Friday, 7 June 2013

Book Review: Gravity (The Taking - Book One)

Title: Gravity (The Taking - Book One)
Author: Melissa West
Published: 2012
Genre: Science fiction, Young adult, Romance

This story is about 17 year old Ari Alexander. One night, she opens her eyes and sees Jackson, her academic rival, hovering above her and absorbing her antibodies.
This concept alone might seem disturbing but there’s a perfectly good explanation.
Due to humans own destructive nature, earth was driven to a near apocalyptic age. That was when the aliens, known as the Ancients, attacked. Earth was in no condition to fight and therefore a treaty was made. The Ancients help rebuild Earth. In return they take peoples antibodies to help them survive on Earth. So every night at exactly midnight, all humans will put on a patch that will numb all their senses and wait for their designated Ancient to arrive.

Not as creepy anymore right? I personally don't mind the whole aliens wanting to take over Earth thing but the antibody absorbing thing, I still find ridiculous. What I do think is the author purposely chose this kind of relationship so the aliens are not invasive or murderous - unlike The Host, (refer to Alex's review) where humans are cut and aliens inserted. So if I had to choose between The Host kind of aliens or Gravity kind of aliens, I’d go with the Gravity type.

Keeping in mind Gravity is aimed at young adults, I enjoyed it. If I was still in my teens, I would have loved this book. There is your female lead, Ari. A daughter of a commander, she has been taught at a young age to fight and is top at her school in combat. There is the male best friend, Lawrence and then there is Jackson, the love interest. A typical ‘young adult’ love triangle. I have mentioned before I am not a fan of female science fiction writers as majority focus too much on the love side of the story. But in Gravity, this triangle does not take centre of the story. Yay.

It is very hard not to compare Gravity to The Host. The storyline is completely different with the exception of aliens taking over earth and the lead falling in love with an alien. In The Host, the lead who is an alien falls in love with a human. I am happy to say the aliens in Gravity resemble humans and have no ‘physical’ just slight mental differences. This makes the love between Ari and Jackson much more plausible and less disturbing.
(I just had to get that out. This is just my prejudice towards Stephenie Meyer so I apologise to anyone who is a fan of hers. But it’s true, how can anyone fall in love with a bright shiny thing that attaches itself to the inside of a human?)

Melissa West makes a advanced hierarchy of our future which is refreshing. Depending on your parents you most likely will end up with their same title/career. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be what you want. The future is bright and better although there is a certain aspect in the novel that, if ventured further, might reveal a darker place.
I say it is refreshing because there have been a few novels and movies released which depicts the future being dark, dry and uninhabitable.

Gravity is a ‘light’ novel and a enjoyable read. Unfortunately this is Book 1 of The Taking series. Book 2, Hover, will not be out till the 6th of August. If you like to read series in one go then keep The Taking in mind and wait till all books have been published. I am kicking myself for not researching about this book before reading it. I will definitely be chasing Hover up and will add more to this post when I have read it.

Terri's Rating: 3.5/5

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