Customer Reviews for

Taken

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(25)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

I had a very vague idea (er...mostly no idea, actually) what TAK

I had a very vague idea (er...mostly no idea, actually) what TAKEN was about when I began reading. Dystopian and some action? Cool, I thought. I'll read this on my transatlantic plane trip, and...

::times passes::

I glanced up at the big TV-clock-thingy. WHAT?! We're ...
I had a very vague idea (er...mostly no idea, actually) what TAKEN was about when I began reading. Dystopian and some action? Cool, I thought. I'll read this on my transatlantic plane trip, and...

::times passes::

I glanced up at the big TV-clock-thingy. WHAT?! We're already landing?! I forced myself to ignore the turbulent ride down to the tarmac--I WAS SO CLOSE TO THE END, and I just HAD to know what would happen!

Fortunately, in case you were worried, I managed to finish just as the plane touched down. And then I managed to think about the book all the way to the baggage claim, all the way home from Stuttgart, and all through the next week too.

Okay, so what did I enjoy so much? GRAY! GRAY, GRAY! It's SO refreshing to read some YA told from a guy's POV--a genuine guy-guy who feels real and rich. He's kickbutt yet also a sweetheart. He's impulsive and sometimes careless, yet he's loyal and determined. And every step he takes is both unpredictable yet utterly consistent with his character.

I also adored the secondary characters--especially how the characters' relationships and emotions evolved as the story progressed and the stakes grew more intense.

I don't want to give away the full story (the Heist is SUCH a delicious secret), but don't worry: the plot matches the characters in its development and depth.

So if you're in the mood for action, dystopian, or a strong, truly heroic hero, then be sure to pick up TAKEN.

posted by SDennard on April 16, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

!

All 7 reviews are plot spoilers. Please have consideration of other ppls feeling and stop revealing everything in your longwinded reports. We would like to read the book too, but there is no need to even buy the book after you tell everything.

posted by 8888649 on May 10, 2013

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A good story but too many inconsistencies to make it great. revi

    A good story but too many inconsistencies to make it great. review to come.
    I want to thank Net Galley and the Publisher, Harper Teen, for providing me with an eARC of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.




    Blurb 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?




    The blurb for this book sounded so great, I could not bear not to request a copy of it to read. What's more intriguing than a dystopian society where the men only live until they are 18, or at least only stay with the society until they are 18. It's a disturbing and unique concept. I was so curious how the author would keep this society going with such a strict age limit. So, imagine my surprise when I started reading and stumbled upon inconsistencies and loose ends. It drove me nuts!




    Cover love: yup, I have it. I just love this cover. I love the colors. Wow, they pop right out at you. The image of the tree, very important to the story. And the orange color which seems to almost be on fire, another important pat of the story. I can honestly say that this cover drew me right into wanting to read the blurb to see what it was all about.




    I enjoyed the characters in this book well enough. They are fairly well developed for the most part. However, this is nothing uniquely special about them. They are not memorable in any way. Also, given the fact that the characters had been living in a world where there was not technology of any sort, I was surprised at how quickly they were able to adapt to another world and didn't even question things or seem afraid of them.
    Gray is a hot headed teen who doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. He leads with his heart, rarely looking to what might be right when thought about in his head. One important aspect of his character was that he didn't just let things sit, he asked questions. Although, I had a hard time believing that he really hadn't started asking them until he was 17, only 1 year from the Heist. He does grow in the story, finally understand how his actions will affect others. He shows promise in his growth, for sure, but he has a lot of maturing to do.
    Emma, she just annoyed me. She didn't want anything to do with Gray, and then suddenly she is into him. I didn't see the progression to be honest. From what Bowman wrote at the beginning of the book, she was always much more into Blaine, Gray's brother. I think the separation that happened very early on in the book, after Emma and Gray had established a relationship, really just killed it. She also just wasn't strong. I found her to be very passive and timid. At first, I thought for sure she wouldn't be, with how she came off when speaking to Gray, but that quickly turned around.
    Bree, well, here comes the love triangle. Yup, what else is new with a YA dystopian novel, right? It always has to be there. And, to be honest, it annoyed me. However, I preferred Bree's character over Emma. Bree is strong and strong minded. She's interested in what is good for all, how she can help the masses. And she's not interested in someone who doesn't see this. So her inability to click with Gray right away was not surprising. However, her falling for him kind of surprised me. Again, it happened much more quickly than I thought it would have.
    Frank is your typical good character turned bad. From the beginning I can tell there are things that just aren't right about him. He is too nice, he treats Gray too well. So I wasn't surprised when things turned around, to be honest. And, while we get an idea of who he is, I really don't understand why he created what he did or where he was going with it. (view spoiler)




