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Taken Hardcover – April 16, 2013
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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.
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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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.
Taken is a fast paced, action driven novel. The story is told through the eyes of Gray and seventeen year old boy whose brother is about to be taken from him. When he uncovers a secret, Gray's life becomes even more uneasy because everything he knows may potentially be a lie. Every time Gray finds an answer to his question, ten more appear. Twists and turns appear at every turn, and I actually can't say much about the plot without ruining it. But let's just the say the world is a little bigger and much scarier than Gray could have imagined and the secrets that he will uncover will threaten his entire world.
But the character's are well developed, though I sometimes found Gray a bit hard to like. That's the thing though, I don't think Gray is supposed to be completely likable. The supporting characters are just as great. I liked how assertive both romantic interests were and how it wasn't just shallow attraction.
If you're looking for a Hunger Games like dystopia, this book is definitely for you. It's dark, twisted, and makes you thankful for the world you live in now.
SPOILERS AFTER THIS_--------
The book was definitely dark, but it's not entirely as the summary description makes it seem. Again, without giving away everything, Gray lives in the world were there are no men, but we're only in that world for less than a third of the book. Most of the novel takes place out the Gray's city. Which is actually an experiment. There are four other cities like Grays, all experiments, to breed people in extreme conditions and then make them into soldiers. The soldiers are for the Civil War that split the US. It's very intense.
My biggest problem in this book are the convoluted relationships. The novel begins with Gray having a crush and then getting together with Emma. I was relieved because yay, the romance is already established, lets focus on the story. But no, at one point Gray has to leave Emma in enemy hands while saving his own skin. While understandable that he didn't have much time to go and save her. He spends his time training and sort of falling for another girl Bree. He stays faithful to Emma, but his thoughts are straying. When he finally manages, after months, to get back to Emma we discover that she's moved on. Gray is angry, understandably, to find his girl with another guy. But at the same time, Emma had the right to move on. First she thought he was dead, second, he had left her behind with the enemy. Frankly, Gray has no right to be mad. Or take revenge the way he does by moving on to Bree. Like this whole weirdly convoluted triangle in unnecessary. Can we for once just focus on the world building instead of pushing romance down our throat? You can have it as a subplot, just don't make it as big of the problem as a freaken revolution. Please.
I would still recommend it to any dystopia fiction lovers. It is very similar to Hunger Games and Delirium, a bit of a mix of two.
I love Gray. He is a bit closed off in some ways, but for good reason. He has his eye on this one girl, even if there's some problems involved with it. But most importantly, he's worried about his upcoming birthday, knowing it means he will get Taken. His solution? Go over the wall, before he can be Taken. What happens from there is filled with twists and turns I didn't predict, a range of characters in both sides of the situation, and some really provoking concepts. And Gray is the kind of character who definitely struggles, who doesn't have all the answers or know what to do in every situation. More importantly, though, for me, he's the kind of guy who feels so much, even if externally he's sometimes a little stoic. He is gentle and kind, but also gruff and determined.
The world building in this one totally worked for me, and the writing has an awesome voice and an easy flow. This is definitely a reread worthy book, and one I totally recommend.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
TAKEN starts off as an exciting read with an intriguing concept. The protagonist, Gray, lives in the dystopian society of Claysoot in which every male is...Read more