Series: Taken # 1
Published by HarperTeen on April 26, 2013
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?
Gray’s journey to uncover the purpose of the Heist and to find out what lies over the wall is set in motion when he finds a part of a letter from his mother that conveniently ends RIGHT on the important part. It’s a bit of an eye-rolling moment, and I wish that Bowman had chosen another tactic. When we find out who is holding the second page of the letter, I was lost. Why did this person still have this piece of the letter, other than to give the reader a chance to learn the information contained within it? And why was it separated in the first place? It was hidden very well, and if the goal was to provide Gray with the necessary clues to discover the mystery of the Heist, then why not provide him with the whole letter? Of course, the story would have been a lot shorter, but that’s not a great reason. If I’ve missed something here, please let me know.
The love triangle was both unnecessary and not well-executed. I did have a preference for one of the girls, but there didn’t seem to be any genuine spark between Gray and either girl. Love triangles in YA are so prevalent that I wonder if authors are forced to include them. When they’re well-done, they’re great, but when they’re not, they are a serious detraction from the story.
I feel like I’ve been awfully critical of a book that I’ve rated with three stars. Despite the flaws, Bowman writes suspense well, and there were plenty of times I was surprised – always a good thing. I will read the sequel to Taken, perhaps with lowered expectations, and I look forward to seeing where Bowman takes her characters next.
Note – I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review.
Review posted at Goodreads