Title: Gravity (The Taking #1)
Author: Melissa West
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
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.
Gravity is the first book in The Taking series by Melissa West. It centers around seventeen year old Ari, who lives in the future. The humans share the planet with aliens – also called Ancients. They are able to appear human. Each Ancient is assigned to a human for the Taking – a process in which the aliens have to take antibodies from the humans in order to survive on Earth. You're not allowed to know who is assigned to you. They come into your room at midnight every night. The humans are supposed to wear an apparatus that makes it impossible to see anything during the Taking. However, on one particular night, Ari can't find hers. She closes her eyes, but can't resist from peeking. That's when she realizes that the Ancient assigned to her is a boy from school – a boy who is pretending to be human.
The world building in this book is pretty good, which is necessary for a dystopian book. It's always interesting to me to read books set in the future – to imagine what could happen to the Earth under certain circumstances. In this book, much of the civilization is destroyed because of WWIV. The Ancients and humans don't exactly live in peace. Both species want to take over the Earth instead of co-existing.
Ever since Ari found out that Jackson is assigned to her, they become close. They try to work together to stop the impending war between their species. A forbidden romance slowly blossoms, though I would have liked to feel a little more spark between these characters. I liked the characters though. Ari is training to be an Operative, so she is no damsel in distress. She's tough, intelligent, and likeable. Jackson seems genuinely caring and not like others of his kind. He is mysterious, and you can tell he is hiding something throughout the book.
The book had good pacing for the most part, but the ending seemed a little rushed to me. There was a lot of action and suspense toward the end. There's also a bit of a cliffhanger that will make you look forward to the next book. There is a little bit of gore, but not much. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy paranormal romance, sci-fi, and/or dystopian.
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