The Taking by Kimberly Derting

April 28th, 2014 Kimberly Review 107 Comments

28th Apr
The Taking by Kimberly Derting
The Taking
by Kimberly Derting
Series: The Taking #1
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

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?

I was excited by the premise for The Taking the first book in a new trilogy by Kimberly Derting. I am a science fiction geek at heart and love the concept of aliens. The Taking ended up being a book that left me feeling conflicted. It was an easy read and aspects delighted me but an equal number had me rolling my eyes and skimming.

The Taking reminded me a little of the 4400. A science fiction made for tv series featuring people who were abducted and then returned; sometimes year later. The protagonist Kyra Agnew disappears in a blinding flash of light only to wake up behind a dumpster. Five years have past and she hasn’t aged. The plot is filled with question, men in black, fascinating information about Kyra and, a strange man with answers. I found this mystery compelling. Derting slowly delivered details as Kyra learned them notching up the suspense. I have so many questions. Where did they go? Why were they returned? What the heck is with the fireflies? What are the motives behind some of the characters? Yep, this part of the book had me hooked.

My issues and struggle with The Taking lies with its  characters. They annoyed me, felt flat and honestly I didn’t care about any of them. All of the characters felt two-dimensional. Their reactions to events did not ring true. Derting added a romance that had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head. It was complete insta-love. Sadly, I never believed it. Sure, there were cute moments but it also felt a little creepy. Kyra’s inner turmoil and the author’s attempts to validate their connection only made things worse. The characters kept me from completely slipping into the book and at times I just had to set it down. Kyra’s mom was a strange bird, and I just couldn’t understand her reactions. She seemed cold. Her Dad was an interesting character but we had very little interaction. Sadly I might have been behind the romance if it didn’t feel weird and rushed.

The ending of The Taking was suspenseful and set things up for the next book. While the science fiction freak in me is curious and wants answers, the rest of me isn’t sure I want to deal with these characters again.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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107 Responses to “The Taking by Kimberly Derting”

  1. Madiha (Maddy)

    I’ve seen so many reviews about this book saying exactly what you are…I was pretty excited to read this book when I first saw the premise but now I really don’t know whether I’ll enjoy it. A strong point that makes me like books is the characters, but if these ones fell flat, I know it won’t be a fun read for me. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was a tough one Maddy. On one hand I liked it and the other I wanted to run 🙁

  2. Lindy

    I loved the 4400, and own the whole series! I’m so sad The Taking fell flat. It sounds like it had such promise too. However, a story can’t really work well with flat characters. Great Review Kim!

  3. Cyn

    Oh I totally agree! I liked the concept but the characters didnt really do it for me (except for Tyler…but even than he’s too perfect). I think I might read the next one anyway, of at least skim it hahaa. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am glad I was not alone in my assessment. Thank for that Cyn and I liked the 4400.

  4. Dani

    Thanks for the honest review. After reading it and the synopsis I think I will pass on this book.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah this was a tough one, some aspects just rocked and others *cringes*

  5. Born Bookish

    Everyone seems to have mixed feelings on this one, especially about the romance (which does sound quite odd.) Hopefully I’ll be able to look past all that and enjoy the good mystery and aliens!

    LOVE the new blog design!!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think if you know going in you will enjoy it more. Thank you, I am so glad you love my new look Amanda 🙂

  6. Mary

    Gah! Insta-love! WHY? Such a bane on a reader’s existence!! I’ve heard some conflicting reviews on this one, which makes me really want to check it out so I can see for myself.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehehe..I often read books where the reviews fall to both sides Mary..I cannot help myself. I will say the mystery angle kept me reading.

  7. Ginny

    When I was reading the blurb I was thinking it reminded me of a TV show but I couldn’t remember which one. I’m glad you mentioned 4400 and saved me from having that banging around in my head all day. 😉 Sorry this one didn’t work for you. I’m pretty sure that I would have the same issues you did so I’m going to skip this one.

  8. Jeann

    I’ve heard many reviews about this book lately and most seem to be unsatisfactory, which is a shame because it had potential. A shame about the flat sounding characters, looks like the search continues for a great sci-fi YA book. Lovely review Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I had high hopes and parts were awesome. Thanks Jeann 🙂

  9. Melliane

    Oh I see this one around a lot lately but all the reviews are quite mixed. I know I need to try a book by the author but as it was sci-fi I didn’t even try. I’m just sorry it wasn’t really for you, it’s always so difficult when we have a problem with the characters…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was sadden, I mean the cover and alien aspect rocked, but the characters..meh 🙁

  10. Andrea

    The premise reminds me a bit of an 80s movie I loved as a kid. I’m sorry the characters didn’t work for you. I’ve seen several reviews that express that same opinion.
    Thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Andrea it’ nice to hear I am not alone, but sad too 🙂

  11. DannyBookworm

    Ah I saw a few reviews from people having similar issues.. Personally, I really loved it and especially loved Tyler, but I see why the romance might put off a few people too!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Tyler was cute, but I just didn’t connect with them. Now the alien angle..loved it! Which is why the higher rating 🙂 So glad you loved this Danny!

  12. Michaela

    Aww man I am sorry that characters didn’t do it for you. Such a great buildup just to be let down. Well I am going stracht this on off the wishlist :). Thanks Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really liked the alien aspect Michaela but yes the characters came up short for me

  13. Giselle

    Ooh first of all love your new design! Sorry I haven’t been around as much we’re in the process of building a house and selling our current one and it’s taking all my time 🙁 But yeah… this book – t was not a huge fan either though its entertainment value was okay but nothing that lasts, you know. It was just very forgettable and fun for the moment but that’s all. And yeah what was up with Kyra’s mom?? And her dad who was the most interesting to me was given no airtime. Boo!I do want to try her Wings series though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Awe thanks Giselle and congrats on the home situation…very exciting and stressful. Kyra’s Mom was just weird…LOL

  14. Amir

    The blurb is definitely interesting but I wish the insta-love romance wasn’t added in the mix, but focused on character development instead. I am interested with the alien abduction thing but maybe I’ll wait and see your reaction on the second book of the series. Great review Kimba! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That sounds like a good plan Amir or perhaps a library book 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I struggled and almost did 2 or 2.5, but I did like the mystery aspect..a lot 🙂

  15. Christy

    I read her other book The Pledge and liked it, but didn’t continue the series. I can imagine the characters being flat, which is a major no-no for me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was a shame because the whole alien thing was interesting. This was my first read my Derting.

  16. Michele-A Belle's Tales

    I was so curious about this one because I absolutely LOVE her Body Finder series. The conflicted feelings you share in this review are exactly why I haven’t been in a huge hurry to get to this one — and this seems to be the general consensus. 🙁 Oh, and I loved the 4400 — I was so sad when that show ended. Great review, my friend.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      *waves* I loved the 4400 too, and the mystery/alien aspect was interesting. I am hoping book two is stronger.

  17. Alise

    Too bad about this one! I am a huge fan of character driven novels so this one would definitely not work for me. Plus, if the characters are bad it makes it even worse to believe in a romance, especially insta-love 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I can go either way, although I prefer to connect with the characters. Thanks Alise 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was my first read by her LuAnn, and I liked the pacing and mystery.

  18. Lily

    Crap this one seems like a mess and i had been eagerly anticipating it and now i don’t even know if i want to read it. The minute i read “insta-love” i banged my head against the desk (not literally but like you get the idea) i’m just not a fan of insta-love at all. It sucks that your real issue with this book was the characters because obvouisly their vital to the story and now i’m just really worried about whether or not to read this one. *sigh*
    Great review!
    Lily @ lilysbookblog

  19. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh eye rolling and skipping… not good. I’m so not sure about this one now. I think I’ll wait to see if you read the second one and if it improves from there. I can handle a less than spectacular beginning if it gets better as the series goes on.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree Melissa a solid second book with character development would improve my opinion.

  20. Debbie Haupt

    Kimba, thanks for this very honest look at the novel, Even though it wasn’t your favorite the way you talked about it makes me want to read it anyway.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I enjoyed aspects of this, so like I said I was on the fence..but the mystery was compelling and I want answers.

  21. Lily B

    I have seen so many awesome reviews on this one, it is nice to get a somewhat neutral review. Similar to 4400? I think I would enjoy that, I loved that series hum.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved the series too, and yes aspects were awesome. I hope you enjoy it Lily 🙂

  22. brandileigh2003

    It was the “age difference” that bothered me about Tyler and Kyra at first. But I think that Tyler probably had a crush on her that just escalated when he saw her again. I think that Kyra’s confusion like mine overpowered good sense and he believed her and stood up for her, drew her pictures and got her out. Sure, it happened really fast, but for some reason, I really enjoyed the romance.
    BUT I too was wanting answers to all of those questions–but I have a feeling with that ending that we will find out in the next one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah that was kind of creepy ..the age thing but then you realize she is the same age. I am glad you enjoyed the romance Brandi. I do have lots of questions and want to know more.

