REVIEW #90: Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman

Title: Taken
Series: Taken #1
Author: Erin Bowman
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 16th 2013
Pages: Hardcover, 360 pages
Source: Bought

Summary from Goodreads:
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?

Spoiler free part of the review:
It is hard to really summarize this book without giving away too much of the plot. Grey Weathersby is a stubborn, obnoxious, almost 18 year-old. Grey just lost his older brother to the Heist and is months away from facing his Heist when he decided to run. When a boy turns 18 he is Heisted, the ground splits and he is taken away. Some boys handle the Heist with grace while others try to run and climb the wall that surrounds their small town of Claysoot. Those that climb the wall always return but never alive. With a letter from his mother in hand, Grey decides to find answers on the other side of the wall even if it kills him. Something is not right about Claysoot and he is determined to find out what that is.

I read LOTS of mixed reviews; a majority did not like the book but I thought Taken sounded so promising I still had to try. Taken is like the movie The Village meets the Hunger Games meets Legend/Prodigy. The book is divided into 4 parts. The first and second part is the Village-like part of the Plot, the second and third parts are similar to Legend/Prodigy and the love triangle is similar to the Hunger Games. The book was a bit of a mess. Grey drove me crazy. He could not make up his mind at all. He was a stubborn brat that tried to be coy and cute. The other characters were not that great either. Emma was kind of just there; I first thought she was a tough strong character but through the story I changed my mind. The only character I did like was Bree.

Besides the characters, I also did not like the twists in the plot. Grey is one LUCKY individual, some of the surprises were just like WHATTT?!? How coincidental and lucky. Then it happens again and I was just like NO WAY, not believing it. I also had major issues with the love triangle but won’t go into that here so I can avoid spoilers.

FIRST, how does Grey sit there and say I love you I love you, Emma is the one and then as soon as she gets captured and he has the chance to escape he ups and leaves her. Then he has this thing with Bree and almost kisses her but then wants to save Emma and can't get Emma out of his mind.  I just think the whole love triangle is one hot mess.

Second, Grey is one lucky guy. First he escapes and runs into soldiers but lucky Grey the soldier he happens to run into is his brother who happens to be on his first mission. THEN, bombings, they run away etc. They run into Rebels. Why aren’t they killed well lucky Grey his long lost father is one of their leaders! Coincidental right! Yea… I just couldn’t believe it.

Third, the Heist. You are telling me a helicopter comes down scoops up the boys and leaves and isn’t noticed because they air drop drugs on the people of Claysoot. YEAAA JUST NO WAY.

*** END RANT***

Taken blended common dystopian themes and plot devices into a hard to believe story. The main characters were not very likeable and the loves triangle seemed forced. That being said the whole idea of behind Claysoot was interesting and while I will not be running to the bookstore to buy the sequel I will read it. I hope that the second book will clear up some of the problems I had with this one.



  1. Hahahahah, I like the gifs that you used! It's such a bummer that no one is liking this one. It sounds so bad ass in theory....

  2. I'm a stubborn person, so I'm probably still going to have to give this one a try. I do think you made some good points though, so I'll definitely have to keep that in mind when I go into it! (I love that you used a Damon GIF, by the way. Such a hottie.)

    1. haha I was the same way, I had to read it for myself so I understand

  3. I've seen a LOT of people complaining about Grey; he just doesn't sound like a very likeable guy! I'm still interested to see what's going on with this whole wall/disappearing bit, finding out why the people who come back are different, and why the crack thing happens. Despite knowing that I probably won't like it for the characters, I'm still intrigued by the mysteries the blurb promises.

    1. I really hope the second books fixes some the the character issues I have with Grey. I will be interested to see what you think!

  4. This book has been on my wishlist since I read the first blurb on it and can't believe that no one has liked it.

  5. I actually have seen quite a few negative review for this book. It had so much hype! I'm still going to read it because I got it for my birthday, but I'm glad I don't have my hopes up too high anymore like I did originally with all the hype. Thanks for your review!

  6. I really can't wait to read this book! I have been reading so many amazing reviews of this and I have to get my hands on this book. Thank you for the awesome review.

  7. That's a shame, that this books is getting such bad reviews ALL over the place b/c I was DYING to read this book but after ALL the bad reviews I'm a little skeptical to spend $10 on it~! :)

    1. I would definitely say wait for it to come to the library

  8. Couldn't have said it better myself. Great review!

  9. Oh yes, that helicopter thing. That GIF pretty much describes the expression on my face when I read that part, like what? Does that even make sense, especially since Gray mentioned earlier in the book that some people remained standing during the Heist? I'm pretty sure that if you're drugged while someone takes another person away, you pretty much fall onto the ground or faint because your muscles are asleep/weakened from the drugs.

    1. Yea... I just was not expecting that to be how the Heist worked. They have to be some special type of drugs where people lose time and can still stand up and not just pass out on the ground


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