Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Taken by Erin Bowman Promises Thrilling Levels of Conspiracy.

I may sound like Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation but I LITerally just finished Taken by Erin Bowman. I downloaded an ARC from Edelweiss and noticed another blogger loved it and decided this would be my next read. This is definitely a ‘down the rabbit hole’ adventure with a massive punch in the face, Gray style. I almost never do this, writing a review immediately after finishing, but I must get my thoughts out now. Taken has so many intricate thrilling spins that after reading I couldn’t believe how far Gray, the leading character came from the first page. I kept thinking throughout the book that it would make a fantastic television show because of the detail involved.

I am making my husband read this book, because it is right up his alley. Taken would please any conspiracy theorist and have audiences constantly surprised by Erin Bowman’s craftiness. I would constantly imagine Erin Bowman writing her book twirling her pretend moustache has she laid out her breadcrumb plot piece by piece.     



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?

Gray is excellent! So many pieces to him and Bowman did a fine job of developing him at a great pace. He was always in step with me as a reader, asking the same questions and wanting to react the same way when in danger. So many stories are thrown his way and he has to trust his gut in deciphering them. He always has to worry which story to believe and if the person telling him these stories is to be trusted. The story is obviously told from Gray’s perspective and his thoughts are always concise and endearing. He is exposed to a lot of sacrifice that allows him to see what needs to be done to protect what is important.

The ladies of the story are amazing as well. I loved Bree and her determination. She is very loyal to the rebels and is always a mystery. I enjoy characters that can reveal just enough of themselves but always maintain the mystery. It keeps readers on their toes and will hopefully offer surprises for the sequel. Emma is a character from Claysoot who has high walls up in the beginning but once Gray makes his intentions clear she develops more and has similar questions like Gray does about The Wall. She’s more of a rule follower who on occasion knows when to break them.

The scenes are written extremely well providing great tension, and shocking scenarios. When Gray has to make the decision on whether or not to kill someone who is VERY important was agonizing. I didn’t expect what ended up happening and found it original. Another pivotal moment that made my jaw drop was Gray’s encounter with Emma during a mission. I was so proud of Gray when he had to live without her and then that little bomb blew up in my face. 

Plots, plots, plots, so many plots. There are tons of great mini stories within Gray’s world, a lot of interesting and memorable characters. Bozo was probably the most unique and tantalizing to read. Can’t wait to read more about him. I think that Erin Bowman tied up the ending to Taken nicely, with a few pretty long edges to still grab onto. The ending promises so many great possibilities for a second book. The group of characters that we see in the last couple of pages will definitely bring the drama. Sorry I couldn’t include more detail in this review, but I can’t without giving anything away. Taken has so many secrets to reveal to you so I advise that you preorder your copy now. It will be available on April 16th.     

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