    I liked Bowman's writing well enough. It's always nice to see a YA book written in a male POV. Her flow was pretty good. However, that's about where it stops for me. There was WAY too much going on with the plot. She introduced way too many new concepts and it left things untied, leaving holes in her logic. I felt like she just kept adding things to the story to try and give it more depth, but it was actually more distracting than anything else and it left so many loose ends. I hate loose ends. And I need things to relate and make sense. There were some mysteries that I certainly was not expecting for sure. I think those made the story line more intriguing and that is really what kept me going. 




    All in all I liked the concept of this book. If you like movies like The Village, then this will be right up your ally. However, I would not expect too much from it. It goes along well enough, but there is just way too much stuff introduced to keep in line and I really wanted to see more growth from the characters. By the end, I felt I had already read more than one book in this trilogy and I question how the author will keep readers entertained in the second installment of this series. There were too many loose ends, too much that was left untied in the end. I know this is a series, but in the end I need to understand motives and reasoning and it just wasn't there from the viewpoint of the "government" involvement.




    I can say that I will not rush to read the next installment in this series. It really didn't leave me wanting more or wondering where it would go.




    3 out of 5 stars from me.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    Taken

    Wild ,and never leaves you bored! Very inttiguing and there are so many twists that leave you in awe.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    To jade

    Whoot whoot double res. Ur in chapter four. I had to change ur perna a bit though

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Sample

    I only had the sample...So what happened to the baby?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Taken by Erin B

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    Taken by Erin Bowman
    Book One of the Taken series
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Publication Date: April 16, 2013
    Rating: 3 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss

    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?


    What I Liked:

    Taken was easily one of my most anticipated debuts of 2013. I have known about Taken's release before it had a cover or a synopsis, because more than a year ago, I discovered the Friday the Thirteeners blog. I had a feeling that I would really like this book. I had read plenty of dystopian novels, but this one had a unique premise, and eventually, a beautiful cover.

    Sadly, I was bitterly disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, but this book did not deliver. The beautiful cover was a lure that I fell for, but the synopsis, the premise - I couldn't believe they let me down! I got this book from Edelweiss a month before the release date, but I also pre-ordered this book without reading the book. I don't necessarily regret doing this (hey, I got my book signed last week!), but it's sad when I pre-order a book and don't like it as much as I expected.

    As I said before, I loved the premise and cover of this book. I was intrigued by the idea of being a male and being heisted one your eighteenth birthday. I knew that it wouldn't be Gray that would be heisted to set the plot in motion, but a friend of family member. 

    I also loved that this book is written completely in a male's point-of-view. I don't like first person, but most YA books are in first person, and it was refreshing to read from a male's point-of-view, even if it was in first person. I think Ms. Bowman did an excellent job of crafting Gray's personality, and it showed in his thoughts and perceptions.

    There IS a love triangle (boo!), but I really like one love interest over the other. It's quite obvious which girl has a brain and which one tends not to use her brain. I hope that Gray sticks to his guts and does NOT give the other love interest a chance. But of course, Gray is "confused", so we as readers won't find out until the end of the series, I suppose.

