3.5 out of 5 hearts
I read Taken as part of YA Book Club (Erin Bowman and the host of this book club are good friends). This was the selection for April 2013. However, I didn't finish it until after the discussion took place so I am posting this as a regular review instead.
Clay Weathersby lives in Claysoot, a small rural town named after the two materials that make up its landscape. Claysoot is a piece of land surrounded by a mysterious wall - no one knows who put it up and no one can escape it. If anyone attempts to climb over the wall, his body is thrown back over the wall by some unknown force, charred and unrecognizable. To make matters worse, Claysoot is victim of the Heist. In the midnight of every boy's eighteenth birthday, a blinding light fills the sky and takes him away. The source is another mystery as is the final destination of these boys. Are they taken to some other wordily dimension or do they meet an instant death? That leaves Claysoot to be filled with females of all ages and only male children and teens. Clay's brother Blaine turns eighteen and the Heist has claimed him. Clay is all alone in Claysoot, no brother, no mother, and definitely, no father.
After an emotional outburst, he accidentally discovers a letter from his mother that is the first clue to the truth behind the Heist and Claysoot. He pairs up with Emma, his unknowing first love, and they begin to hunt down the trail of clues until, ultimately, Clay decides to climb over the wall to seek answers he cannot find in Claysoot. He thought he had an idea of the facts behind the Heist, but he has no idea at all. This is way more than he bargained for.
I am probably one of the few people that the main protagonist is the opposite gender of the author. I think it is something difficult to do, especially because males and females think differently, so you have to write them accordingly I think Bowman did a great job in that area because Clay's character was very believable.
Another point is that I the synopsis for this book does not do it justice. There is so much to it that does not revolve around the wall. Then again, I guess it is a good surprise for the ready because the turn of events is unexpected. However, it did leave me with some unanswered questions but I guess those were not the point of this book.
I personally and getting tired of reading the same kind of story over and over about dystopias and unjust governments, but this one was pretty decent. I have a hunch that it will pull its way from other dystopian books after Frozen, the second book of the series, is released.
Taken by Erin Bowman
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by HarperTeen
ISBN 0062117262 (ISBN13: 9780062117267)
Edition language: English