Title: Taken
Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Taken
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: April 16, 2013
Pages: 352

From the Publisher: 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 received an ARC from HarperTeen but that did not influence the review*

Holy intense book! What a ride. I nearly read this in one sitting but was so stressed I had to put it away for the night. By the way, that is a really, really good thing when a book affects me like that.

Cover Love: Let’s just talk cover love. How stunning is it? Exactly how I picture a post-apocalyptic scene with the orange sky.

The Story: When I read the first line of the synopsis “There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys…” That was enough to draw me in! As I started to read the whole society got more bizarre by the minute! However, some things, like first love can never be rewritten and the romance that blossomed was perfect, even within the confines of the wall surrounding Claysoot. But as with every dystopian society, the rules must be questioned by someone, and those “someones” are Gray and Emma.

All boys are taken at midnight on their 18th birthday. Anyone who tries to climb over the wall does not survive, as their burned body is found returned to Claysoot. While most society members accept this life, we get to meet those who question it, as clues start to point towards too many inconsistencies.

The Worlds: Without giving anything away, so different! And then so different, and then so different. I think the whole range was covered in this book.

The Leading Characters:
Gray Weathersby
had stormy gray eyes (le sigh) and reckless behavior. He felt that his impulsive actions were a personality flaw, but this characteristic was what actually made him so special. He thought with his gut, and it ended up getting him quite far in life. To really top off this crush was his bravery and honor. He may have thrown a punch here and there, but any major decision he made was for something he truly believed in.

Blaine Weathersby had bright blue eyes and a gentle personality. Those were the only 2 things that made him different from his brother Gray. Everyone in Claysoot loved him.

Emma might look frail, but she certainly wasn’t and I loved that. She was smart, compassionate and not afraid to take a risk. She had a good head on her shoulders and knew when to question things, which made her perfect for a dystopian book.

Bree was so tough in so many ways, but I loved when her soft side made appearances. She thought so quickly on her feet…she is definitely someone I’d like to have if I were to go on any of these missions.

The Romance: Yes, please! Let’s just say as soon as Gray said he wanted what he couldn’t have, I knew I was sold. But then…argh, my heart!!  Let’s just say I liked how it was done, and it was NOT what I expected. At all.

Twists and Turns: (This and romance are always my favorite bullet points) I don’t even know where to begin with conspiracies and lies and twists and turns and double crossings….and I FREAKING LOVE THAT. It was getting to a point where I didn’t know how something could be topped and I would turn the page and bam! I did not see that coming.

The Ending: Um, wow. Have I said that I was shocked yet in this review? I love the direction the story is taking and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment as Gray and his group head out on a mission. My curiosity is beyond peaked.

Any Gripes: A small one, but it bugged me the entire book. The technology was a little off. I’m not referring to bad experiments, because bad experiments are what make sci-fi novels so good. I’m referring to the actual science and technology, like forgeries and vaccines. No one knows any real details, yet people will blindly take a satchel full of syringes from a source that might double cross them, and to top if off no one discusses dosages, or if the vaccine is what it really is. If someone with any type of science background reads this, they will pick up on this right away. However, I took it with a grain of salt and enjoyed the story.

Rec it? Yes! If you love apocalyptic, dystopian, sci-fi novels with gray eyed impulsive heroes, this is a must for your shelf!

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