Fans of dystopian-adventure tale Taken (2013) can follow protagonist and narrator Gray on his dangerous mission to find potential allies in Group A, inhabitants of a distant experimental village/prison.
He’s joined on his long, wintry journey by his newly discovered father, both of his love interests—childhood friend Emma and daredevil rebel Bree—and several others. Along the way, they encounter Gray’s twin, who has captured Jackson, one of the replicated warriors that the evil leader of AmEast has been crafting. Jackson undergoes an unexpected transformation, perhaps showing signs of overcoming the programming that makes Forgeries so dangerous. But not all is what it seems among the travelers, although only the most canny of readers will pick up on this developing peril. Their destination provides no refuge—just further complication and pain. Blood abounds. While Bowman doesn’t revel in the gory details, few characters are safe from grievous, albeit survivable, injury or death. Gray often—annoyingly—agonizes over his divided heart—a conflict that, like many others, remains unresolved, setting up the next in the series.
A surfeit of enemies and a constant sense of danger heighten the suspense; it’s an almost grueling read. (Dystopian adventure. 12-18)