Frozen (Taken, #2)

First Lines: We have been walking for two weeks.  Nothing tails us but snow and crows and dark shadows of doubt.  The days grow shorter, the evenings frigid.  I thought I’d be able to handle the cold.  I was wrong.

You have no idea how badly I wanted to just leave this post titled “Frozen” just to see how many people clicked on it and went, “Wait a minute…I don’t see Olaf here!”  It was seriously tempting.

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

When Gray escaped Claysoot, the enclosed town he was raised in, he imagined he’d find a better world.  But he was wrong.  He found a world where boys are soldiers and a dictator will stop at nothing to keep his rule.  The rebellion is growing, but it isn’t powerful enough yet.  Gray has joined a group of rebels as they head out on an icy journey to find more allies.  But the line between allies and enemies is thinner than Gray could ever imagine…

Alright.  So I really liked Taken, and that’s a big part of why I picked this book up when I saw it on the New Releases shelf at the library.  (I would have read it sooner or later anyway.)

What I really liked about this book was the depth it added to characters like Gray and Bree, who are my favorites in this series.  I mean, it’s one thing to watch them grow throughout a normal book.  I do it all the time.  But there were seriously defining moments for so many of the characters in this book.  They all have to make tough decisions and live with the consequences, good or bad.  And through that, I felt like I really got to know the characters on a deeper level.

I also liked how this book fits into the overall series.  (No, I have no idea how the next book is going to go.)  What I mean is that I can see hints of where the next book is going to go.  I saw how it built on things I remembered from the first book.  This book carved out its own little slice of the story and ran with it.

…I feel weird saying that, considering that’s what like, all books do, but for some reason, it fits with this book more than others.

I also liked the themes I saw emerging in this book.  Are people worth second chances?  What are people really capable of?  Why do we underestimate what people can do?  I felt that these were all worthwhile questions to ask, and this did a good job of playing with those.

Finally, I thought this story was deceptive at times.  One particularly big twist slipped right past me.  Caught me totally off guard.  Yet a lot of the twists were glaringly obvious to me and I’m not sure why.  I think part of it is that I read a lot and I’ve gotten used to spotting these.  Because of that, some of the twists quickly became predictable.  I knew that X was going to happen soon because it was already being hinted at.

But like I said, one big twist got past me.  So it’s still plenty deceptive.  In a good way.

Overall, I thought this was an adventurous read with complex characters.  I still think this is a good series for boys.

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