Saturday, March 21, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Taken and Frozen by Erin Bowman


This is a 2 in 1 book review for Taken and Frozen by Erin Bowman. They are the first two books in the Taken series. The final book, Forged, is scheduled to be published on April 14, 2015. Just as an FYI, I am not going to reveal any major spoilers in my review. However, my review of Frozen will probably reveal a little bit about what happened in Taken

Goodreads synopsis for TakenThere are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. 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. 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?

Okay, I really liked the premise of this book. I actually did like the first chapter or two. But after that, it went downhill. I felt like the author did not delve into a world without men very deeply. Because there were no men, girls and the boys in the town engaged in "slatings." Basically for a month, these individuals would have sex for purposes of procreation. At the end of the month, the boy would be assigned to someone else and move on.  I would have loved for the author to develop the emotions around that more deeply. I think the author revealed the mystery surrounding the Heist too soon. It was revealed about halfway through the book so the pacing was just a little too fast for me. I also had huge issues with the romance part. Gray has known Emma his whole life so his feelings for her aren't exactly instantaneous. Hers are. He states at the beginning of the book that she barely gave him the time of day growing up. She was a lot closer to his brother. Then his brother is heisted. They spend a couple of days together and suddenly she is in love with him. <insert eye roll here> She escapes Claysoot with him, but they are separated after a while (no spoilers about how). He spends a couple of months apart, meets another girl named Bree, and suddenly finds her irresistible, despite the fact that he has supposedly been in love with Emma his whole life. Oh bother. The truth of the matter is that I didn't sense any chemistry with either girl so it was really hard to care who he ended up with. The ending wasn't really a cliffhanger. It was just kind of blah. 


Goodreads synopsis for Frozen: Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back. Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem. 

I really liked the pacing of this second book. I actually thought the author did a great job with a few twists and turns. There was a lot of action and some shocking stuff happened. It was an interesting road for the team in search of the allies. The ending was quite surprising as well. But again, the romance dragged my rating for this book down. On the surface, Gray seems like a great guy. He is very loyal and also very stubborn. But he is also impulsive and a bit spineless, especially when it comes to Bree and Emma. One minute he is acting like he with Bree, but then when a guy so much as approached Emma and possibly had interest with her, then he became jealous and irrational. He led both women on, but acted stupid when Bree called him out on it. Whenever he was with Bree, he just kept comparing her to Emma and vice versa. If this book had been just about the search for allies, this book would have been a lot better. 

Even though I had so many issues with parts of this story, I still want to read Forged. I don't care at all which girl Gray chooses (if he has a backbone to choose at all), but I am interested to see how the story plays out. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: I would maybe borrow this series. It has an interesting premise that will keep you engaged. But the love triangle will make you roll your eyes endlessly. 

9 comments :

  1. It is an interesting premise, I'll give you that. But I really have a pet peeve against characters whose behavior I can't at least justify on a cerebral level. Borrowing sounds great :)

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    1. Thanks Ramona. Yeah, there are just too many issues to justify spending money on, I think.

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  2. Great reviews. These books did not work for me for so many of the reasons you mentioned. Mostly because I hated Grey. I usually like unlikable characters but I felt like the author was trying to hard to make him unlikable so he could have a redemptive arc and I just didn't buy it. I did like Frozen a lot better. I found the plot much more cohesive.

    I'm torn between reading Forged though. I want to see how it ends but I'm worried it will all be a waste of my time. Perhaps I'll wait for your review and make my decision then.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. Ha, thanks Cassie. Glad to be your guinea pig. ;) I will read Forged and then let you know whether it is worth it or not. And the plot and action of Forged was so much better, even though I still didn't like the MC. I feel like I just HAVE to read the last one to see how everything turns out.

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  3. I was turned off at the mention of a love triangle. Haha! This does sound like a really interesting idea but I think I'll skip it since I don't have time for only halfway decent books. :P

    Vicarious Caytastrophe

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    1. Thanks Cayt. Good plan. If you haven't read any of them already, don't bother. Love triangles are such a pet peeve!

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  4. I feel strongly in love with these books..and im strongly disapointed that it only got 3 books for the serious. And if its possible..that Gray stays with Emma..not only because i identify more with her than Bree..but yes,i do..So if you ever desire to make a movi. ..SIGN ME UP AS EMMA!

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    1. Haha, Evelin. I am glad you enjoyed them. Personally, I found Emma a bit boring. A movie would certainly be interesting though!

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  5. It would be a movie everyone would love to see!

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