Talk about a kind of story that you don’t read every day. Talk about a kind of story where everything you thought is not what it seems to be. Talk about mind-blowing.
At first glance, Taken is just your classic dystopian story: action-packed, fascinating, and intriguing. Nowadays, it is usual to find the same concept repeatedly readapted in the form of books or films particularly in science fictions. There’s the concept of fighters in an arena.There’s the concept of a rebellion or war where humans and robots or even clones are involve. There’s the concept of a world ravaged with calamities or a deadly virus. In Taken, Bowman impressively juggles varying science fiction concepts and elements that surprisingly and breathtakingly created an unsafe world that I believe is the worst case of a future ever designed, if not more--and yet I never expected to love.
But then there’s more to Taken than meets the eye.
Taken is not simply a dystopian book. Bowman intricately blends in mystery and suspense into the story as well--and how she brought them out (especially with the mystery behind the Heist and the Wall), literally left me openmouthed. She casted questions and secrets into the story that did not only make the characters doubtful about their identities, their pasts and what they believed to be but I was also thirstily tempted to dig out for answers that eventually turned the plot into an adrenaline-rushed and fast-paced storyline. At the same time, the mystery and suspense intensified the complexities of the story that literally made me cringe, eager, and jolt with every budding secret and every unexpected discovery. Thus, it’s really, really hard to put the book down.
As much as I enjoyed the world-building and the surprising twists in Taken, the characters also impressed me, Gray in particular. Bowman captures a male’s voice effortlessly and skillfully emotional. As a male, it surely helped me understand Gray. He maybe stubborn, impulsive, and sometimes selfish--very unlikeable traits--but that doesn't mean he’s unlikeable throughout the entire story. Actually, it helped and braved him to survive the atrocities he had in life especially with blow after blow of both lies and truths bombarded into him. Gray’s character may present a love-and-hate outcome to the readers but it just shows Bowman’s adept ability to craft believable and convincing characters.
Similarly, I couldn't help but admire the romantic side of the story. Bowman delivered an uncommon romance yet a powerful, complicated and almost tragic one that could affect a reader with flux of emotions and questions to ponder. Hence, I can’t wait on how the romance will evolve in the following books.
Erin Bowman's Taken is a perfectly imagined harrowing thought of the future. It’s a phenomenal book that uniquely blends past to present, and reality to science fiction. It’s addictive, dark, disturbing, unforgettable, and unpredictable making it one of the best dystopian books I've ever read. With that, I am craving for the next book and I am preparing for whatever surprises Bowman has up in her sleeves.
Ultimately, it’s as much as I can say but I shall forewarn you: once you enter it, get ready to be heisted, because there’s no escaping from its wall.
--Visit Mr. Book Wonder for more book reviews, interviews, and giveaways.