Mini Review: Taken By Erin Bowman


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?

My Review

Author: Erin Bowman
Pages: 360
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 16 2013
Source: Library

For a really scary second, I remembered absolutely nothing about the story when looking at the cover. And then I realized why: the title of this book, Taken, is incredibly generic and it doesn't do the story justice.

The title I've been associating with this story is The Heist. Because the heist is basically what this story is about. It starts as your typical dystopia, only really fascinating because you're seeing a society in which boys' lifetimes are limited and so society is run by women.

There were fascinating aspects to making life work, and the really weird occurrence that was the heist itself-- a boy, when he turns 18 literally disappears in front of all the people in the village.

The story surprises me because it goes beyond the typical and establishes itself really well with lots of action and smart character development. Gray is impulsive and sometimes a jerk. He loves his brother and his family, and he just keeps running into trouble. He learns and grows a lot through The Heist, and I'm curious to see where his story goes.

Something that really stood out for me is spoilery, so I'll keep the spoilers out and say that I loved the way romance was woven into the story. It is very out of the norm and believable. Of course, there are some moments in which I think Gray is a massive jerk, but in general, I love what Erin Bowman did. It was unexpected and great.

Another random comment is that the villain in the story was not that scary to me. They were sleazy, but a la House of Cards, and those kind of characters don't work for me. Still, they antagonized Gray enough and the story was pretty interesting.

I'll probably read the sequel because this was pretty good! In some ways, it reminded me of The Maze Runner.

-P.E.




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