Taken (Taken #1)
by Erin Bowman
Genre- YA, Dystopia, Fantasy
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.
Unique concept, and world, Taken is a male driven read. Although parts of this book draws out some controversy among readers, disliking the main character. I understood why some readers find a disliking to him, I didn't love him, but found him to be accurately portrayed in this Dystopian action packed mysterious world.
Claysoot is a colony of people living behind enclosed walls, not knowing what's beyond those walls only that if you escape over those walls you've just bought your death certificate. If you've read the above synopsis you already know there are no men in Claysoot. Every boy born will be turned over to The Heist, when he is eighteen. Gray is seventeen, having just lost his brother to the Heist, he knows he will be next. Gray is at a loss at what's to become of him and what has happened to his brother. He is distraught, emotional, and has mixed feelings, ranging from jealously to anger. He believes there is more to the whole conspiracy of this so-called Heist, and maybe there is after he finds information that leads him to believe there is something more "out there" beyond the walls.
Gray's life is about to change as he makes a decision to change his destiny, he decides to climb the wall and go over. He's not alone, though as he has a follower who just so happens to be a family friend, a girl he seems to have fallen for takes the leap with him. But, crossing over the wall is not what they both imagined.
What he learns over that wall is a explanation of sorts as to what happens to the men of Claysoot, and now he is on a mission to start a revolution and alter everyone's life. As nothing is as it seems, and we find out this "Heist" is part of a bigger picture.
Without spoiling the rest, I can say I did enjoy reading Taken. I know some people have mixed feelings over the story, because of Gray, and I can understand why they may feel uncomfortable over some of his actions. I think I looked at it in a different light, then some of my peers. I felt like his actions were mostly spot-on. We have a boy, who is determined not to just become another Heist number. He is strong-willed and yes, sometimes arrogant, but he has watched many male members of the city disappear at eighteen.
No men in Claysoot mean "no fathers", so clearly every male born knows their destiny from a young age. Men are used at a young age to continue the population of Claysoot. They must be paired with females, that they may or may not like and impregnate the with their seed, so the population can continue on. Gray finds the whole outcome to every man's life in Claysoot to be intolerable.
He is determined to find out what and why this happens. I'm sure just going against the grain of everything everyone believes in is difficult enough, and to just recently loose the only last member of his family to the heist has been extremely difficult for him. That does not excuse his actions when it comes to one part of the book, and it should not be condoned. I really felt the whole "world and concept" of The Heist and the surrounding fantasy aspects of that story fully outweighed the character driven part of this story.
All, in all I did enjoy Taken and will look forward to the next book.
Have you read Taken, yet? What are your thoughts if you have?