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?
I really enjoyed The Taking, I know the story itself is nothing new, but the way Kimberly Derting draws her characters was exciting and relatable. The premise of alien abduction is a major draw card for me in picking up this title, and there is plenty of mystery thrown in here, and I enjoyed how Kimberly wove character development into the story rather than a massive sci-fi fest.
I liked how the protagonist, Kyra, handled her situation, her reactions, her lashing out… it felt very realistic and relatable. I got plenty of feels for her and the people around her: dealing with loss, confusion, and ultimately acceptance.
The love interest – Tyler, definitely made this book for me. He was adorkable and unquestioningly loyal – these traits made him exceptionally attractive in my eyes. Some readers have knocked it for instalove, but if they read the novel properly they would understand that Tyler had been crushing on Kyra since childhood; and now a man, is on a mission to win her heart. He does this by believing and supporting her without question. There was nothing instant about it. He really has to work for Kyra’s affections. And it’s not like Kyra falls for him at once, there’s a graduation from friendship, to security, and to something more. It may be a bit soppy, but I love a romanticised coupling every now and then.
Kimberly’s writing style lends The Taking to a fast read, and it is scattered with internet abbreviations (i.e. FML), weird verbs within the narrative: I’m not sure if she was trying to connect with the target audience or not, and while it could annoy some readers, I found it amusing.
The pacing was a little stop-start, as Kyra made discoveries throughout the novel, but it did not distract from my experience and I completed The Taking in one day. Ultimately is was a little clunky, but not unreadable. Maybe with a little more editing/rewriting this could be an outstanding novel. But for now, it falls into the ‘great way to spend a day reading at the beach.’
If you liked the Lux Series by Jenifer L Armentrout, this has a similar feel. And for those of you who remember and loved the television series Roswell on the WB Network – this is in along the same vein.
I am really looking forward to getting the next book in the series, The Replaced in April this year.
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