Taken (Taken #1)

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Taken (Taken #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
April 16, 2013
ISBN
0062117262
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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?

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.0  (2)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Stunning.

Taken has been one of my most anticipated books for ages. Everything about it drew me in - from the synopsis to the title to the stunning cover - everything about this one just demands to be read. And it does not disappoint in the least. As one of the best debuts of the year, Taken is a book you will be sad to miss! There is the perfect amount of intrigue and mystery, to compliment a little romance and just some overall badassness to go with it.

Taken is brilliant, simply brilliant. I have so much love for this book and am absolutely dying to see where the story will go in Frozen. There was the perfect amount of mystery and intrigue with the storyline. I never could tell what was coming and I loved that unpredictability. Things are INTENSE and there is so many action packed scenes. The whole idea beyond the plot - just really impressive. Taken is a multifaceted plot that just shines with its brilliance.

I love Emma. Love love love her. YA needs more characters like her. She is so strong and just utterly fantastic for most of the book. The entire cast of characters is enticing from the get go, and I fell more in love with all the characters with every page.

There was one decision near the end of the book that just seemed so out of place. And so out of character for the character who made this decision and that was the one element that kept me from absolutely falling in love with Taken. Seeing Emma waver from the immensely strong women she was for the majority of the book was hard and I couldn't quite move past it. I was just so put off by it. This was literally the only thing I didn't abso-freaking-lutely love about Taken.

The ending is intense - Erin Bowman has raised the stakes to an even higher point, and I cannot wait to see how things will play out in Frozen! Frankly, its release date cannot come soon enough.

Taken is beautifully written - the words weave such a tale, and it is easily one of my all time favorites.

As one of the best books of the year, Taken is a debut that will be sure to stun readers. Fast paced and enticing, its characters will charm you until the very last page.

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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Engaging Debut.

What I loved: Interesting concept, engaging characters and detailed world-building bring this Hunger Games/Maze Runner mashup to life. As a male MC, Gray Weathersby is equal parts strength and vulnerability and I enjoyed watching the story unfold through his eyes. Bree is badars, that is all! Emma is a strong character as well and doesn't let Gray get away with much which is good considering he tends to be rash and impulsive. It isn't the norm for a YA love triangle to revolve around the guy but this one offers a curious role reversal and the ending brings some closure while also creating interest in where the story will take these characters next.

What left me wanting: There are several plot twists, one of which wasn't much of a surprise to me and the whole idea of the slatings was a little unsettling for me. Emma wavered in her convictions which surprised, disappointed and confused me. I really hope her reasons are explained in book two.

Final verdict: Dystopian fans will enjoy this!

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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.8
Plot 
 
3.7  (3)
Characters 
 
3.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (3)
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Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Just okay

I really wanted to love this one. It started with a lot of promise but like a lot of dystopians the explanation for why everyone was trapped in the village really fell short for me. Don't know if I'll continue with this series. The characters were just okay and the romantic elements were kinda bland.

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Taken review

This book pulled me out of a reading funk I didn't even know I was in. Lately the books I've read have either bored me or just been unimpressive overall, so I was surprised when I found myself nearly halfway through after one day of reading.

I really enjoyed the pacing. It moved at a steady, and for the most part, quick pace. There weren't huge action scenes with boring lulls thrown in-between, but there was definitely action. It was a nice, subtle movement that seemed natural. Even the huge mystery was done well. Just when you think you're getting bored and annoyed with being left in the dark you're given enough answers to satisfy the craving for answers. I even remember thinking when Gray finally gets answers "wow, he didn't have to drag it out in bits and pieces, what a refreshing change."

While I didn't really mind the love triangle, I also would have been fine without it. I did, however, enjoy the fact that it wasn't your usual triangle. First of all, it's one guy and two girls. That's almost unheard of in and of itself, but I also like Gray's attitude about it. He didn't do the typical love triangle thing and lead one/both of them on, but instead was truly torn. He's faithful to girl #1, but is also close with girl #2.

I was satisfied with the world-building and back-story. It was enough to make me really feel like a knew the world, while still leaving plenty to be discovered and answered in the next book. My only issue is with the technology. Part of the problem is Gray's limited understanding, but I also felt like most of the technology could exist in our own time. And I'm a big fan of futurey stuff. I mean, if this is a futuristic world, I don't want it to seem exactly like our own except when convenient.

The Nutshell: Taken was a refreshing change of pace from my recent reads. It had a steady pace that let me forget myself in the story. The love triangle isn't the usual girl confused about two guys, and is, instead a guy slightly confused about two girls. It's nice to see a different scenario than normal. The world-building made a good base for the rest of the series without feeling like a complete set-up.

Direct Hit

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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Nice beginning to a trilogy that was packed with action and surprises.

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.

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