Seen at Scott Reads It!3.5 Stars Taken had so much potential and I thought that I would without a doubt love it. Based on the fantastic blurb and that eye catching cover, I expected that Taken would be truly extraordinary. In my opinion Taken falls too short, there is so much that Erin Bowman could have done but neglected to do. Taken starts off extremely interesting with a very original concept. We have a society called Claysoot where men disappear on their 18th birthday and are never seen again. This called The Heist and is a fraction of the strange happenings in Claysoot. Claysoot is surrounded by a wall and whoever climbs over the wall is found dead right next to the wall. Clay decides to climb the wall instead of waiting for his 18th birthday, will Clay survive the impossible? The problem with Taken is the way the secrets are truly presented. The Maze Runner is a book where the plot is based on secrets and an enigma. Taken takes way too long to reveal the society's secrets and when they are revealed they turn out to be extremely lame. I feel like Bowman forced all of the plot twists on the reader too late for the reader to even care. I wished Bowman slowly sprinkled in hints as to what was going on instead of performing info-dumping. By the time I got the "real truth" I felt rather apathetic because any emotion I had faded with time. Even if I did care for the plot twists, I felt like there was no spacing between them. Plot twists came way too frequently and Bowman didn't give the reader time to process what just happened. Taken is not as plot-oriented as I would have liked. I expected tons of awesome action scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat craving more. Instead of getting the heart pumping actions I crave, I read about mediocre dystopian plot elements and a love triangle I didn't care for. Once Gray left Claysoot I felt like the plot went downhill and I just didn't have an urge to continue reading. The chapters that follow Gray's disappearance from Claysoot lacked world building, originality, and just excitement. I really enjoyed reading about Claysoot because it was just so different from everything else I have read to date. I feel like Bowman tried to squeeze so many things in so few pages, almost every single dystopian element you can think of makes an appearance in Taken. Taken may start off with a bang but it quickly loses momentum with all of it's dystopian elements. The characters in Taken are nothing special or even remotely memorable. Gray needs some serious anger management sessions and needs to think things through before acting. Hitting a woman is never okay even if she acts like a witch (drop the w and insert a b)! Besides his anger issues, I really didn't find Gray special in any way. Blaine seemed interesting enough but he was not in a majority of Taken. I guess if I had to pick a favorite character I would definitely pick Bree. Bree was the most kick-ass character in Taken and I liked her attitude on things. I didn't like Emma in any shape or form because she was just so ordinary. Emma did so many things that I don't approve of but I don't want to spoil anything. Gray's relationship with Emma felt so unnecessary because I feel like Emma did nothing at all. Emma was just a distraction from Bree and a way for Bowman to include a love triangle. The love triangle didn't work in Taken at all and was extremely irritating. Taken starts off so interesting and original but it didn't live up to it's potential. At a certain point Bowman just tried to include as many basic dystopian elements as possible and it just didn't work at all. Because of all the info dumping and basic dystopian elements, the plot began to feel long winded. I will probably read the sequels to Taken with hopes that I will enjoy them more.