Knopf Books for Young Readers
December 8, 2009*
It's the year 2035 in Florida and kidnapping is a booming business. At least among the rich. Those who live in gated communities, never leaving for anything (not for work, school or shopping, even) guarded by Glock carrying guards know that, if they're a child/teen it's likely only a matter of time before they're kidnapped.
But no one fears kidnapping as much anymore: pay the ransom within twenty-four hours and the child's returned home.
Taken is the tale of thirteen-year-old Charity's kidnapping...and what goes wrong. Edward Bloor has created not quite a dystopian future--at least not for the rich portion of the world. But everyone else is cut off from the well to do and there are once again servants who are much closer to slaves--it's a truly segregated world.
I enjoyed the parts of the story that focused on the current happenings and Charity's kidnapping and the discussion of the society then but there was a lot of Charity thinking back to things that involved some 'history lessons' that slowed the story down for me. I think the book could have been stronger either without as much of those 'flashbacks' or if they'd worked in better...
Taken seemed to have a fair amount in common with Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and some of Neal Shusterman's books in the way that they all look at what the future could be like through the eyes of a teen and use the past to really demonstrate both how close it is to where we are and how far. I don't think Taken worked as well as either Uglies or, say, Everlost but if you've read those and are looking for something similar, Taken is an enjoyable book to read.
I will try some more of Edward Bloor's books because there was a lot of creativity is this book and also quite a bit of unexpectedness.
*I read the hardcover, but I'm linking/giving the info for the paperback since it's coming out in the next month