image from Goodreads

Title: Taken
Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Taken, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: April 16, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance

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?

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Upon first coming across the gorgeous cover of Taken and reading its interesting synopsis, I immediately added the book to my wishlist. After reading some reviews, though, I started to feel hesitant, but I was still pretty determined to read it. It, sadly, did not live up to my expectations.

One of the main problems I had with the book was the narration. Although Erin Bowman (a female author) did a good job with making her main character really think and seem like a male, I could not connect with the main character at all. I did not understand why he did things or acted the way he did in a certain situation. Initially, I did think Gray was an interesting character and wanted to read more about him. After a while, though, I began to dislike his personality–I mean, he hit a girl!

The rest of the characters weren’t any better. We had our two female leads, Emma and Bree. Emma was, to simply put it, a sissy. [Minor spoiler ahead.] While Gray was working with the rebels and Emma assumed he was dead, she slept with another man and begged for forgiveness when they reunited. While I thought Bree was an okay character in general, she sort of wanted her relationship with Gray to develop quickly, which was a problem at times.

That brings me to my main problem: the romance. It was one of the worst love triangles I have ever come across. Gray had no chemistry with either of the girls and even bothered me when he thought of them. He constantly rejected the stronger, more interesting one for the weaker, annoying one. I get that he was trying to be a gentleman and all, but come on, he was an idiot. By the end of the book, there was a single event that caused him to move on to the other one, and it didn’t even really seem like he like her. It felt as if she was just his second option or something.

Although the novel contained a decent amount of action and adventure, the hero got through situations much too easily (just like the heroine from Reboot). He was able to get what he needed without much trouble and I wanted more struggles. The twists also seemed kind off odd and I’m curious to know how Bowman will intertwine that with the characters’ lives and the main storylines in the next books in the trilogy.

The only thing I like about the book was how it started off strong. My curiosity about the Heists was built up in the beginning of that novel, and while I was still interested in that as the book went on, the disturbing things mentioned above removed my focus from the more interesting parts of the novel.

The gist? I would recommend this novel to fans of Amy Tintera’s Reboot. I felt that, aside from the love triangle, the romances were similar as well as the writing style.



Let’s Talk!: Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think of it? If not, do you think you’ll be interested in it?



4 thoughts on “Review: Taken by Erin Bowman

  1. Oh, Aimee … totally agree! It pissed me off when he hit that girl, but I thought “maybe he’ll redeem himself a little by being remorseful”. Nope. He had no remorse. Kind of psychopathic to me. I don’t understand why people got so upset with Emma though for trying to moving on. She thought he’d been dead for months. But yeah, that love-triangle is THE WORST! I don’t know if I can stomach reading the next book.,


    1. It’s hard to accept that he hit her, being a feminist and all. I think it’s the way she begged for forgiveness. It just didn’t sound very genuine at all, for me. The second book has a gorgeous cover though, but yeah I might not get through it.


  2. I have read Taken and felt about the same as you did. I could not connect with Gray no matter how hard I tried. I was so disappointed because I was sure I’d love this one but I didn’t. I hated the love triangle too. I see so many people really love this book and I wonder at time what I missed. I will not be picking up the sequel. Great review


    1. A lot of people did enjoy this one, oddly. I still kind of want to read the sequel, but I’ll be waiting for some reviews on it before I do.


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