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Taken Hardcover – April 16, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Every boy in Claysoot is taken just after midnight the morning he turns 18 in what the villagers call the Heist. Every one, that is, except Gray. He and his brother, Blaine, are exactly one year apart in age, and when Blaine vanishes in a flash of light, Gray is grieved but unsurprised. However, the discovery of a letter left behind by his mother leads him to search through his own medical records where he discovers that he was not Blaine's younger brother but his twin. Compelled to learn the truth behind the Heist and the wall that surrounds his village, Gray and Emma, the daughter of the town medic, escape into the outside world-a world in which resources are scarce, rebels wage war against city dwellers, and allies are not what they seem. Although the characters are not particularly loyal or noble, they are very human and sympathetic for their flaws. The cliff-hanger ending, which finds Gray heading out into the wilderness in search of other walled communities, guarantees a sequel. Riding the popular wave of dystopian fiction, debut novelist Bowman has created a dramatic work that is reminiscent of Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) and will appeal to fans of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) and Lauren Oliver's Delirium (HarperCollins, 2011).-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AKα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Gray is the oldest man in Claysoot—and he is just 18. Thanks to a long-held secret about his birth, he has escaped the Heist, the moment on the eve of a boy’s eighteenth birthday that he disappears from the center of town in a shower of light and thunder. Unable to contain his anger and frustration about the unanswered questions, Gray takes the ultimate risk and climbs the Wall, though everyone who does returns dead. He doesn’t expect Emma to follow him, nor does he expect everything he thinks he knows about the world to be turned upside down when he is rescued and taken to Taem, or again when he escapes and meets the Rebels and the father he never knew. This is an action-packed, emotionally charged, plot-twisting adventure that sets up a number of believable conflicts: between Taem and the Rebels, within family units, and even in a love triangle. Told from a guy’s perspective, this dystopian has plenty of potential for gripping sequels. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth
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Product Details

  • Series: Taken (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062117262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062117267
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More 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 family and when not writing she can often be found hiking, geeking out over good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. Visit her online at embowman.com or on twitter @erin_bowman

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Step Into Fiction on April 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The first half of this book, I flew through; the second half of this book, not quite so fast. I really think the issue I had with the second half was Bree. But I'm getting ahead of myself here, aren't I?

Taken is pretty amazing. The concept; a community of very young boys and all ages of girls stuck in confines of a wall that if you dare to climb will come back burned so barely you're hardly recognizable. Boys are heisted at age 18 and no one knows where they go or if they're even alive. At the age of 15 girls and boys are started on what are called slatings. Each month you are assigned a new guy/girl that you are to 'woo' for that month and basically, try to produce a baby. We start out with Gray and finding out it's the eve of his older brother, Blaine's heisting. Blaine has a young daughter, Kale, who is three years old and absolutely adorable. Gray and Blaine are born the same day, exactly a year apart, they lost their mother two years ago and never knew their father as he was heisted a few years after their birth's.

I mean, right there this sounds like an interesting read and it really is. We find out many things about Gray after his brother was heisted, things that make you question everything about this community called Claysoot. While finding everything out he was slated to the one girl he's been crushing on since forever, Emma, who always seemed to favor Blaine over him. Over the month of their slating, they become close, something neither of them were expecting and when Gray's questions start to get out of hand he decides to climb the wall in search for answers. What he doesn't expect is Emma following him. What they find isn't anything like what they were expecting.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE on March 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
TAKEN was a very promising debut novel. The characters were well-written and well-rounded and the writing didn't get in the way of the story. There was enough description and world-building and the author didn't inundate us with large info-dumps.

TAKEN stands out among the large current crop of dystopias because of its well thought out plot and intriguing characters. Grey Weatherby is the younger more impulsive brother. When his older brother Blaine reaches eighteen and is removed from their town of Claysoot--"heisted" as the residents say, Grey doesn't know what he should do next. When he finds a part of a letter that his mother wrote Blaine as she was dying, he begins to look for answers to the new questions it brings up.

Grey decides to climb the wall that surrounds Claysoot, even though everyone else who has tried has been found near the inner wall as a burned up body. Learning that he was a twin and has passed the time when he should have been heisted, makes him believe that he will be able to successfully cross over the wall. But he doesn't go alone. Grey has had a crush on Emma, the healer's daughter, for a long time but she seemed to prefer Blaine. Now that Blaine is gone and Grey has been slated for Emma, they become better friends. When Grey leaves, Emma follows him. Together they discover a world that they couldn't imagine.

This story has it all--exciting adventure, great danger, a dastardly villain, and noble rebels--and Grey and Emma find themselves in the thick of it. There is even a potential love triangle as Grey meets a rebel girl named Bree who fascinates him with a courage and recklessness much like his own.

Fans of dystopias will enjoy this one. I know that I am eager to read the next book in this trilogy myself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sara @ Forever 17 Books on April 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Taken has one of those covers that scream, 'YES YOU MUST READ THIS'! I mean, those colors and the tree and the boy... yep, that's exactly the type to grab my attention. Imagine my complete delight when the synopsis was able to grab me just the same, making this novel one of my most anticipated reads of 2013. I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to read this early. Unfortunately I have so many mixed thoughts on this book, you may have to bear with me here.

On one hand, there were a lot of cool ideas and elements that made Taken an interesting read. I loved the concept of the Heist we learn about. Boys mysteriously disappear at age 18, leaving the compound they live in, Claysoot, filled with mostly kids and women. This society is met with harsh conditions and how it has adapted to survive was sort of an... interesting aspect of the book. Obviously childbearing is encouraged at a very young age and almost mandated in certain ways otherwise they would die out. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. It's fascinating in certain ways but also a bit awkward and disturbing to think about. There is no time for love or commitment. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that, right? But the thing about it was, I was completely interested. It felt unique and mysterious which is a huge bonus for a dystopian read. As we learn more about the world outside of Claysoot I must admit my interest waned a little bit. It lost some of that spark that had me glued to the pages, er my nook, wanting to know more.

Our main character, Gray, is dealing with the loss of his brother to the heist but stumbles upon secrets that make him question everything about his life and that of his people. Wanting answers, he makes the decision to search for them, even if it means death.
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