Thursday, April 25, 2013

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?

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. It's dystopia with a male protagonist, and the summary practically screams of nefarious plots. The beginning started out well, and I was hooked because I just had to find out what had happened to all those Heisted boys. The author struck a good balance between giving us information vs. giving us more questions. I was ready to follow Gray to the end.

I liked his character in the beginning. He's emotional and impulsive, traits that sometimes irritate me, but I liked this about him. He has a well-developed sense of justice, and no compunction about doing what's necessary to make things right. This aspect of his character is both a strength and a flaw at the same time, and I loved it.

After he discovers what's really going on, things aren't as compelling. The insertion of the love triangle felt forced, I didn't much like Bree, and I thought Emma was far too forgiving of how Gray treated her. Actually, none of the character relationships felt real as the story progressed. That really bummed me out because I wanted to see Gray interact with more people. That didn't really happen.

The truth behind Frank was obvious immediately, though the author thankfully didn't dwell long on that. The resolution at the end felt a bit anticlimactic, and convenient considering the big ol' bag on Gray's back that no one seems to notice. And then the setup for the next book was too heavy-handed for my taste. I'm guessing the love triangle is going to be front and center, which isn't my thing. So I'm not sure I'll be reading the next book.

4 comments:

Sarah Negovetich said...

Hmmm...in a book like this I really want the end to be clever or dramatic, preferably both.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

It's so disappointing when a book starts out good but then doesn't live up to our expectations. Nice review. I haven't heard of this book.

Jessie Harrell said...

fortunately, this wasn't on my TBR list (although I LOVE the cover), but I'm relieved to know it's not one I need to read. Thanks for the honest review.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thatnks for the review. I haven't heard of this book, It sounds disappointing.