Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Title: The Taking
Author: Kimberly Derting
Narrator:  Tavia Gilbert
Series: The Taking, book #1
Length:  9 hrs 29 mins
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Source: borrowed from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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?

Fair warning, I'm a total fangirl for Derting's THE BODY FINDER series. I've read and loved every single one of those books, and though I still want more -- even if she's not planning on writing any -- I'm more than happy to read her forays into other genres, including dystopian fantasy via THE PLEDGE series and now with sci-fi and aliens by way of The Taking. And while this novel isn't my favorite of hers, it still showed the potential to become another favorite series.

Here's the thing, though. This novel pretty much reads like a contemporary with a very weird twist. I know many have commented on this aspect, including friends and those I turn to for reading recommendations, but I just want to weigh in with my two cents. The romance in this book isn't as squicky and off-putting to me as some have made it out to be. Yes, Tyler was only twelve when Kyra disappeared at the age of 16. And five years have passed, and now Tyler is 17. But Kyra is still only 16 and only feels and looks 16, not the 21 she should be. Maybe it's not the age thing that bothers some but the fact that she moves on from one brother to the other in what is five years to them but only days for her. Also not terribly icky to me, but to each his own. The thing is, Austin thought Kyra was gone for good, so he moved on. As Kyra remembers her time with him, it's glaringly obvious that they were never really all that good together anyway. Tyler, on the other hand, seems much better suited for Kyra and is willing to prove it to her. I thought they were actually very sweet together.

But the romantic aspect wasn't what led me to want to read this novel. I've always been intrigued by the possibility of aliens, so any mention of them in a synopsis has me summarily curious. However, the focus isn't on the aliens in this story until the latter third of the book. Instead, the story explores the strange coincidences Kyra keeps noticing and the misgivings she has regarding the five years she was missing. And it concentrates on how Kyra is handling (or not) the many changes that occurred while she was gone. Everyone moved on without her, and it's difficult for her to adjust, especially when it seems that the government wants to know more about what happened to her, too. I would have liked the psychological effects of those missing five years to have been explored in more depth, aside from Kyra's obsession with time and her refusal to accept the physiological changes in herself, but like I said, there's potential here.

I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher, but I missed the release date, so as I am wont to do, I downloaded the audio from my library so that I could get to it sooner rather than later. I'm a huge fan of Tavia Gilbert's narration of the Cat and Bones books from Jeaniene Frost, but as such, I was also worried that I would hear Cat in Kyra the entire time I was listening. It's often very difficult to separate a favorite narrator from a character they've voiced for years. In the beginning of the story, I did find it hard to do so, but as I got more engrossed in the book, I found myself listening to Kyra...not Cat and not Tavia.

There were some surprising twists to this story and shocking revelations, and I'm keen to see where Derting takes the story from here, now that it's morphed from the somewhat contemporary story it started as into a full-blown piece of sci-fi. I'm very curious to find out why the aliens want to make humans so hardy, why and what they're testing out on us. And I'm dying to know what happened to Tyler and Kyra's dad and even that creepy government official there at the end.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins), THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster), and THE TAKING trilogy (HarperTeen). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.

Find Kimberly:

Website | TwitterFacebook | PinterestGoodreads


  1. I'm glad you were able to enjoy this one Jen! I thought the romance was icky because she moved on so quickly from one brother to the next. I DNFed this one pretty early on so I couldn't say how the romance was later in the novel. I didn't care for the contemporary feel this one had since I wanted so much aliens. I liked the Body Finder books too! I think I only read the first 2...not even sure how many there are total. I should look into that :-) Great review as always Jen!

  2. I also got this one from the publisher, but I missed to read it. I hope I get around to it sometime soon because books that feature aliens are my favorite.

  3. I, too, had this, but never downloaded it...even though I thought I did. I loved the first two body finder books, but wasn't crazy about the third and still need to read the last. I am quite curious about this one. I also am intrigued by aliens. I'm glad you enjoyed this for the most part. I may wait until the series is out. Great review!


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