Taken by Erin Bowman
Goodreads Link and Summary-
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?
Taken is one of those books I feel like I've been waiting forever to read. But once I started reading it, I felt like I'd just started it and it was already ending. I have been dying to know, what happens to the boys during the Heist? Where do they go? How does the population survive? Since the first time I saw the premise of this book, it has probably hooked me better than any other book I've ever read a premise for simply because boys disappearing right in front of everyone?? That's a scary thought.
Gray has an older brother, Blaine who is taken in the beginning of the story. I've never had a book made me swallow the lump in my throat by the third chapter, but when Gray talked about how lonely he was, I was about to bawl! He's this big strong boy that hunts and takes care of himself, but inside, he's this scared kid. He's lost everyone he loves and he has no one to talk to about his feelings. It is really sad.
The world is very Hunger Games like. Except the men aren't men. They are boys. Otherwise it kind of reminds me of a town in a western movie. There is no technology and rudimentary medical supplies. They have no electricity or running water. No indoor plumbing. But except for the Heist, people seem satisfied with their lives, not living in poverty.
Then there is the Wall. It's as if it's a living breathing thing. It Walls the people of Claysoot in and the rest of whatever else is out there, out. Brave or scared individuals have climbed the tree that reaches the top of the wall and tried to look past the wall. All that's visible is black nothingness. Anyone that goes over the wall, their body turns up the next day, charred and burned. Some boys do this to escape the Heist.
I am stopping my review here. I haven't told you anything past the summary because I'm not going to spoil anything for you. But that is just one quarter of the book. It took me only a couple of hours to read this book, I couldn't put it down. Plus, I had to know what was going on. I LOVE Gray Weathersby. He is impulsive and rash, but he has so much fire and life to him, he's such a great character. He wants to save everyone and I love him for that! The writing is easy and as you might have guessed, fast paced. There is a lot of character growth and a lot of action. Things that could have been over explained were thankfully only gone over once. Everything was explained just enough, but not in too much detail, to make it interesting but not cumbersome. And no cliffhangers or insta love!
I'm ready for the next book, please! Can I be a Beta reader? Please!!!
Great start to a new dystopian series! Recommended for lovers of dystopians with some romance, maybe a bit of sci-fi and great characters.
Let me know if you read it and what you thought!
I received an E-Arc of this novel from HarperTeen through Edelweiss for review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for my review.