What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Taking is a smart and well-told science-fiction thriller about a high school student who loses five years of her life seemingly overnight. The premise is intriguing and carefully explored, and Kyra and her new boyfriend, Tyler, are depicted with wit and insight. There's more strong language than one might expect -- "hell," "pissed," and "damn" are employed frequently; "s--t," and "f--k" are used a time or two, usually in scenes of great tension. Violence in the book is more often implied that shown (including a suicide), although there is some gunplay. In terms of sexual content, 16-year-old Kyra spends a lot of time fixated on the attractiveness of her boyfriends, especial Tyler. She shares a bed with Tyler, but no sexual intimacy is implied.
What's the story?
Following an argument with her father, 16-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind the Gas 'n' Sip, unsure how she got there and even more surprised to learn she's been missing for five years. Her parents have split up, her mom has a new husband and toddler son, and Austin, her high school boyfriend, has gone off to college with her best friend. Kyra herself has not aged a bit, and she displays some disturbing new abilities, including rapid healing powers, leading to interest from some sinister government agents. The only person Kyra can trust is Tyler, Austin's younger brother, now 17 years old and still attracted to her. As they retrace her steps and try to figure out the mystery behind her disappearance, Kyra and Tyler grow closer, but they must eventually face the otherworldly power that turned her life upside down.
Is it any good?
THE TAKING is a smart, involving science-fiction thriller with an intriguing premise and a cast of interesting and sympathetic characters. Author Kimberly Derting keeps the suspense cranked high without descending into pointless chase scenes. Rather, she concentrates on Kyra's emotional turmoil as she tries to figure out why and how her entire life has been upended. The sci-fi conspiracy plot begs the question of why there's no media attention focused on a teenager who reappears after a mysterious half-decade's absence, but most readers probably won't be bothered by that plot hole. Also problematic is the way in which Kyra and Tyler constantly remark on how wonderful and special the other is. The romantic subplot is bouncy and usually fun, but the mutual admiration is laid on a little thick.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what parts of daily life might change over the course of five years. How would it feel to lose half a decade of your personal history?
Why do so many conspiracy theories -- and science-fiction stories -- often include extraterrestrial visitors to our planet?
What reasons do governments give for hiding facts from their citizens?
|Topics:||Great girl role models, High school, Space and aliens|
|Publication date:||April 29, 2014|
|Number of pages:||368|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||14 - 17|
|Available on:||Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook|