Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Review: Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken by Erin Bowman
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. 


23 comments:

  1. It seems none of us really liked this book! I can't pinpoint exactly where it went wrong, but I could make you a list of 20 flaws without even thinking too hard. Unlike you, I wasn't too crazy about the part inside the walls either. It was all a touch too ambitious to my liking and in the end, it just fell flat.
    The love triangle... umm, rectangle, just made it worse.
    Great review, though, Jasprit! :)

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  2. It's such a shame that this has been disappointing so many readers. I know I won't be picking it up after so many negative reviews, but it really did have such an imaginative premise. I hate when books fail to live up to their potential. :/ I hope your next read is more satisfactory, dear, and thanks for the honest review!

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  3. I was very disappointed in this book. I will admit that the cover drew me in. it's really pretty. But I hated the main character. No connection for me at all. And the story line fell short. There was so much introduced and not followed up on and the relationships were stagnant and I didn't feel any emotion towards them. I won't be continuing with this series, what a shame.

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  4. I have to agree with you on a lot of this. I just couldnt love this book and the love triangle really annoyed me as well. I honestly could care less who he picks! Also there was way too much open in the end for a first book in a series. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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  5. You and I are review twins today, Jasprit. And we gave the same rating. I had so much trouble getting into this book because of Gray's character and the love triangle was so painful to read for me. I agree that it was unnecessary and it annoyed me so much.
    Great review, Jasprit!

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  6. I am right there with you on this one, Jasprit. This one fell so flat for me it isn't even funny. I ended up hating Gray so much it was painful and that romance had no redeeming qualities to it. When it turned into a triangle I almost threw my book across the room. Fabulous review!

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  7. This book seems to have disappointed everyone! This is the third negative review I've read for it today. I have no interest in it now, but thanks for taking one for the team. I'm always surprised when I hear love triangles still make it into books. Do authors really not listen to us? Sigh. Anyhow, thanks for your honesty, Jasprit! I hope your next read is better. :)

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  8. Aww, sorry you didn't enjoy. I liked it pretty well, and think I will continue.

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  9. I had really high hopes for this one too Jasprit, and while I liked it more than you did, I had some problems as well. I did like Gray quite a bit, and there were some interesting things with the world, but I didn't care for Emma. And then the triangle. I feel like the triangle is only going to get worse in book two since Gray seems to be more forgiving than I am. Apparently I'm vengeful, who knew?

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  10. Sorry this didn't live up to your expectations. I hate it when potential is wasted. Ugh. And more love triangles? I SERIOUSLY WANT TO SEE A LOVE SQUARE NOW. =))

    Hope you move on to a greater one :D

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  11. Interesting. You know, I haven't seen very many positive reviews for this one, really is disappointing. I think a lot of us had high hopes for this series, so it sucks that things are falling flat. Great review.

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  12. This is the second negative review I've seen this week. I wasn't that interested in the book but now I think I'm just going to give this book a pass. Great review :)

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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  13. And another negative review.. I see them one by one popping up in my Bloglovin' screen. Such a shame, because it sound like this book has great potential :(

    Mel@thedailyprophecy

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  14. I wasn't that interested in reading Taken, but even less so with the slew of negative reviews. Dystopians are tricky for me anyway, so one with poor world-building is not going to happen.
    Sorry you didn't like this, Jasprit. Great review!

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  15. I don't think you are alone in your dislike for this one. It is definitely getting mixed reviews and a lot of people don't like the male character. I have this coming up soon and I guess I will have to see what I make of it. Thanks for the honesty review.

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  16. From the reviews that I've read so far (yours included), it seems that people either love or feel disappointed by the plot and/or characters. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, Jasprit! I appreciate you mentioning about things that you found to be lacklustre.

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  17. NOO another negative review! :( This is definitely also one of my most anticipated for this year, but I'm glad you're being honest with us! It doesn't seem like I'll be fond of this character Gray, and hopefully I'll be able to look past the love triangle. And uh oh, the thrilling element of what's behind the wall isn't exciting? That's a bit of a disappointment. I think I'll still be picking this one up (for the cover), but I know that my expectations should be lower. Thanks for the honest and lovely review, Jasprit!

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  18. aww that sucks that you didn't enjoy it.. I kind of agree about it being disappointing in the "discoveries" they made.. But I was still able to enjoy it overall! Thanks for your honest review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  19. I'm really sad that you didn't like this one. So many reviews have not liked this book that I've decided to not try it for a while. I'm especially sad that the other side of the wall wasn't as interesting as one would hope it would be!

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  20. As soon as the love triangle thing happened, I got so mad. Ughhhh. I usually don't mind triangles all that much but this one aggravated me to no end. I wish I had liked it more too. I'm curious enough about the sequel though. Great review! :)

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  21. The Starry Eyed Revue DNFed this one so you're not alone! It looked interesting to me, but it probably won't be my cup of tea either. Sorry it wasn't exactly the greatest for you! However, love the review :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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  22. I haven't been reading the best reviews for this, so you're definitely not alone. I think the concept of the book is really interesting, so it's unfortunate that it fell short for you. I'll still be picking it up because I'm interested in how I'm going to react to it. Hopefully I like it more than you did :/

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  23. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I don't like impulsive character either, so I might just skip this one. Thanks for your review :)

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