By Erin Bownman
Published on April 15, 2013
Published by Harper Teen
Source: Publisher for Review
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?
This cover is gorgeous!  I love that publishers are not afraid to use color and are moving away from the pretty girl and smouldering guy on the cover.  This cover is beautiful and would make a gorgeous poster.  

Taken is told from the point of view of Gray Weathersby. Gray is a likeable character.  He starts as a rash and quick tempered boy and has started to go through the process of growing up in this book- he finds that everything he thought about his world was completely wrong.  Typically I am not a fan of male narrators.  I really can only think of a handful of male-led books that I really enjoyed.  Taken is absolutely one of those books.  Males and females alike will enjoy Gray's unique voice and rash personality.

I am not sure how much to tell about the actual plot- I had an idea of what was going on and I was absolutely wrong. I will say that this book resides firmly in the dystopian genre.  It is really unlike any other dystopian book I have read.  I loved where the author is going with this book, though I found the ending a bit abrupt.  I am glad there will be two more books to flesh out the story even farther.

The characters in this book are well formed and have distinct personalities. I found the villain in the novel to be un-remorseful and completely evil.  There is no gray (haha) area when it comes to the villains.  The love story is sweet, but not the utterly and completely passionate story that I was told it would be. A love triangle (erg!) has been set up, though it was well done.  I still hope, though, that it won't survive the second book (a personal preference).

All in all Taken was a great debut novel.  It was exciting, fast paced, and had a whole lot of shooting.  If you are a fan of dystopian with a unique male voice- you will enjoy Taken!

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