05 August 2013


Author: Melissa West
Series: The Taking #2
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

I read Gravity, the first novel in The Taking series, back in March.  Not too long ago, and yet as I started reading my advanced copy from the publisher, I had a hard time remembering details of the series.  The character names seemed vaguely familiar and I had a sense of the overall plot, but not a lot stuck with me in between reading the two books.  Thankfully, my book amnesia did not seem to matter much with the plot of this book.

I have to say, I do love the cover of this novel.  It is simple and yet beautiful, and purple is a wonderful cover for space.  Now as for the story itself, that is where I start to weave in between the lines a little.  While I don't remember much of Gravity, I remember that the plot in that book was rather flimsy and not well thought out.  Hover is not much better.  The story seems all over the place, and the characters pull 180s with astounding speed.  Ari is not the only one wish-washing and flipping her mind with rapid speed; Jackson is guilty of it as well.  And their whole relationship, which I would say is the main focus of this novel, is a complete wreck.  They go from hate to love to hate to love to hate to love so quickly I had a hard time trying to keep up.  Their relationship alone made this book a little difficult to read.

Then we get to the plot.  Not quite as twisty turvy and flimsy as the first book, it still leaves a lot to be desired.  The main premise of this novel is the need to kill Zeus.  And yet, we get through the entire novel and in the end, it still isn't resolved, even though the theme is introduced at the very beginning of the book.  The pace of this book is slow, except for the last about 10%, and I feel like the entire book was a bit of a filler until the next one.  Especially since it didn't seem to resolve much of anything during the book, but somehow managed to end on a cliffhanger again.

Then we get to Ari's personality.  She admits many times during her narration that she is selfish, and I don't have a difficult time buying that at all.  One scene really stuck out in my mind.  Zeus makes this huge declaration that West could have made very dramatic and impactful.  After hearing it, Ari decides she immediately needs to tell Jackson so they can figure out a way to stop Zeus.  But when she gets to Jackson, he is sleeping and she is immediately sidetracked and rambles on for about two pages about how sexy and peaceful he looks sleeping.  All I could think was, "Seriously?"  This crazy, murdering dictator is threatening more people and all she can think about is kissing Jackson?  Even though she isn't sure if she hates him or loves him at the moment?  She is right - that seemed perfectly selfish to me.

Overall, I had to struggle with this book.  It is good enough to get me to the ending, but I felt just as deflated at the end as I did at the end of Gravity.  I think this book will go over well with the main target for its young adult genre, about 5 - 10 years younger than me, that is looking more for the romance, will-they-won't-they between Jackson and Ari than a really good, satisfying sci-fi plot like I am.  Yet, I have a hunch I will still read the next installment, just to see how it all ends up.

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