***As always mild spoilers may follow***
***I received a finished paperback from HarperTeen & Alison Linsow, I decided to review on my own. Being provided with a copy in no way swayed my opinion.***
Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 16 April 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery (MALE NARRATOR)
Format: paperback provided by HarperTeen & Alison Linsow
Status: book one of the Taken trilogy
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?
I’m pretty sure that I have Jodi Meadows to thank for Taken getting on my to read radar. She’s recommended some great ones to me. How it didn’t get read until now is a mystery. SO. GOOD. The cover is gorgeous. I would love to have prints in my office. When i was surprised by a paperback of Taken and a finished hardcover of Frozen after receiving an ARC, I knew it was time to read. I finally found time to fit it in.
I was instantly intrigued because the narrator is male. Definitely nice to read in a different perspecive than normal. I was also excited because I was jumping into another dystopian setting. I love dystopians! I know, I know. You’re thinking, ugh, just another dystopian. No. NOT just another dystopian.
Though it’s only in for a short while, I loved the relationship between Gray and Blaine. Orphaned young, they’ve only had each other and have an easy relationship. I developed a theory quickly about the Heist and I was right. Some people may be turned off from the seeming predictability, but I think Erin wrote it that way intentionally. Even though it’s in Gray’s perspective, I felt it was set up for the reader to figure things out a step ahead of Gray so it was easier to see how his choices were made by his personality.
I also liked watching the relationship develop between Emma and Gray. Emma is a strong female character to keep Gray on his toes and grounded at the same time. I’m undecided on the romance side of their relationship. It kinda feels like she has the hots for Blaine and Gray has the hots for Emma. We’ll see though.
I loved Erin’s world building. She gives enough detail and background without it being overwhelming. There is still enough left unexplained to keep you guessing and interested in continuing reading to see how everything is going to end up.
Gray is followed over the Wall by Emma. Gray is determined to find the answers to his questions. And answers he finds. Everything he thought he had an idea of being the truth is no where remotely close.
Along his journey, he meets a host of other great characters. No one is who they really seem to be and it’s hard to know who to trust. I liked Emma, but I came to like Bree too. I’m interested in learning her back story in Stolen.
I’m excited to be able to dive right into Frozen. Yes, this is another dystopian. However, that shouldn’t take away from the appeal. It’s a fantastic and quick read that will leave you wanting more. Give it a shot!
Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 4 February 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, SciFi, Futuristic, Mystery
Format: ebook, personal copy
Status: novella companion of the Taken trilogy (Bree’s POV)
Before Gray Weathersby uncovered the truth about Claysoot and the Laicos Project, a girl named Bree came of age in the coastal settlement of Saltwater—and made her own surprising journey to the world beyond its borders. In Stolen, discover the story of Bree’s life before she was Snatched from her home, before she joined the rebellion, and before she met a boy named Gray…
It feels like I’m reviewing novellas more frequently and that’s not my intention. I was on the fence about reviewing Stolen, but decided to do a mini review because it’s from a different perspective than the rest of the trilogy.
I was drawn to Bree for her fierce bravery and determination. She definitely gives Gray a run for his money in cockiness and snark. Oh, the snark that they exchange! Superb!
I liked being able to see inside another walled city. Chronologically, Stolen takes place before Taken, but I recommend reading it after. It was interesting to see a community where the boys are taken plus some of the girls.
The events of Stolen really make Bree’s behaviour in Taken clearer. It’s really heartbreaking and made me far more sympathetic towards her.
Again, Erin sets the scene beautifully and this is a super quick read. It makes me look forward to seeing Bree’s character blossom even more in Frozen and Forged.
About the author:
Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.
Erin is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger. She is the author of TAKEN, FROZEN, and FORGED (4/14/15) from HarperTeen. VENGEANCE ROAD is forthcoming from HMH in fall 2015.