This review is also on Living for the Books
Taken had so much potential to be another great dystopian book, but instead it was just average.
The beginning was probably the best part. Gray's brother, Blaine is Heisted and Gray uncovers secrets that his mother and Blaine kept from him. But then Gray went over the wall and everything seemed to slow down. Gray and Emma tried to find out the truth while they are staying with the Order. Eventually Gray leaves to find the Rebels and the story picks up again.
The concept of the Heist was something that I really enjoyed. It was unique but the mystery about it wasn't much of a mystery. It was fairly obvious who was responsible for the Wall and it wasn't that hard to guess why 18 year old boys were being taken. The society that Bowman created was very similar to many other dystopian books. There's a war between AmEast and AmWest, resources are scarce, and there is a Rebellion. There isn't much explanation for why AmEast and AmWest separated and this is something I would like an explanation for. I really don't like when dystopian books don't explain how the society came to be.
The main character Gray wasn't too bad. He thinks before he acts, which gets him into trouble, but I didn't find that irritating. The only thing that really bugged me about Gray was that he didn't seem to be able to put the puzzle together. When people told him the truth or when he uncovered information he still couldn't seem to accept that he had been lied to. His brother Blaine is an entirely different story. Blaine is the perfect older brother that everyone compares Gray to. I was not a fan of Blaine. He was just too perfect for my taste.
Taken also contains a love triangle and the dreaded insta love. In the beginning Gray is in love with Emma, but she makes it clear that she doesn't love him back. Once they spend one day together, Emma's feelings abruptly change and she likes him. Emma isn't much of a fighter and she seems to change her opinion on things in a matter of pages without much convincing. One moment she's loyal to Frank the next she's trying to convince Gray that the Order aren't the good guys. Later in the book, Emma thinks that Gray is dead and betrays him, which made me hate her even more. The other love interest doesn't show up until half way through the book. Bree is the opposite of Emma. She's an amazing fighter and one of the only characters that I actually liked. I thought that Bree's relationship with Gray was developed more than Emma and Gray's, which is probably why I like Bree and Gray's relationship more.
Taken was enjoyable but it had a few flaws and it was like many dystopian books that are already out there. It didn't bring many new ideas to the table and it felt like I had already read something very similar to it. Taken would probably be a good book for people just starting to get into the dystopian genre.