Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: Taken, by Erin Bowman @erin_bowman

Although I found Taken to be reminiscent of The Maze Runner, the book has enough originality to make that comparison a good thing and the book a worthy addition to the genre.

The setting is a primitive walled village called Claysoot. Anyone who tries to escape over the wall, comes back dead. Every male on his 18th birthday is subjected to the Heist. Basically, they just disappear right at midnight.

Grey's brother, Blaine, was born on the same day as Grey, only one year earlier. After Blaine's Heist, Grey is all alone, since his mother died several years earlier. Grey finds a hidden note that his mother wrote to Blaine, and it changes the way Grey thinks. He starts to question why their world is the way it is. He begins to investigate with his girlfriend Emma, and he decides he must go over the wall.

What he finds on the other side is eye-opening, and confusing. At first, he feels a sense of comfort, but eventually suspects he's been lied to.

That's really all I want to say about the plot, because I don't want to give anything away. Taken is an adventure and survival book that is well written (many typos in the ARC, though) and quick. The action never stops and the suspense builds nicely.

The world building was unique and exciting. I thought the descriptions of the different settings (I don't want to say what they are) drew me into the world and therefore, the story.

The characters are not the strength of Taken. I didn't really care much about Grey or the other main characters. I'm not sure why. They just weren't "nice." They didn't seem to grow much, or learn from their mistakes. They are pretty self-centered (like most teens are.) The love triangle was an interesting addition, and I felt torn, just as the characters did.

I liked the explanation of the purpose of the walls, and the reasoning behind their creation. I did have a problem with the description of how the Heist was accomplished -- it's a bit of a stretch. Some things weren't explained, like why does it always look dark outside the walls? How could this possibly be accomplished?

I'm excited to turn my teens on to this book. I those who are craving more of The Maze Runner will enjoy Taken.  This episode is wrapped up nicely, but all is not right with the world, and the end of Taken is the beginning of a whole new adventure. Taken is Bowman's first novel, and I hope she's working on the sequel--I was unable to find any details on that.

Published by HarperTeen, April 16, 2013
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
352 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I've been waiting for this book to be released. I can't wait to read it. Great review :)

  2. I'm so conflicted about this one! So many people are disappointed in it, and I had started it and set it aside. I was starting to lose my enthusiasm to pick it back up, but now I'm curious again. The Maze Runner comparison has me intrigued. I think I'll have to give it a shot after all. I'm okay with a few worldbuilding/plot holes if the story is good. Thanks for your review Annette!

  3. Hi Annette! This one sounds pretty good even if it is reminiscent of The Maze Runner. Hopefully, it'll get more teens reading! ;) Glad that you enjoyed it despite its few issues. Thanks for the review!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this one more than me it really wasn't my cup of tea. Though I do hope it's different from The Maze Runner bc I really want to read and not hate that one too haha.

  5. There have been a lot of mixed reviews about this one, so I'm on the fence. I haven't read The Maze Runner series, so I can't really compare. I guess I'll have to see when it comes out how I feel about it. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! Thanks for the review!

    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books


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