Taken (Taken Series #1)

Taken (Taken Series #1)

by Erin Bowman


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Fans of Incarceron by Catherine Fisher and Variant by Robison Wells won't want to miss this magnetic first book in a gripping dystopian sci-fi series. Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy, raves that Taken is "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end. More, please!"

Gray Weathersby has grown up expecting to disappear at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. They call it the Heist—and it happens to every boy in Claysoot. His only chance at escape is to climb the Wall that surrounds Claysoot. A climb no one has ever survived . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062117274
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Series: Erin Bowman's Taken Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 160,574
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her family, and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. Erin is the author of Contagion and its sequel, Immunity, the Taken trilogy, Vengeance Road, and Retribution Rails. You can visit her online at www.embowman.com.

What People are Saying About This

Marie Lu

“An action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end. I devoured this in one sitting and might have gnawed a nail or two off from all the excitement. More, please!”

Customer Reviews

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Taken 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
SDennard More than 1 year ago
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.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
As soon as I read Taken, I immediately fell in love with the synopsis of this book. In Claysoot, there will be no male that is older than 18 years old. Every midnight of every boy's 18th birthday, they get heisted. "Heisted" is the term they use when suddenly the ground shakes and that certain boy vanishes. It's such a mystery, and I was just so excited to find out more about the story behind it. Gray, the main protagonist, is a 17 year old boy living in Claysoot. Gray's brother Blaine is 18 years old, and is soon to be Heisted. The world building in this book was very fascinating to read about. In Claysoot, everyone has to fight and hunt for what they need. Every boy also get's assigned to a girl, who they hang out with for a bit, and then might get assigned to another. Claysoot is also surrounded by a Wall, and who ever tries climbing out always comes back dead.  When Blaine get's heisted, Gray is left with a mystery to be solved. Reading a paper that his mother wrote to Blaine about him, Gray is itching for answers. We also meet Emma, who is their childhood friend. When Gray and Emma both start questioning the world they've always known, they end up with answers that lead them to even more questions. As the story unfolds, we really get to know Gray more as a character, and I gotta say it was very fun reading a book from a boy's POV. Trying not to spoil anything, I'm just going to say that we also get to meet more characters, and a certain character that I loved as well! I have to say that the romance wasn't heavy in this one, but I honestly dont' find that a major problem for me. They were to busy kicking-butt to have time for anything else!  Overall, Taken is a fast read that will leave you crazy for answers. The characters were fun to get to know, and Erin Bowman's writing was great as well! Like most dystopian books, I cannot WAIT to find out what happens in the next book! Readers of The Hunger Games and Slated would probably enjoy this one a lot!
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I began to read Erin Bowman's Taken and i was immediately hooked. Taken is a perfect book if you are looking for a mix between action amd romance. Although it is mainly action, the romance aspect of it is great. It is about a tiny inclosed town called Claysoot. There is also a thing called "Heists". At the age of 18 all boys are heisted. Taken away as the ground shakes and there is a bright light. The books starts out with the main protagonist Gray and his brother Blaine. Gray is 17 and Blaine is just about to turn 18. There are also things called "slatings". These slatings are how Claysoot keeps its population on the rise. If they were to stop Claysoot would soon die out. These slatings pair a man to a girl to where they are supposed to produce a baby. Then they are slated to another person unless you get married to someone. Blaine was slated to Sasha quarters. He married her and they had a child named Kale. This means that when Blaine leaves he will leave behind a loving child and his wife. However, for this reason Gray does not agree with these slatings. However there is one person he likes. Her name is Emma but she is not interested in Gray. Eventually the night falls and Blaine's heist is about to begin. But Blaine says something peculiar. At first Gray takes no notice. However, he thinks back and is only left with questions after he finds a note his deceased mother had left for Blaine. These questions push him to find answers. And on this quest he only finds more questions. What is Claysoot? What is beyond these walls that hold everyone inside? Why do Heists happen? Is there more to the world than just this tiny town? Gray's adventure to find the truth is full of suspenseful action throughout the entire story. Although the love story is a little clunky and robotic at first, it smooths out into something that will keep you hanging on to each word on the page. In my eyes Erin Bowman's 1st of a three book series was a complete success.
WriterGlo More than 1 year ago
Addictive, amazing, awesome! Just three words to sum up this story. Gray is a well written character, and one to love for ages to come. He is timeless. Right up there with Peeta, Gale, and Tobias. I loved this story and cannot wait for the third book in the series to come out! I highly recommend this and the companion book Stolen and then book 2 Frozen!! Amazing story and great reading. Get ready because you will be addicted!
Ashley-at-Nook-of-Books More than 1 year ago
3.5-4/5 As with everyone else, one look at the this cover and I was fated to read this book. Instanta love right here ya'll. I didn't even have to read the synopsis to know I would be reading this. Covers and me have a love hate relationship. I loved the whole idea of the story. Turn eighteen. disappear. Have to figure out why. You know how this type of story goes. It was a really fun read, and I will read the next in the series to find out what happens. I am invested. I just hope a few things are straightened out in the next one, and we will be just fine together. Gray. Our main fella. He's cool. He figures out something is wrong and he is a "I must solve this" type of guy. He puts up a front, but at heart he is a loveable dude. I enjoyed reading how his story unfolds and all the shenanigans he gets himself thrown into. I was rooting for him. My problem with his character. He is devoted to a girl from home. She follows him on these said shenanigans, BOOM trouble strikes, and it's like she is forgotten. Before we know it, he's got another girl in sights. I just got rather annoyed that this more than likely going to end up in my dreaded love triangle. I mean, COME ON. It's been done. I hate them. We are over them. Just stop already! I felt like some of the story just unfolds so fast. I wanted a little more, it was almost there, but I just didn't get it. Like I said. It's good. I wouldn't say great. But hey this could turn into a decent series. Hopefully the love triangle dissolves ASAP. The story is full of mystery and things of that nature. It's far from dull. promise. If you are in to those kinds of things, I would say check it out. It just isn't the mind blowing debut of a new series liked I hoped.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just so you know
