Author: Erin Bowman
Publication Date: April 16, 2013
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.
They call it the Heist.
Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.
Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
Review (Small Spoilers):
I enjoyed this book. It's action-filled, with an fascinating premise. It starts off with Gray's older brother getting taken by the Heist and then Gray preparing himself to be taken. You learn about life in Claysoot, which is interesting given the fact that there are no men older than eighteen. That means they grow up quickly, including fathering children, which happens through slating (being paired with someone for a month in order to have children). The couples don't necessarily have a relationship after the fact and the children live with the mothers. Gray doesn't really like slating, and part of the reason why is because he has always liked Emma. Then he starts having questions about Claysoot (his mother's letter triggers it), and the Heist, and about surviving the Wall.
He and Emma end up going over the Wall and then the story becomes what the world is like out there and what the Heist is and how to free the people of Claysoot. There are good guys and bad guys, although at first you're not really sure who is what.
I really liked the world-building aspect. The plot is original and unpredictable, with a lot of twists and turns. It was interesting having the main POV being male. I liked Gray, even if he is a bit selfish sometimes and impulsive all the time. He does what he thinks is right, although he doesn't always think things through. There is a love triangle but I didn't really feel like I got to know either of the girls well enough to be rooting for either one of them. Their characters could have been developed a bit more. The book ends with some resolution, but there is still plenty of story left to tell, and I'll definitely be reading the next book. I am curious about what Gray will do (regarding the love triangle) and how things in this world will turn out.
Posted by: Pam