Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: 16th April 2013.
My rating: 2 stars
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?
Taken was another book which I was extremely looking forward to reading. It had a unique premise; at 18 years old, boys in Claysoot are Heisted, why did this happen no one knew, but it was a ritual established in Claysoot for many years. These boys were also meant to be slated before their Heist, these slatings were organised eventually to result in an offspring, so that they would continue their family line, before they were Heisted. With everyone just accepting this extraordinary phenomena I was surprised that in the many years, no one had ever decided to dig around and find out why this heist actually occurred, why at that age and where the heck did these boys disappear to? There were some boys who refused to accept it and tried to escape over the wall, with who knows what was lurking behind there? But they never survived. So I was glad after losing his brother Gray decided to take it upon himself to get to the bottom of the truth.
These beliefs that there were nothing beyond the wall and that being Heisted was a necessary part of Claysoot had been instilled into this society for a long time. So after discovering some shocking things Gray decided to risk his life in finding out the truth. Gray was a character who at first I found easy to connect to, he constantly found himself in his older brother Blaine’s limelight, his impulsive behaviour everyone picked on and the several comparisons of why couldn’t he be more like Blaine would bug anyone. So despite having to lose Blaine in the Heist, I think it was completely necessary to Gray’s character building as it motivated him into action.
What was on the other side of the wall I was extremely eager to find out about, but this is where the story fell flat for me. Some of the discoveries they made along the way did come as quite a surprise to me but there were parts that I found to be lacklustre in places. I think it may be that I was imagining that out of this world extraordinary things could be lurking behind the wall but instead we got a case of lots of finger pointing and no clue about who to believe. The later development of the love triangle kind of buggered things over for me to, I think it was sort of unnecessary and wished that certain characters hadn’t made impulsive decisions that led to it in the first place.
Taken was the first book in the series with a lot of potential to deliver, I think with this book it was a case of it not being my cup of tea. As a lot of the early reviews from several blogging friends show that they really enjoyed it. I guess I’m more miffed with myself for not enjoying it as much as I did, as I had high hopes that I would find this to be a thrilling new series I could dive into. But unfortunately I don’t think this will be the case.