Review: ‘The Taking’ by Kimberly Derting

Review: ‘The Taking’ by Kimberly DertingThe Taking by Kimberly Derting
Series: The Taking #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by HarperCollins on 04-29-2014
Format: Hardcover
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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?

For starters, you all should know that I love Sci-Fi. Ever since I read Ender’s Game freshman year (the typical Sci-Fi book everyone loves, I know), it has been one of my favorite genres. So needless to say, I was eager to read The Taking. The synopsis piqued my interest (How can someone not age in 5 years??), so I put it on hold at the library and settled in to read.

The first thing I should note is that I read this book in 2 sittings; I read each Part of the book (there are 2 separate parts) in each sitting. This is not something I would recommend for this book, mainly because of the book’s pacing.

The pacing of The Taking is rather strange. In the first part of the book, Kyra is ‘taken’ and wakes up 5 years later unchanged. This part mainly deals with Kyra returning to her life to find that while she hasn’t changed, everything else has. She slowly (read: very slowly!) begins to settle into her ‘new’ life, but feels alone and at odds with everyone she used to care about. Enter Tyler, her now-ex-boyfriend’s little brother, who ‘remembered her always’ and is now Kyra’s desperately-needed friend, lifeline, and maybe something more.  This entire first section had more of a contemporary feel than anything else, and the plot line progressed quite sluggishly. While I did feel invested in her getting back her life, I was frustrated that the scientific explanation for anything that had happened to her was so slow in coming, including only more questions that strung the me along.

Then came the second part of the book, and everything changed. Kyra finally began to discover why she was unchanged and why she had been ‘taken’. The plot line began moving at a breakneck speed as her Tyler trekked all over looking for answers, and finding more and stranger ones than they may have wanted.

While the last half of The Taking was certainly faster, I  couldn’t seem to reconcile the gaping differences between the two halves. All of a sudden everything was happening much to fast, and in a formulaic way that made it hard to be surprised by anything that happened. I could practically see the author’s planning as she kept introducing new aspects of the effects of Kyra’s ‘taking’.  Even the romance, which I had applauded  in the first half as being honest and real-life-butterfly-inducing, began to bore me later as Tyler became more unrealistic in his feelings and words.

By the end of the novel, I was almost uninterested in what would happen to the characters or anything about Kyra’s ‘taking’. Only part of the Sci-fi reasoning had been revealed, but none of it seemed all that original nor did it seem to really set The Taking apart from other books in the genre. I finished the book to give myself closure, but I don’t think I will be reading any sequels.


I was not a fan of the pacing, and the book eventually lost my attention.

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