Official Stuff –
Author – Melissa West
Pages – 284
Publisher – Entangled Teen
Series – The Taking
In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
My Rating – 3 ½ Stars
*I received a free copy of this novel through the Arcycling blog*
In the future an alien race called Ancients saved the Earth after humans destroyed it in a war. As part of a treaty to terraform the Earth back to its somewhat natural environment every night; the Ancients came down to earth to “Take” from the humans (still not entirely clear on what that involves but it has something to do with making the aliens more human). Humans have a special eye patch they are required to wear during the Taking to keep them from seeing what the Ancients are doing.
You are never ever supposed to lose your eye patch. So what does Ari do? She loses it.
Ari is the daughter of the Commander, who is basically the head of the military for the whole country (I believe. It’s also like the 2nd in command to the President or something) which means she will one day be Commander. She trains every day, with her father and at school. She’s kind of a badass. She’s the head of her class. Her only competition is Jackson Locke.
The same Jackson Locke that is hovering above her bed the night she loses her patch. Surprise! He’s an Ancient. And he needs her help.
The humans have always been told that the Aliens are the enemy, they are dangerous, and they are just waiting to take the Earth for themselves but Jackson tells a different story. The Ancients are peaceful and just want to share the Earth and live with the humans.
The leaders of Earth are planning something and Jackson needs to know what it is. He wants to prevent a war between and Ari being the daughter of the Commander and one of the future leaders of the world; she can help him. She has access to government secrets.
When the leaders of the world fail to meet the leader of the Ancients terms, the attacks begin. Ancients are killing humans. This only furthers the ideas that the aliens are the enemy but when Ari starts digging into the government secrets, she discovers that maybe the humans in charge are the enemy.
So, I’m generally not into sci-fi alien stories. I’m more of a fantasy girl. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The premise was definitely interesting; it was a nice novel for someone that’s generally not into that genre.
There are a few plot holes and there is a pretty extreme case of not enough being explained (I’m still confused on what the Taking is. And a few other things that I won’t mention because they are a bit spoilery). And there was some insta-love (can that die already?!) but it wasn’t as insta as some over YA books.
Also, quite often during reading this book, I was putting it down to do other things. More than once I was reading and wondered what was on tumblr. One time I decided to braid my hair in the middle of a paragraph. What I’m trying to say is, the book drags a bit. The last few chapters pick up and man, if the pacing and the storyline had been the same through the whole book, this would have been an amazing novel.
I liked Ari as a character. A lot is expected of Ari, being who she is and she’s told more than once everything she does is a reflection of her father but her ability to see things from the other side is great. She’s pretty damn independent and she doesn’t really take any bullshit. She halls off and punches a President’s son for grabbing her ass. She’s also pretty heroic in the face of death, thinking about other people and not just wanting to save herself.
Jackson…he’s a little shady. There’s a lot of secrets being kept from humans and Ancients and I don’t know if I trust Jackson or not.Y
Overall, it was an okay start to a series. Not the best but good enough that I’m interested in how it plays out. I will be checking out these second in the series, Hover, which comes out August 13th, 2013.