      • brandileigh2003

        On other hand, I can see where you are coming from, if you don’t connect so much then the quick moving relationship is so much more annoying.

        I just wonder if it is more of a scientific thing or if the aliens are trying to build some sort of army?

  23. Nyx

    Agreed! All the characters felt like they were reading lines from a script. The romance started out sweet and cute and escalted way too quickly and Tyler, which I had liked at first glance just turned pathetic. I’m incredibly dependent on characters and these annoyed me to no end. I wanted to strangle Kyra pretty much throughout the whole book. Not even the mystery of the fireflies did it for me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo but I am so curious about those fireflies. We use to collect them in the evening as kids. There would be hundreds of them in the field by the lake.

  24. Heidi

    I think I am going to have to skip reading my ARC. So far most of the reviews are falling into the not so great category and I am all ready in a bit of a slump, so I will pass. Thanks for steering me clear.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo I hope your slump passes and no this is not one to get you out of it and I know all the questions would make you crazy 🙂 thanks Heidi

  25. ShootingStarsMag

    Sorry you didn’t connect to the characters. That’s usually an important part of me liking a book, so I don’t know if I’d like this one or not…

  26. Glass

    I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one who instantly thought about 4400 – it does remind of that show.
    I’m sorry it wasn’t more enjoyable read for you.
    Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ha, I liked that show, my kids and I used to watch it. Thanks Glass 🙂

  27. Jessica

    Nice review! Sorry to hear that you weren’t completely wowed by it. Still gotta give it a try myself though. Hope you live your next read though.

  28. Michelle

    Insta-love will most likely kill my interest in the book unless it is written artfully. I’m a little wary about the book even though the premise is interesting.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It depends on how it is written, and I tend to handle it better in romantic suspense. Thank Michelle 🙂

  29. Candace

    I know that some others have felt the same about the romance and the characters but I felt strangely okay with it. I know that the relationship stuff was fast but I think that due to the situation I kind of understood. I remember as a teen and going through some serious crap I ‘fell in love’ (not really) with people super fast just because they were there for me. I guess the test for me would be how the rest of the books play out with stuff. I did find Kyra irritating at times but it didn’t bother me too much. The whole alien thing and all that is fascinating! I NEED to know more!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am glad you were able to connect with the romance Candace. I am curious about the aliens 🙂

  30. aurian

    Hmm I guess if the heroine does not know that 5 years have gone, she would still be very much in love with her boyfriend and not falling in love at once with someone else.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She realizes five years are missing and her old boyfriend is now a senior in college..but yeah it all happened way to fast and I just couldn’t feel it. Thanks Aurian 🙂

  31. Christa

    First of all I love the new design!

    I’m definitely intrigued by the premise of this book but I didn’t enjoy The Pledge so I’m a little wary of this author.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was my first read by her Christa. I do like her pacing and the suspense angle, I may read book two before deciding. Thanks 🙂

  32. Christine

    Hmmm…yea…I don’t think I would even try this one until the other books are out, if I try it at all. I think I will stick with The Pledge series that has been giving me the side-eye from my shelves for a while now, as my first Derting attempt.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Not a bad idea, sometimes characters develop and things improve. I really want to know more about the alien angle.

  33. Carmel

    I’ve read mixed reviews for this book, and I’m not a big fan of Sci Fi, so I don’t think this one is for me. And, I definitely don’t like the sound of annoying characters; I can overlook many things, but an irritating protagonist is a deal-breaker.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Carmel, and yes if science fiction doesn’t appeal to you, I don’t think you would enjoy it.

  34. Lauren

    Oh no, not being able to connect with the characters definitely makes it hard to enjoy a book, and if there is any amount of eye-rolling, that’s not a great sign that I’m going to love it. I’m on the fence about this one, I’ve read a few reviews that have me excited, but also a few like yours that call attention to mediocre characters and insta-love. I think I might put this on the back burner, at least for awhile. Thank you for your honest, thoughtful review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      If I could have torn the book in half and graded the alien mystery aspect it would have been a 4-5 but the characters..gah. I just never connected and they didn’t ring true to me. Thanks Lauren 🙂

  35. Jenny

    Sorry this one didn’t quite work for you in the character department Kim! I agree on Kyra, she was a struggle for me at times as well, but by the end she had grown on me. The mystery I thought was really well done, I’m glad you did as well, though of course I’m not a patient reader and want all my questions answered immediately! Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am glad she grew on you Jenny. I didn’t dislike her, I just never got attached.

