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Short Description for Taken "In the isolated town of Claysoot, every male is mysteriously "Heisted" on his eighteenth birthday, and seventeen-year-old Gray Weathersby is determined to figure out why"--
- Published: 16 April 2013
- Format: Hardback 360 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780062117267 ISBN 10: 0062117262
- Sales rank: 28,008
Reviews for Taken
Fast plot at the expense of world building
Taken reminded me a little of The Maze Runner - they both had this engrossing quest for answers. The plot delivers on answering a lot of the questions that come up. The story moves quickly and kept me glued to the pages. The interesting world was the strongest part of this book. But, sadly there were a few things that kept me from really loving it.
I have mixed feelings about the plot. I loved how it was so fast-paced and surprised me once or twice, even if it had a few minor plot holes. I like fast moving plots in books, but I think this was a rare example of the plot moving too fast. It's amazing the amount of ground this 360 page novel covers. Since so much is happening, there is a lot of "monologuing" if you will (to use a term from The Incredibles). Instead of getting to experience the newly discovered layers of this world, the characters would often have mini-speeches explaining the newest development. Then the characters would immediately act on the new revelations. It made for an addicting and zippy plot, but I found myself missing the fleshed-out little details that would have made the world rich and believable. Sometimes things felt over-explained and sometimes the characters are running for their lives when they feel the need to monologue something new and explain the world a little more. I wanted to strangle all of them and remind them that they should be running for their lives. If this book would have taken it's time with building the world naturally and not skipped over so many details, it would have been an incredible book instead of just an average one. The matriarchal society structure that Gray grew up in was so interesting. I so wish that it had gone into more detail about the society!
The main character Gray was so likable at the beginning, but I felt his character progressed into kind of an unforgiving jerk. There were a few cute, romantic moments at the beginning - like them talking about wanting to be like the birds - that were so adorable. But I found the way the love triangle unfolded to be very unappealing. It's possible that I have a gender bias that love triangles are okay for girls and not boys, but I still felt this "love triangle" was more like unfairly dragging two girls along. Another reason I felt Gray was a jerk was when he has to make decisions through the story that could potentially hurt those he cares about, he completely justifies his actions without some much-needed honest indecision. It gave me the impression that he didn't care as much as he said he did.
I didn't like some of the language used in the writing. There are a few descriptions of his chest "heaving" when he's attracted to a girl. Gross. And the word "slatings" for dates? That's such a bizarre phrase. The word pairing used later on in the book was much better.
Overall, it had a fast-paced action filled plot that was addicting to read, but it was at the expense of building a fleshed-out world. This book started out so strong at the beginning and sadly fizzles out towards the end. by Jessica Bunder review
Great Characters, Lots of Action
Taken is one of those books I feel like I've been waiting forever to read. But once I started reading it, I felt like I'd just started it and it was already ending. I have been dying to know, what happens to the boys during the Heist? Where do they go? How does the population survive? Since the first time I saw the premise of this book, it has probably hooked me better than any other book I've ever read a premise for simply because boys disappearing right in front of everyone?? That's a scary thought.
Gray has an older brother, Blaine who is taken in the beginning of the story. I've never had a book made me swallow the lump in my throat by the third chapter, but when Gray talked about how lonely he was, I was about to bawl! He's this big strong boy that hunts and takes care of himself, but inside, he's this scared kid. He's lost everyone he loves and he has no one to talk to about his feelings. It is really sad.
The world is very Hunger Games like. Except the men aren't men. They are boys. Otherwise it kind of reminds me of a town in a western movie. There is no technology and rudimentary medical supplies. They have no electricity or running water. No indoor plumbing. But except for the Heist, people seem satisfied with their lives, not living in poverty.
Then there is the Wall. It's as if it's a living breathing thing. It Walls the people of Claysoot in and the rest of whatever else is out there, out. Brave or scared individuals have climbed the tree that reaches the top of the wall and tried to look past the wall. All that's visible is black nothingness. Anyone that goes over the wall, their body turns up the next day, charred and burned. Some boys do this to escape the Heist.
