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Taken Hardcover – April 16, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Taken
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062117262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062117267
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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 husband and when not writing she can often be found hiking, geeking out over good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. TAKEN is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

There is lots of action and some interesting plot twists throughout the book.
Dark Faerie Tales
To be honest, when I was about half done, I just really wanted to get through the book and be done with it so I didn't really care whether we got real answers or not.
I didn't really feel this was a necessity to the plot and may have done some harm in making Gray a likable main character, in my opinion.
Sara @ Forever 17 Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely LOVE LOVE this book. I haven't read a truly good dystopian since January. This story is unique & very interesting. The characters of Gray and Emma are compelling. This book hooked me the first few pages. I read it in about 4 hours, could not put it down.
I did myself questioning in my mind about certain situations that the characters get involved in, but I always have to remember these are 18 year olds, not actually "adults".
The ONLY flaw I found in this book, is having to wait until next year for book 2. Why can't someone just write their trilogies all at once. I normally re-read the original book before I start the 2nd book. Truly it will be a pleasure to re-read this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Wasserman on April 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Erin Bowman's debut is everything you'd hope a dystopian thriller would be: action-packed, beautifully written, compelling, and rich. I was hooked from the very first chapter by Gray's strong voice and the haunting, grim atmosphere of Claysoot, and stayed up reading long past my bedtime. I honestly couldn't put this book down until I'd read the last page!

Gray is such a fascinating, strong, and memorable character, and the secondary characters are just as well-drawn (Bree totally steals the show at times). Even if you think you're sick of dystopians, PICK UP THIS BOOK. The world-building is complex and top-notch, the action is riveting, and the characters are unforgettable.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen @ My Life is a Notebook on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There have rarely been books that have tossed me for this much of a loop. Whether or not that's a good thing is still undecided.

See, Taken starts off with a pretty interesting concept. It's up there in the blurb, so I'm not going to rehash it. The book opens up with Gray's brother being Heisted and general shenanigans and of course there's a girl that Gray has the hots for. Honestly, though, warning bells started going off in my head from the second after Blaine the brother is Heisted because it seemed to me that the most interesting thing about the book was the concept of being Heisted. The action that happens after, with Gray and Emma, is boring and seems to be forced filler to establish a relationship between the two of them so that the rest of the stuff has impact and a preface. While I appreciate this attempt to give the two lovebirds a history, it didn't really work where it was placed and I got pretty bored pretty quickly.

Since the blurb is so vague about it, I can't even tell you whether or not Gray goes over the wall without being intentionally spoiler-y, but I CAN say that eventually Gray wakes up and realizes that something was seriously weird about his brother's Heist and goes in search of answers. In the process, many more details about the concept of the Heist is introduced which confirm my earlier assumption that this is a really cool concept.

Throughout it all, however, the characters are fairly eh. There is no one with a great deal of personality that I really loved, but I didn't dislike anyone either (except for Emma). Every action seemed very believable (except for Emma). Gray actually really grew on me as the story went on, which is hard for characters to do.

Now, about that loop...
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