (once give all the details, finally!) and I always felt like I had a pretty clear picture of where they were, and what was happening.
Overall, Taken isn’t amazing, but it is an interesting read. If you’re a fan of dystopia, then you’d probably like it.
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