I am stopping my review here. I haven't told you anything past the summary because I'm not going to spoil anything for you. But that is just one quarter of the book. It took me only a couple of hours to read this book, I couldn't put it down. Plus, I had to know what was going on. I LOVE Gray Weathersby. He is impulsive and rash, but he has so much fire and life to him, he's such a great character. He wants to save everyone and I love him for that! The writing is easy and as you might have guessed, fast paced. There is a lot of character growth and a lot of action. Things that could have been over explained were thankfully only gone over once. Everything was explained just enough, but not in too much detail, to make it interesting but not cumbersome. And no cliffhangers or insta love!
I'm ready for the next book, please! Can I be a Beta reader? Please!!!
Great start to a new dystopian series! Recommended for lovers of dystopians with some romance, maybe a bit of sci-fi and great characters.
Let me know if you read it and what you thought!
I received an E-Arc of this novel from HarperTeen through Edelweiss for review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for my review.
Heather by Heather Rosdol
- Top review
Exciting YA dystopian!
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss.)
Gray's brother Blaine is about to turn 18, which means that he will soon be lost to the 'heist'. Every male in Claysoot is taken at the strike of midnight on their 18th birthday, the ground shakes and a bright light envelops them, and then they are gone.
With Blaine gone, Gray is alone, apart from Emma, a girl who was Blaine's best friend, who Gray has always had feelings for. With Blaine no longer in the picture, a romantic relationship forms between Gray and Emma, but when Gray discovers a secret that was hidden from him by his mother and brother, he begins to believe that maybe he is special, maybe he can beat the heist.
Taking very little, and saying goodbye to only Emma, Gray heads for the boundry wall, the wall that surrounds Claysoot. No-one who has tried to leave over the boundry wall has survived, but Gray goes over it anyway, he's in for a shock when he realises that Emma has followed him though.
What lies on the other side of the wall? Can anyone beat the Heist? And why is Gray special?
This was a great dystopian adventure, with plenty of twists and turns and a dash of romance.
This book grabbed me from about the 10% mark, and was a really compelling read! Gray discovered a letter from his mother to his brother than stopped at a crucial point, and I was just as desperate to find out what the rest of the letter said as Gray was!
Gray was quite a tough, headstrong character, and although he tried to keep others safe, he thought little of his own safety, and often just did what he wanted to do, and never mind if it might kill him. He was quite a blunt character too, and not afraid to let people know that he didn't like them, even when that involved punching a girl in the face!
I liked the romance between Gray and Emma, and their relationship was really sweet. I was also really impressed when Emma followed Gray over the wall - it was unexpected, and a real girl-power move!
There were plenty of twists in this story, and plenty of things that I didn't see coming! I was shocked in several places, and there was a real feeling of trepidation and intrigue woven into the story.
Overall; a fast-paced dystopian adventure, with plenty of twists and surprises.
9 out of 10. by Sarah Elizabethunder review
Review from Blkosiner's Book Blog
I liked Gray, he is impulsive, but caring. Though I didn't agree with every decision or action, I still enjoyed him as a narrator. It was different being in a boy's head that thought like him. There was also a lot of emotion right at the beginning because his older brother was to be heisted, meaning he would disappear in less than 24 hours when the book started.
This def was a strange world and it took me a while to get accustomed in it. Not only the 18 year old boys vanish, which I can buy because I figure he is going to figure out more of the why and how for that, but even if not, okay it is a paranormal book and allowances are made. Why are there vampires? How does a human transform into a werewolf? Right, so... but anyways, in this world set-up there are "slatings" where each month the boy is with another girl, and although these can be extended, it is general practice for the boys to sleep with a different girl every month. Okay, I get that they want for the populations to continue, but why not just have one boy with one girl? Anyways, it was just different, not bad per se, but I am used to a love triangle at most, not what our society would basically consider promiscuity.
There was a lot that caught my attention, his emotions, his voice, the mystery of what is different about him, knowing that he would probably go over the wall because of the lead up in the synopsis, and Emma. She works with her mom as a healer, and I really liked her spirit. I liked getting to know her better, and the moments she shared with Gray.
As the book goes on, new characters, and situations are encountered, each more surprising than the last. I didn't know who to really trust, or who might get hurt next. I liked the twists that the book took though, and I am eager to read more in this series, and find out what happens next, and what decisions Gray will make.
Bottom Line: Nice beginning to a trilogy that was packed with action and surprises. by Brandi Kosiner