, , , , , , ,

About Taken by Mary Brock Jones

Fix your planet or we’ll do it for you, warns the Alliance—and then we’ll take it from you.

Ethan Winter wants nothing more from life than to run his family’s solar energy business. But that business has been attacked, he’s been imprisoned and brutalised, his planet threatened, and to protect his company he must work with a woman set on fighting him every step of the way. The planet Arcadia’s environment is dangerously unbalanced and the Alliance is demanding they fix it or lose their home world. The Alliance of Human Worlds doesn’t make empty threats.

Union organiser, daughter of a workshop supervisor and a fiery politician, Sarwenna Beren is prepared for a fight from the moment Ethan Winter arrives at her remote desert town surrounded by rumours of change. He’s rich, powerful and heir to the family that owns the town’s main business, a massive solar field stretching deep into the desert. His arrival threatens the jobs of all those who have put their trust in her. Sar isn’t about to let him shut down the one place keeping her town alive.

Then a boy goes missing in the desert and they are thrown together in the search for him—only to come under attack from a strange beam and an unknown flyer that nearly kills them both. Ethan and Sarwenna must find out who is behind the mysterious attacks and why. It doesn’t help that both have their own suspicions about who is helping their attackers. Suspicions that must be kept secret, especially from each other.

You don’t betray family.

Review of Taken

Taken is not merely a great sci-fi adventure. It combines a futuristic setting with strong characters, romance, danger and a surprisingly contemporary theme.

In a time when environmental change is ever in the news, this timely Eco-SciFi novel (and it’s predecessor Torn) is a microcosm of the bigger picture that we are currently experiencing on earth.  Man’s use of the world’s natural resources is endangering the environment.  

The bulk of this story takes place in Sulwith, a desert community that runs and supports a huge solar farm.  The technology of the farm is destroying the environment. As the temperature rises, the desert grows, sandstorms worsen and the local flora and fauna are endangered. In another part of the world, the over production of a particular commercially profitable tree species is having opposite but strangely similar consequences.  Increased rain, stronger storms, landslides and the endangerment of the local indigenous species.

While the Alliance of Human Worlds has dicated that the planet must be fixed or there will be a penalty to pay, the families that run the two major corporations are digging in because they believe their livelihoods are threatened.  Yet some see the wisdom of perserving the planet even if the path to that effect is both unclear and difficult.

In Taken, Solaris heir Ethan Winter really wants to effect change, but he is up against his father, the corporation and possibly other foes.  Sarwenna Beren represents the corporate employees, the innocents whose lives and livelihoods stand to be drastically changed if the corporation is forced to changed.  As they work, sometimes together and sometimes at odds, Ethan and Sarwenna come to an understanding that working together may be the only way to win this unwinnable war.

The author has created a richly detailed setting that depicts a world on the brink – of change or ruin.  Both the natural enviroment and the people that inhabit it are in peril.  The very long story (about 600 pages) is perfectly paced, alternating between the overall environmental conflict, the conflicting efforts of the interested parties and the personal relationships of Ethan, Sarwenna and their families. Those who have read Torn, will appreciate the appearance of Fee and Caleb.  However, Taken can be read as a standalone.  Both books were phenomenal!

Thanks to the author who provided a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.


Add the Taken to your Goodreads shelf:

Purchase Taken series: