Eric Bowman’s “Taken”


Taken by Erin Bowman is a thriller of a novel, with never-ending twists and turns that led me to a completely different ending than I thought I would be. The novel left me wanting more, but more importantly, it left me trying to figure out which way was up and which was down. I frequently found myself trying to figure out what was going on – in the best way possible. The book kept me excited and on the edge of my seat, just about as much as a book can. “Taken” begins with a teenager in a small town, surrounded by a wall which you cannot leave. Anyone who has tried to climb the wall has showed back up on the inside of the wall, dead. Further, on every boy’s 18th birthday, at midnight, an earthquake hits, and a lightning strike comes down to take the boy into an unknown place, never to be seen again. The book continues on to shed light on the unnecessary power that the government has – and abuses.

The book never mentions what country it takes place in, however, it mentions the two most frequently visited cities: Claysoot and Taem. The beginning of the book seems more like it was in the 1700s, or even earlier perhaps, because it was a time with no technology and no advancement in medicine or other modern issues. However, the setting switches in the middle of the book when they enter Taem. Unlike her other 2015 novel Vengeance Road, which takes place in the Wild Wild West, this book sandwiches that time period, meaning part of it takes place before that time period and some more recently.

The novel has a lot of characters, but the important ones are Gray, Emma, Blaine, Bree, Harvey, and Frank. The characters are all different and butting heads in a way. Gray is the main character and the one that conveys the tone of the story the best. Gray is rebellious, and wants to get answers from everyone and everyone. Bowman writes in a dark and questioning tone: questioning many different things in our society and questioning why and how they are the way that they are.

“Taken” is captivating and was hard for me to put down. I would classify it as a thriller, honestly. It is incredibly hard to predict what will happen next.