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The overview is in spanish but the actual book is in english. Theres another book with the same name with an english overview but its really in spanish.
RBlodgett More than 1 year ago
Solid start to an interesting premise for a series. While I can't say for me there was a lot of "wow that's new" for a Dystopian story but it didn't feel stale either. What I especially like is how first person narrative from Gray is genuine. His naivety as he searches to understand himself, his world, and the world he is suddenly thrown in is very refreshing. He isn't knowing, understanding, accepting or overconfident - he is very human and flawed. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
mollyreads More than 1 year ago
Taken is definitely an underrated dystopian novel. It has everything you’d look for in one: a society run 100% by government, a rebellion, a mystery about “whodunnit?” So, let’s just dive into the nitty-gritty of it: This book has a male POV. Hallelujah! To be honest, I was getting a little burnt out with the “girl saves the world” narrative, so I was super excited to find out this one had a male POV. Gray is kind of the stereotypical boy. He knows how to handle himself in tough situations, but he definitely thinks about girls a bit too much (considering the tough situations). But, hey, like I said, stereotypical boy. His character did feel a little bland to me. I didn’t feel like there were enough internal struggles for him, even though there were clearly things he should have been conflicted about, I didn’t feel it was translated well in his narrative. That might have to do with the pace – which is very fast-paced. The pace was like a snowball rolling down a mountain. Things just kept happening. This was amazing for the story, I kept turning page after page after page and was excited, but it took a toll on the character development. With that said, this is the first book in a trilogy (and there are novellas as well), so his character will probably develop even more as the story goes on. Even though this book had a male POV, it still had some awesome chicks in it. Bree is my favorite, but I don’t want to go into too much detail because SPOILERS, just know, she’s tough. The writing itself is fairly simple to grasp, there is nothing hiding between the lines. That’s not always a bad thing, so it didn’t bother me too much. I do wish the world building was a bit more complete. I got confused during some explanations of how things were laid out across the area. Overall, I found this book very entertaining. It had the perfect formula for a good dystopian novel & series. There is a ton of potential with this one, so I’ll continue to see if my qualms are resolved. Sometimes the first book in a series spends a lot of time developing the story, that some of our questions aren’t fully answered just yet. If you love Divergent or The Maze Runner and are having withdrawals from the lack of new novels in those series, you should definitely pick this one up!
Retic_Eagle More than 1 year ago
Taken, by Erin Bowman, is the story about a boy in a hopeless and depressed community called Claysoot because of the soils appearance. The protagonist is a teenage boy named Gray because of the dull color in his eyes. He spends his days hunting in the woods and trading in the local markets. Of course, there are a few mysteries in Claysoot, and one happens to surround them. A huge mysterious wall sets the perimeter of the town and although many have tried, climbing the wall has proven to be suicide. Oh, and all of the boys disappear without a trace at midnight on their eighteenth birthdays, which is what they call "the Heist". After his brother Blaine is heisted, Gray is left alone, depressed and curious. That is, until he finds a strange letter left behind by his deceased mother. Distressed and craving answers, Gray and his girlfriend, Emma, climb the wall searching for them. One of the main themes in Taken is to listen to your gut and follow your instincts. Gray always follows his instincts in the book and it usually turned out for the better. "I'm reckless, always reacting to some feeling in my chest" (10). eventually, others start to notice the good in this and encourages it, especially his father, "Trust your gut out there, it's kept you alive so far" (295). The book talks about the ongoing civil war between AmEast and AmWest. Although it talks briefly about the war, it seems that the main point of confrontation is about recourses like freshwater. In the AmEast there is enough water to be carefully rationed among its inhabitants, but sometimes more water is needed for some of the citizens. When compared to another dystopian story, Divergent, the protagonist, Gray, joins a group of people that opposes the corrupt leaders much like Beatris Prior does. Also, Gray, just like Beatris, actively fights in small battles and helps with different plans to always have the upper hand. All in all this is a fast paced story about a young man looking for answers and going great lengths just to find them. This story is told from Gray's point of view so that the reader can journey alongside Gray as he struggles to survive and find what's important to him in his life. Due to the in depth choices and feelings received from these characters and the overall well described, well developed story and characters that this novel provides, this book receives a nine out of ten. There does happen to be some mature vocabulary and PG-13 images in the book at times, so readers in around the 7th grade and below should wait until they're a bit older.
books4susie More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness! Cliffhangers, unexpected twists and turns and a great male POV. I absolutely adored this book and cannot recommend it enough. Book 2 Frozen isn't out for a year. :-(
Artzicarol More than 1 year ago
This was a majorly cool premise in which a small village only holds their males up to the age of 18. At that time, they are “Heisted” at midnight. This starts off a great mystery that is revealed in intriguing layers of shock and deceit. Throughout the novel, there are mind-blowing twists; though I predicted one of the major ones, I still enjoyed the way things played out, and there were lots I didn’t guess. I found the love triangle to be rather fascinating and probably more true than some people are willing to admit—if you are absent from the one you love and think you may never see them again, does your heart begin to bond with another person? I appreciated that the end climax scene was NOT predictable or too easy for the characters; no waltzing in to save the day without any hitches here, no sir. Plenty of action and suspense in this novel, which keeps the pace skipping right along.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great and gripping read, especially for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Answer this question and do the headline as ?s4this book So my question is why id the review in spanish is it just a setting or is thst how the review is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wild ,and never leaves you bored! Very inttiguing and there are so many twists that leave you in awe.
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Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago