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

Turning eighteen isn't a celebrated milestone for the boys of Claysoot, or Grey Weathersby. On the eve of their eighteenth birthday, each boy is taken at the stroke of midnight during a ceremony simply known as The Heist. You cannot escape the village, the wall surrounding Claysoot ensures your compliance and the charred bodies of previous escapees serve as a warning. Boys become men at only fifteen years of age, and encouraged to be promiscuous with as many females in the village as possible. In a tradition known as Slating, the goal being to reproduced and keep Claysoot viable.

After losing his brother to The Heist only mere days prior, Grey finds a kindred spirit in Emma, the snarky daughter of the village healer. Emma doesn't believe the history scrolls of Claysoot, that the village was founded by teens with no memory of how they arrived and why eighteen year old boys are mysteriously taken... Presumed dead. But when Grey finds a letter from his late mother, addressed to his brother, with a theory that threatens to divide the village, Grey knows that the only way he'll seek answers, is to flee over the wall... With Emma close behind.

Navigating through the forest with the fear of being burnt alive, the two runaway's are captured by two men and taken to Taem, a bustling domed city under the rule of Dimitri Octavius Frank, or simply known as Frank. Grey needs answers, and Frank offers his version of the truth. That the world the teens once knew, isn't the reality they had believed it to be. Claysoot being founded by scientist Harvey Maldoon, while a civil war raged beyond The Wall. The country had separated into two parts, AmEast and AmWest, feuding over water resources. AmWest are seen as traitors that have joined forces with Harvey, attacking the citizens of Taem and AmEast, selling weapons and technology in exchange for his safety. While the Heisted boys of Claysoot simply appear in the Taem training field, very much alive.

But Frank isn't all he seems to be. While praising Grey, miraculously escaping and the potential savior for the citizens of Claysoot, but what if the rebel traitors are merely victims? A group of disgruntled citizens banding together against Taem and the Franconian Order, the law instilled by Taem which is punishable by execution... Now Grey's thirst for answers, has him labelled as a traitor.

Grey flees, leaving Emma behind in search for Harvey and his rebellion... And finds more than he bargained for. It seems Clayfoot isn't the only community where children are taken, that Harvey isn't a wanted fugitive, nor the founder of Claysoot. He's merely a scientist of technology and his only crime is that he knows too much. The Rebels are a group of former Taem residents and those from the Heisted communities that have been threatened, abused and victimised at the hands of the Franconian Order. They've chosen not to live under the orders of a cruel and corrupt leader... A far truth from what those in Taem are led to believe.

Bree is a feisty rebel, Heisted from a village where girls are the dominant sex. She moves with stealth, she's tough and doesn't shy away from the truth. Grey can't deny the attraction, but he can't forget Emma and needs to return to free her from the grip of Taem. But when word filters through from the capital, that a deadly virus is set to be released into the rebel camp, the group of revolutionaries take the battle to the doorstep of AmEast... But not everyone will make it out alive.

Taken wasn't at all what I was expecting, and the unexpected is what kept the storyline interesting. It's more or less the typical young adult dystopian, starting as what seems to be survival in a post apocalyptic world, but quickly morphs into a science fiction twist. It has all the elements that readers will expect, harsh regime type government, tyrant leader, a rebellion, war ravaged history and freedom fighters, the plot twists will keep you wanting more.

But sadly it delivered too much more. There were far too many elements to the storyline, with the inclusion of what can only be described as cloning. It didn't seem to serve any purpose in Taken, so I'm assuming that it may be pivotal to the upcoming series releases instead. It left me skimming over those particular dialogues, and unfortunately that's where my interest started to stray. I'll continue with the series, eventually.

(Taken: Book One)
Written By Erin Bowman
Published 16 / 04 / 2013
352 Pages

1 comment

  1. This book sounded very interesting, I'm sorry it didn't quite come together. I think I'll try picking it up after the next book comes out so I can hopefully see the bigger picture. Great review!


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