Book Review – Untaken by J. E. Anckorn

Hang on to your socks – it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Untaken Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Science Fiction, Adventure, Dystopian

No. of pages: 304

From Goodreads:

It turns out that a real alien invasion is nothing like the Sci-fi shows 14-year-old Gracie loves. Not when it’s your own family who are swallowed whole by those big silver ships. Not if it could be you next.

In her search for her family, Gracie meets Brandon, a high school dropout who would never have been caught dead hanging out with a dork like Gracie before the world ended. Gracie isn’t too crazy about Brandon either, but he has one thing she doesn’t: A plan.

Brandon’s uncle has a cabin up in Maine, and If Gracie and Brandon can survive long enough to get there they can hide out until the Space Men pack up their ships and leave.
Until the army guys come to rescue them, says Brandon.
Brandon is big into army guys.

Gracie has to admit that Brandon’s Awesome Plan probably would have worked out great if wasn’t for Jake.
They found 5-year-old Jake, laying half-dead under the remains of someone’s ranch house. He’s a good kid, even if he won’t-or can’t- talk.

But Jake has a secret, and when Gracie finds out what it is, the fragile new life they’ve started to forge looks set to break apart.

When the people you’ve been counting on to put the world back together start hunting you down, alien invaders are the least of your worries.

Page border by Casey Carlisle

This book was unexpected. I assumed it was another alien invasion story… and it was, but with a few other twists.

Narrated in alternate P.O.V. from Gracie, Brandon and Jake, Untaken documents their journey of survival through alien and human combatants’ alike, searching for a safe place to call home (in the form of a cabin in Maine). I’m not usually a fan of alternate voices in the narrative, but this time it gave unique perspectives and added something to the story.

I found Brandon to be a little crass and obstinate, the curse words and his attitude fitted his age and how he assumed a leadership role. This juxtaposed with Gracie, more of a tween than a teenager, but with the common sense of someone much older. She was quietly observant and determined with a manner that worked around the boys and kept the group together. The group dynamic was very reminiscent of The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey.

Jake, the youngest, only has short and sparse contributions to the narrative, but it was always to show something important.

The mode of the alien attack was a little derivative, I would have like to read a more original aspect to their presence; however their motivations were pretty cool indeed.

Untaken Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Overall, I was really excited about this book – parts of the narrative felt awkward, but that was due to the fact of the cast’s such young age. And this is a quick and easy read full of action and mystery. I devoured the book in one sitting. I had difficulty in predicting what was going to happen, maybe about three quarters through I was pretty close, but there is certainly enough plot twists to keep you guessing.

I’d recommend this without hesitation, especially if you love sci-fi or dystopian.

Overall feeling: That was sumthin’

Untaken Book Review Pic 04 by Casey Carlisle

Untaken Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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