    The plot is interesting, and somewhat engaging, but I found it very predictable (see below). I sort of couldn't wait to finish the book, and not to find out what was going to happen (because I basically knew what would happen), but just so that it would be over. I think the pacing of the plot was pretty good, but again, the plot was predictable.


    What I Did Not Like:

    The plot is a large part of my dislike for this book. Let me start with Claysoot and the mystery of the heists and the wall. Here's the thing: once we start getting into the story, after a major heist of a person very close to Gray, we can see what is going to happen. To me, it was obvious what Gray was going to do. He got a tiny push from his dead mother, and there he went. Predictable.

    The next few paragraph MAY have general spoilers. I mention no specific scenes or names, but I do mention general plot devices and twists that I noticed in more than one book.

    So, after Gray initiates his journey, he discovers a dystopia-like society, and all of the mysteries of the heists, the wall, Claysoot, the heisted boys... everything is discovered. This happens VERY quickly into the book. After the big mysteries are divulged, my interest dwindled. As soon as we find out what is really going on with the heists, this novel became just like any other dystopian novel. Predictable.

    There is a bad guy who thinks he's the good guy. This guy tries to make another guy look bad, when in reality, that second guy is the good guy, and the original guy is the bad guy. Everyone is on the lookout for the "bad guy", who is actually the good guy. Predictable.

    There is a rebel settlement. Gray has to interact with them somehow. He meets a second girl, finishing the love triangle. They have to confront the bad guy. Someone major has to die. They have to find the other rebels. Predictable, predictable, predictable. 

    So, the plot was predictable. And my interest sort of went out of the window when the big mystery. 

    I also HATED one of the love interests. I mentioned above that I liked one of them. But the other? From the beginning, I knew that she couldn't be the girl for Gray. For one, she was in love with a previously heisted boy. She didn't really love Gray, in my opinion, despite her thinking that she does. She does something awful and hurtful to Gray (indirectly), and in my opinion, she can just stay where she was. Gray should have left her there, in my opinion.

    I'm still confused as to what it was that was killing people who tried to climb the wall, to escape the heist (not a spoiler, I promise!). I know it was touched upon, but no clear explanation was given. Perhaps it is something I can hope for in future books.

    So, future books. Will I read them? Yes. That's one of the reasons why I stuck with three stars, instead of two stars. I'm interested enough to read Frozen, and book three. And I love Erin, so I'm more than willing to give the remaining books in this series a chance.


    Would I Recommend It:

    Kind of, but not really. If you are sick of dystopian novels, then don't bother with this one. After about one fifth of the book, it's just like any other dystopian novel out there (the only big difference being that this book is in a male's point-of-view). If you own this book, or have an ARC or eARC of checked it out of the library already, then I would give it a try. Otherwise, I'd say skip it.


    Rating:

    3 stars. I really wish I liked this one more, but it didn't meet my high expectations, or even my regular expectations for a book.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Taken reminded me a little of The Maze Runner - they both had th

    Taken reminded me a little of The Maze Runner - they both had this engrossing quest for answers.  The plot delivers on answering a lot of the questions that come up.  The story moves quickly and kept me glued to the pages.  The interesting world was the strongest part of this book.  But, sadly there were a few things that kept me from really loving it.




    I have mixed feelings about the plot.  I loved how it was so fast-paced and surprised me once or twice, even if it had a few minor plot holes.  I like fast moving plots in books, but I think this was a rare example of the plot moving too fast.  It's amazing the amount of ground this 360 page novel covers.  Since so much is happening, there is a lot of "monologuing" if you will (to use a term from The Incredibles).  Instead of getting to experience the newly discovered layers of this world, the characters would often have mini-speeches explaining the newest development.  Then the characters would immediately act on the new revelations.  It made for an addicting and zippy plot, but I found myself missing the fleshed-out little details that would have made the world rich and believable.  Sometimes things felt over-explained and sometimes the characters are running for their lives when they feel the need to monologue something new and explain the world a little more.  I wanted to strangle all of them and remind them that they should be running for their lives.  If this book would have taken it's time with building the world naturally and not skipped over so many details, it would have been an incredible book instead of just an average one.  The matriarchal society structure that Gray grew up in was so interesting. I so wish that it had gone into more detail about the society!




