Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gravity (The Taking #1) by Melissa West

Title - Gravity
Author - Melissa West
Series - The Taken
Release Date - October 30th 2012
Publisher - Entangled Select
Format Acquired - eBook via online library

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.

From the get-go I knew I would like this book. The prologue sunk its hook into me and refused to let go until I read that last word of the last sentence of the last page. And who could blame it? I'm going to go ahead and point out how extremely easy it was to read this great story despite it having so many new twists and turns in ever other chapter. There's an alien race, protests for equity from humans AND for the underprivileged humans  (where have I heard that before?), chaos, confusion, and the dawn of new hope.

Ari is a strong main character, and unlike most teenage female characters you find in books now, she's not overly whiny about her life; nor does she think the world revolved around her. She knows that, as the chief commander's daughter, she is expected to go down a certain path in life and takes the responsibility to meet those expectations. I can respect that about her. Most of all, I can't help but like her because she doesn't get on my nerves; plain and simple. Ari's best friend, Gretchen, is alright, but I do wish her presence had a little more "oomph". I'm glad that Law became more involved as the story progressed. He's a pretty cool guy when it comes down to it.

However... I saw that thing with Gretchen and Law coming... and it annoys me.

What came as a surprise to me is how much I ended up LOVING Ari's mom!  Something about her, as a mom and as a female, just spoke volumes to me. She's an interesting person who regardless of the destruction of mind, body, soul, and world that goes on around her, is able to stand her ground an find things in life to live for (besides her daughter).

“I watch her for a few moments, studying the intensity on her face, the smile that never leaves her when she's working. I wonder if I'll ever feel that way, love my work and all, or if I'll always look severe... like my other parent.”

Even Ari is impressed! I'm tempted to beg West to write a novella just on this awesome lady.

One of my favorite concepts of this series is the idea of the Taking itself, where a race called the "Ancients" takes over the bodies of humans age ten and up. It's a great conception that I wish the author had gone deeper into or had explained more creatively than it was. Maybe more will be uncovered in the second title? The Ancients themselves are a pretty cool species, too. They are peaceful creatures, but if they need to blow up a couple of facilities to make a statement about having equality on earth, there will be no hesitation.

While reading Gravity, I had many questions; some went unanswered, others were just me judging the character's decisions. Although it was a good read, I do wish it was less choppy and more complex.

Gravity (The Taking, #1)
Link Out - Amazon ˚ Barnes & Noble

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