In the last of the Taken trilogy, Gray sets out with a few of his Expat buddies to discover what villainy is taking place at the Compound, an island fortress run by the evilly dictatorial Frank.
He’s accompanied by, among others, Blaine, his twin brother, Clipper, a 13-year-old computer whiz, and Bree, one of his previously established pair of love interests, although Gray has finally conclusively settled on her as his one and only. As the mission begins, Emma, his other love interest, unexpectedly appears and lures Gray and Blaine into the enemy’s hands with horrid consequences. Although she is clearly not a Forgery—one of the vast number of cloned warriors Frank has produced—her motivations remain unclear. Taken to the Compound, Gray is subject to a nasty episode of torture and encounters the somewhat flawed Forgery of a previous ally, Harvey, who may hold the key to defeating Frank. Violence, murder, blood and gore are abundant, but suspense is palpable as well. Gray’s first-person, present-tense voice keeps the narrative edgy. Since Bowman is all too willing to kill off key characters, there’s a constant, strong sensation that no one will survive the trilogy, ensuring a pervasive sense of danger. Even though in-depth characterization takes a distant back seat to action, the ride is compelling enough.
Gripping but not at all for the faint of heart. (Dystopian adventure. 13-18)