“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?”
Thoughts: It was bound to happen. The paranormal genre has capitalized on vampires, werewolves, the Fae, gods and goddesses, witches, mermaids, time travel, psychics, angels, demons, and more. It was only a matter of time before someone added aliens to the line-up. Cue Kimberly Derting’s The Taking.
However, before one rushes to judgment, Ms. Derting never explicitly states that the force behind the bright lights and those taken and returned truly are aliens. A reader may believe just that based on theories passed around throughout the story. However, Kyra never discovers the truth, and so readers can only speculate on what that truth is.
Sure, there are some faults with the story outside of the possibility of alien abduction. The love story is odd and slightly unnecessary. There is a sweetness to it that is lovely to watch unfold, and the instant attraction and heat make for a pleasant distraction. However, their relationship does nothing to further the story. Every action of support Tyler takes for Kyra could easily happen among friends and not young lovers. That being said, this is the first book in a series. There could be a very important reason that Kyra and Tyler’s relationship has to be so serious almost instantaneously that will reveal itself in future books. In fact, one can hope that this is the case. Otherwise, it becomes just another example of a female heroine that must have a male by her side for protection.
The action, however, is quite exciting, albeit a little theatrical. It is fast-paced and does not leave much time for the plot to bog down into the truly absurd. The romantic elements may be a stretch, but everything that happens to Kyra upon her return fits with the few questions to which readers have answers. If readers can accept the entire premise of the story, they will have no problems delving into the individual scenes and situations Kyra and Tyler face and ignoring the more melodramatic moments.
As preposterous as the idea may be for readers, The Taking is very appealing. The unresolved mystery about Kyra’s disappearance and return remain interesting as each answer raises more questions and possibilities, especially around Kyra’s powers – both known and unknown. The story takes an unexpected twist towards the end which serves to magnify the speculative possibilities. Because of the unfamiliar premise, the distinct lack of concrete answers, and the myriad of questions that arise based on the last chapter, The Taking piques readers’ imagination and curiosity and gives them just enough to keep wanting more.