TAKEN by Erin Bowman


by Erin Bowman

published by in 2014 by HarperTeen


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?


Ambivalent. That's how I feel after reading Taken.

On the one hand, what happened in the first quarter of the novel was what I predicted the whole thing would be about. Discovering an abundance of plot excited me, but it wasn't enough for me to instantly call it love.

Now for the other hand. I can't remember being this ambivalent about the presence of a love triangle in a long time. I think love triangles can be effective if they're written correctly, but in Taken, we're given an impulsive and irrational protagonist who doesn't seem to fit either of the romantic interests very well. (One more than the other, but their pairing still doesn't make very much sense.) I very clearly have my preference, but think the triangle aspect is unnecessary, contrived and superfluous.

The plot kept up quite nicely for most of the novel, but at a certain point, it plateaued off until the end. While I am interested in reading the sequels, Frozen and Forged, I'm not anxious.

two and a half owls

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