Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review: Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken by Erin Bowman

Release Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library


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?

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

It was very apparent by the end of the Taken by Erin Bowman that it was part of a trilogy. I would almost go as far to say that it really doesn't stand alone very well. While the plot of the book was great, there was a very apparent lack of character growth. It was very plot and action driven, and while that is not a bad thing, sometimes it felt that the characters were secondary to the action, and it was hard to form and emotional attachment to them, as a reader. My hope is that the main characters will grow more in the later books, but it still doesn't excuse the poor character development in the first book. Overall, though, the book was very good and I'm excited to read the next one in the series.
The world-building in this book was amazing. In a lot of dystopian novels these days we only have a vague idea of how the state of the world came to be, but in Taken we learn how people ended up in Claysoot right along with the protagonist, Gray. It takes a lot of skill and imagination to be able to come up with a plausible way for a civilization to first of all, go to pieces, and then bring itself back up.

However, while the world-building was strong, the character growth was lacking. The book was very fast paced with a lot of action packed into a small amount of pages. This made it difficult to really connect with the characters. I would have liked a little more time with Gray before being thrown into the new world right along with him where we had to go through all the heart-stopping action with him. I am looking forward to how Bowman develops her characters in the later books.

Overall, I really enjoyed Taken and I would recommend it. It's a great new addition to the YA dystopian genre.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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