In Taken, citizens of Claysoot live a very restricted lifestyle. The city itself is surrounded by walls that residents are forbidden to climb, and they live unknowing of what lies beyond their community. Their mates are chosen for them on a monthly basis, but their way of living is determined by how well they can hunt — and fight — for themselves. However, the most intriguing aspect of the world that Erin Bowman has created in Taken is the “heist.” On the eve of their 18th birthday, young males are taken from their homes: the ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends . . . and they’re gone.
As his 18th birthday approaches, Gray begins to uncover secrets about his late mother and his older brother, who was taken from Claysoot less then a year before. These revelations lead Gray to defy his destiny and, rather than wait to be heisted, climb the wall.
What follows is a series of compelling plot twists, fast-paced action and intriguing cliff-hangers. Fans of Taken compare it to The Mazerunner or The Giver, but when compared to modern YA dystopian fiction, I believe there is little comparison. Taken is told from Gray’s perspective; a headstrong and impulsive male (which is a refreshing change, in my personal opinion). The romance in the book is played down, and instead focuses on Gray’s search for his brother and his quest of self-discovery. I would say more, but the book is so suspenseful that I don’t want to give anything away. I’ll end by saying: if you read Taken, I’m sure you’ll be as eager for the next installment as I am.