By Kimberly Derting
Series: The Taking, Book 1
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
The Taking is the first book in Kimberly Derting’s new series. I’m going to begin by saying that I’m a big fan of Derting. I’ve read all of her books in The Body Finder series and The Pledge series. They are some of my favorite series of all times and I’ve recommended them countless times over the years. They are original and engrossing in ways that other books aren’t. I’ve found myself incredibly sad in having to say good bye to the characters within those series. When I saw that Derting was writing a new series, I immediately added it to my to-read list. I’ll admit I didn’t even look to see what it was about. I just knew that I wanted to read it. When I first learned this series was about aliens, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because I’m not into alien books. But I’m glad I took the time to read it. I was happily surprised by how much I actually liked this book and I’m excited to read the next installment, The Replaced which is due out in April 2015. Ultimately I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads but really it was more like 3.5 stars. You might think this was a bit low for a book I really did enjoy, but I hope my review will explain why.
Kyra Agnew is a typical 16 year old girl with a boyfriend and best friend. Her life is simply normal, until one night she encounters a strange while light. When she awakes behind a dumpster behind a local convenience store she makes her way home but senses that something is off though she can’t quite figure out what. Everything appears to be the same but it’s off ever so slightly. When she arrives home her whole world turns on it’s axis. She discovers that five years have past and she has no recollection of where she has been. The truly odd thing is that she hasn’t aged a day in five years. In the meantime, her parents have divorced, her boyfriend is in college and is now dating her best friend. Feeling completely alone, Kyra turns to the one person who seems to be there for her and doesn’t treat her like something that is broken, her boyfriend’s little brother Tyler. Together, Tyler and Kyra, try to retrace her steps that fateful night. While doing so, they discover that Kyra’s whereabouts may not be as simple as they thought. While Kyra tries to find her place in this new world, she’s being followed by a mysterious boy who tells her to call him. She’s also being hounded by a government agent who is set on speaking with her no matter what. Kyra doesn’t know who to trust and time is running out for her to decide.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Taking. Kimberly Derting has written another great YA book and has firmly established her next series. I think young adult readers will thoroughly enjoy this book and subsequent books in the series. It’s not, however, what I would call a crossover book for adults. Adults may find the book a bit too simple to their liking. In addition, adult readers may find some holes that leave them feeling a bit lacking when it comes to character development and interaction. I, personally, had a difficult time keeping Tyler 17 in my head while reading. I think this was because his younger self was more developed than his older self. So it messed a bit with my mind when I tried to imagine a 16 year old Kyra being with a 17 year old Tyler. Instead, I kept picturing a 16 year old Kyra with a 12 year old Tyler. Yeah, you can imagine the cringes. So ultimately, I would have liked to see more character development for Tyler. There were other character problems as well. I didn’t feel like Simon was fully developed either. He had a pretty big role at the end of the book, but his appearances early on were a bit awkward and bizarre. I guess I didn’t buy the oddness of his appearances. That may be more of a plot weakness. Ultimately I would have loved to see more of an involvement of him, a greater sense of suspense or danger regarding his presence.
Despite those issues, I did enjoy this book immensely. It was emotional, suspenseful and intriguing. I’m excited to read the next installment of this series. It’s not the best book I’ve read by Derting but it’s definitely an enjoyable read and shouldn’t be dismissed outright. Even if you don’t like alien books, I think you’ll still enjoy this because it’s not truly about aliens but those who were taken by them and their lives after the abduction. I’m not saying the series is going to stay this way but so far, it’s a pretty good read.