Series: The Taking #1
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Publication date: April 29th 2014
A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.
When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.
Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.
Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-
This is another of those books that are fun and entertaining, but just don’t have that spark that could have made them truly memorable. At least I have plenty of fun during the ride.
With an engaging start, The Taking pulls you right into its plot full of mystery and wonderment. Imagine being blinded by a light, and the next thing you know your world and everyone you know is 5 years older… except you. You’re still sporting a bruise left from a game just that week, your phone is still fully charged, your clothes and appearance are exactly the same, yet 5 years have apparently passed. This is what happened to Kyra as she brings us along into her baffling story that leaves you dying for answers on every page. While it also contains family and romance, the mystery aspect is by far my favorite part of this book. I was salivating with theories, each one more exciting that the last. As the plot moves forward, we get curious developments that slowly reshape it into a completely different story than its contemporary-like beginning. What we uncover is nothing more than what’s revealed in the blurb, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
What disappointed me was the lack of depth. It had so much potential that went unexplored, choosing to focus instead on frivolous diversions. Sure there are passing mentions of Kyra being obsessed with keeping time, but she has a mostly unconcerned attitude towards the last 5 years. Her refusal to consider her dad’s theories is one thing, but she could have been abused or tortured for years, her mind blocking it out to protect itself, for all she knew. Who has time to worry about that with the excitement of a new crush (although they did have great chemistry) and the stress of her ex-boyfriend hooking up with her ex-BFF anyways!? Priorities, guys! More psychological depth would have given the book much more dimension, not to mention realism. The brush off on that angle was rather disappointing. Another thing: when strange things start happening to her, she’s in complete denial each and every time. Dude, accept you’re a mutant already!
Starting with a contemporary feel, The Taking gradually molds itself into a full-out sci-fi novel filled with conspiracies and superpowers. It does have a few forced conveniences, and it’s unfortunate that its potential is mostly left untapped, but it’s a fun story that ends on an intriguing note.