Monday, April 27, 2009

Review: Taken, Edward Bloor

Edward Bloor

Official Summary:
BY 2035 THE RICH have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and kidnapping has become a major growth industry in the United States. The children of privilege live in secure, gated communities and are escorted to and from school by armed guards.

But the security around Charity Meyers has broken down. On New Year's morning, she wakes and finds herself alone, strapped to a stretcher, in an ambulance that's not moving. She is amazingly calm - kids in her neighborhood have been well trained in kidnapping protocol. If this were a normal kidnapping, Charity would be fine. But as the hours of her imprisonment tick by, Charity realizes there is nothing normal about what's going on here. No training could prepare her for what her kidnappers really want . . . and worse, for who they turn out to be.

What the Pros Say:

Booklist: "This page-turner will grab readers at the outset, and its unexpected twist at the close will send them back through events to look for embedded clues."

PW: "Deftly constructed, this is as riveting as it is thought-provoking."

What I Say:

I loved the first novel I read by Edward Bloor, Tangerine, but felt that his followups to that book were either overly preachy or just plain weird. With Taken, however, I finally found another of his books that I could really sink my teeth into. This one's another story of a dystopian future, here with rich children protected on all sides from the horrors of kidnapping, and we're presented with a world in which the rich are increasingly held prisoner by their own wealth, separated from the real world by necessity and greed.

In this world we meet Charity Meyers, whose eventual kidnapping forces her to reevaluate the things she has taken for granted all her life. Her conversations with one of her captors help her to come to terms with her new situation and to reconsider her old life, until she's not certain that she could ever be the same Charity again. Bloor's work is typified by his satirical approach, and in this one he's finally gotten a good balance between enjoyable narrative and social commentary. If you're interested in general futuristic dystopias, pick this one up for a good fun read with a genuinely surprising twist.

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