  36. Nick

    Kim! I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the only one who didn’t love this book. Every other person I know who has read this book has loved it and I just can’t see why. I guess it’s the whole different people have different tastes.
    “My issues and struggle with The Taking lies with its characters. They annoyed me, felt flat and honestly I didn’t care about any of them.”
    I completely agree with you. These characters were so annoying. And gosh, the romance! *gags* It was cheesy and happened so fast. Plus, I didn’t get the guy’s obsession with this girl. -_-
    Anyways, I’m curious about what’s going to happen in the next book too, but I don’t think I’ll be picking it up.
    Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      *we are not alone * See you are curious too..the alien aspect was good which is what made me so conflicted. Thanks Nick 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah it was disappointing, although I never felt like doing a DNF, since the alien aspect compelled me to read on.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo I am a total science fiction geek, but yeah if that doesn’t appeal to you Finley this isn’t for you since the characters were lacking.

  37. kindlemom1

    Oh no! You didn’t fall in love with the characters? Bummer! It sucks when that happens. I am sorry you had to skim parts Kim, that is never a great sign.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I know, but I did love the mystery aspects Ali 🙂

  38. Jessica

    Boo hiss. Any time I hear about a new ALIEN book, I start getting ridiculously excited about it (b/c ALIENS), but this one . . . maybe after the series wraps-up (if it gets better). I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you were hoping 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I know right?!? I am the same way Jessica and the cover is so cool..and well parts were awesome. *shrugs*

  39. Jenea

    I loved Derting’s Body Finder series, and I was hoping that this would as amazing and I would enjoy it as much, but I just didn’t. The characters were an issues with me too, just couldn’t put my finger why. Maybe the next book will be better. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was my first experience with her, and I did like the science-fiction aspect.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Since it isn’t a standalone, I think the relationship could have built to romance. Yeah I get that as a kid he crushed on her..but nope too soon, too fast. Thanks Melanie 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      *nods* It is always good to hear I am not alone in my feelings. Sometimes, as much as I love this genre I worry that my age is a factor..your assessment assures me it is not. Thanks Bieke 🙂

  40. Blythe J

    The characters sound pretty flat…but the sci-fi elements make me still want to try and read it. We will see. I do think the cover is cool, however.
    Love your review though!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The cover is wicked Blythe and really ties into the tale. I loved the sci-fi elements and just wish the characters had more depth.

  41. Livia

    Yeah, the character issues you listed make me generally reticent about YA. Though the sci-fi part of it sounds totally hooking, but if I’m going through the world via some MC I’m not getting into at all, it’s pretty much an unhappy ride 🙁

    Loved the review, and I’m SO loving your new look! Dunno if it’s super new, but it’s my first time seeing it, and me loves it hardcore! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have read quite a few titles in the YA genre that have beautifully fleshed out characters and interactions that feel genuine. Sadly this was an interesting story that had the potential to blow me away. We do see some growth in the mc, but not enough to truly impress me. Thanks Livia 🙂

      • Livia

        I’m totally with you, there are YA titles, plenty of them, with awesomely fleshed out characters, no doubt! But those I find interesting tend to be the more mature kind of characters, even if they’re YA by age, you know?
        Either I click with the character or I don’t, in which case the book can have awesome everything else, I’m not going to fall in love with it, sadly. 🙂

        • kimbacaffeinate

          Ah, I totally agree Livia, which is one of the reasons I rarely read contemporary YA..LOL

  42. Cait

    Eh, it really really sucks for me when the characters are pretty splat. I LOVE awesome characters! They’re the intense drawcard for me for books. I actually haven’t heard a lot of good things about this one yet, so it’s not high on my wish-list. 😐 Great review, though!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was hoping for more Cait, and like I said I was split in my assessment of this.

  43. Michelle

    Ugh, I was pretty excited for this one. We have really similar tastes in books so I’m not sure if I want to pick this up now. I’ll probably wait until the library has a copy. I really love the cool sci-fi angle though and I’m glad to see that you thought that part was pretty good!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was bummed Michelle, but compared to others in this genre it just didn’t stand up.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, I understand Linda but have to admit the alien mystery was cool 🙂