The Taken by Inbali Iserles

The Taken is an imaginative, intriguing account of the struggles a city fox faces. With a twist. Just as Isla, and her twin Pirie learn how to navigate in their seemingly confusing world, they are ripped apart. And that is when Isla learns that magic is involved.

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I like how Iserles takes the viewpoint of Isla, because there are hundreds of books about cats and dogs but rarely one from the point of view of the much resented fox. I think that this is useful, not only because of it’s originality, but because when we read it we feel a lot of sympathy for Isla and the foxes. In today’s society, people often resent foxes, due to their often violent and murderous nature towards their livestock, or the way they raid bins!

It is common now in novels to see a magic theme, which adds another edge to the plot, and The Taken is no exception. My only issue with magic’s role in the plot was that it seemed slightly forced at times,but then again it was very well constructed and thought-through. So the idea that foxes can essentially shape-shift is a bit odd, but when we learn that they can only change into other canine forms it seems justified and almost natural.

Isla the main protagonist, a cheeky fox cub who has a strong relationship with her twin. I think that at times Iserles made it easy to connect and empathise with Isla, yet at other times, this wasn’t done as well as I’d hope. (Spoiler alert!) I feel that Iserles could have gone into Isla’s grief much more, because although I felt sad, it wasn’t due to Iserles writing, but more because of the awful fact that entire family had been murdered and only one lost soul was left. I think that part of the story has the potential to  provoke much emotion yet the potential wasn’t explored.

I’d say that the audience for this book would undoubtedly be younger readers, so about 8-12 year olds. This is because I think that the style of writing and the plot content isn’t what YA readers are looking for in a novel. This is not to say that the Taken isn’t a good book, or doesn’t have the potential to be successful, I just feel that it is suited to younger readers!

I think that The Taken is a fabulous book, with a great plot and I’m sure it’ll be successful! I read this book as part of my reading challenge; to read a book published in 2015.


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