Review: Gravity (The Taking #1) by Melissa West
Author: Melissa West
Series: The Taking #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
Pages: 298 (eARC)
Format/Source: eARC/Received from Publisher
In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war. (Cover photo and synopsis from Goodreads)
A Bit of (Unnecessary) Worry…
I have to admit, I was a bit worried going into this book. Not because of the synopsis or cover or anything regarding this book itself–simply because I’ve read a couple of alien books lately and I’ve been pretty disappointed with them. But from the first few pages I knew that I wasn’t going to have that problem with Gravity.
Melissa West pulled me in with the premise, and she didn’t let me down with the story and the characters. Nor did she do what I’ve been seeing a lot of these days: introduce a new world, term, or creature and then fail to explain them until nearly the end of the book. I mean, I love mysteries, and I’m all about being partially in the dark as to what’s going on in a book, but lately it seems like a lot of authors are leaving out crucial information altogether, or they’re waiting for too long to actually explain said information. Luckily, West didn’t fall into that category.
A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That…
I really felt like I was reading a melding of so many awesome YA novels while reading Gravity. I caught influences from Divergent, Harry Potter, Delirium, and The Hunger Games. Ari reminded me a lot of Tris from Divergent, although I do think she is her own, unique character. I know not everyone is like this, but I personally love it when I catch glimpses of an author’s personality and influences within the novel itself.
Loving the Action, Themes, and Clever Writing…
There was a lot of action throughout this novel, and you all know how I love my action. Plus twists and turns and OMG that ending! And I LOVED the fact that it wasn’t black and white as to which side was good, or which side was bad. There were no clear-cut villains and heroes when it came to the adults in the story, and Ari and her friends were complex as well. And I love how this book really shows that the enemy in war, no matter how foreign, are still people with families, with hopes and dreams and values not unlike our own. And that, when we believe we are better than another group simply because we were born in a certain place, to certain parents in a certain society that believes a certain way, while those “others” happened to be born in a different place, to different parents in a different society that may or may not believe a different way, we are not only doing a disservice to those who we perceive as “less than”, but we do a great disservice to ourselves, and create a great injustice in the world. It makes me love this novel and Melissa West that much more, knowing that she feels the same way.
And I think West wrote the story in a very clever way, as to leave herself wide open with lots of paths the plot could take, as well as allowing for tons of conflict. There were several times in the story where I found myself writing notes like, “Ooooh, then this could happen, or maybe this…” I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in the rest of the series!
My rating for Gravity, by Melissa West:
5 huge stars. Melissa West hooked me with that synopsis, then kept me glued to the story with all the extremely clever twists and turns and the wonderful overall message of the story.