Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Taken #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Taken is the introduction of not just a new series but of a new world. Set in a futuristic America torn apart by civil war, Gray lives in a world that no one truly understands. Living in a closed off city, there are rules that govern their lives that no one understands but everyone follows. No one can escape the city; anyone who is brave/stupid enough to try to get over the wall surrounding the city comes back burnt to a crisp in a body bag. And all males disappear in the Heist at the age of 18 years old, forcing them to grow up quickly and reproduce at an early age in order to keep their civilization alive.
After the disappearance of his brother on the Heist, and after finding tales of a family secret, Gray refuses to live in the dark any longer and goes on a mission to discover the truth not just about himself but about his entire civilization as well. Of course, he has to take his crush - Emma - along for the ride with him. Taken is a suspenseful mystery set in a dystopian society that is both lost in the times before technology and a sci-fi futuristic novel as well. It contains a bit too much focus on the young adult romance/love triangle aspect and can be a bit of a slow read at times, but the twists and turns in the plot are enough to keep you interested for the long haul. Reading through Taken, I definitely saw characteristics of other young adult series as well, but it was unique enough of a story to hold its own.
The sequel seems that it might be set up to follow along a rather similar path as Taken, and thus might fall victim of repetition, but I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and try it out.