    The main character Gray was so likable at the beginning, but I felt his character progressed into kind of an unforgiving jerk. There were a few cute, romantic moments at the beginning - like them talking about wanting to be like the birds - that were so adorable. But I found the way the love triangle unfolded to be very unappealing. It's possible that I have a gender bias that love triangles are okay for girls and not boys, but I still felt this "love triangle" was more like unfairly dragging two girls along.  Another reason I felt Gray was a jerk was when he has to make decisions through the story that could potentially hurt those he cares about, he completely justifies his actions without some much-needed honest indecision.  It gave me the impression that he didn't care as much as he said he did.




    I didn't like some of the language used in the writing.  There are a few descriptions of  his chest "heaving" when he's attracted to a girl. Gross.  And the word "slatings" for dates?  That's such a bizarre phrase.  The word pairing used later on in the book was much better.




    Overall, it had a fast-paced action filled plot that was addicting to read, but it was at the expense of building a fleshed-out world.  This book started out so strong at the beginning and sadly fizzles out towards the end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

       I liked Gray, he is impulsive, but caring. Though I didn't ag

       I liked Gray, he is impulsive, but caring. Though I didn't agree with every decision or action, I still enjoyed him as a narrator. It was different being in a boy's head that thought like him. There was also a lot of emotion right at the beginning because his older brother was to be heisted, meaning he would disappear in less than 24 hours when the book started. 
        This def was a strange world and it took me a while to get accustomed in it. Not only the 18 year old boys vanish, which I can buy because I figure he is going to figure out more of the why and how for that, but even if not, okay it is a paranormal book and allowances are made. Why are there vampires? How does a human transform into a werewolf? Right, so... but anyways, in this world set-up there are "slatings" where each month the boy is with another girl, and although these can be extended, it is general practice for the boys to sleep with a different girl every month. Okay, I get that they want for the populations to continue, but why not just have one boy with one girl? Anyways, it was just different, not bad per se, but I am used to a love triangle at most, not what our society would basically consider promiscuity. 
        There was a lot that caught my attention, his emotions, his voice, the mystery of what is different about him, knowing that he would probably go over the wall because of the lead up in the synopsis, and Emma. She works with her mom as a healer, and I really liked her spirit. I liked getting to know her better, and the moments she shared with Gray. 
        As the book goes on, new characters, and situations are encountered, each more surprising than the last. I didn't know who to really trust, or who might get hurt next. I liked the twists that the book took though, and I am eager to read more in this series, and find out what happens next, and what decisions Gray will make. 




    Bottom Line: Nice beginning to a trilogy that was packed with action and surprises.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Engaging Debut. What I loved: Interesting concept, engaging cha

    Engaging Debut.

    What I loved: Interesting concept, engaging characters and detailed world-building bring this Hunger Games/Maze Runner mashup to life. As a male MC, Gray Weathersby is equal parts strength and vulnerability and I enjoyed watching the story unfold through his eyes. Bree is badars, that is all! Emma is a strong character as well and doesn't let Gray get away with much which is good considering he tends to be rash and impulsive. It isn't the norm for a YA love triangle to revolve around the guy but this one offers a curious role reversal and the ending brings some closure while also creating interest in where the story will take these characters next.

    What left me wanting: There are several plot twists, one of which wasn't much of a surprise to me and the whole idea of the slatings was a little unsettling for me. Emma wavered in her convictions which surprised, disappointed and confused me. I really hope her reasons are explained in book two.

    Final verdict: Dystopian fans will enjoy this!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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