Review: Why You Were Taken

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Book Title: Why You Were Taken
Author: JT Lawrence
Series: Why You Were Taken #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Date Read: 08/02/16
Pub Date: 05/12/15


Jo’burg city is shimmering with a bitterbright tension, the perfect playground for a scarred, creative – and extremely efficient – assassin.
Kirsten is a roaming, restless synaesthete: an awarded photographer with bad habits and a fertility problem. Her life has been defined by what she calls her ‘Black Hole’: a painful hollow feeling where her heart should be.
Seth is a brilliant chemgineer and loyal member of Alba: an underground biopunk Truther organisation that exposes corporate bullies and black clinics. He has the hollow feeling too, but fills it with other things, like the drugs he designs, and women in ridiculous shoes.
Kirsten and Seth don’t know each other, but they seem to be connected; they feel echoes of one another.
At once familiar and bizarre, adorned by litter bunting and broken pavements, South Africa in 2021 is beset by a relentless drought and a fertility crisis. When Kirsten’s journo friend Keke uncovers some cryptic information, they team up to investigate, and discover that Kirsten’s parents were actually her abductors, and that she is one of a twin.
A strange, muttering woman with dog hair on her jersey approaches Kirsten with a warning, and is found dead shortly afterwards. The police attribute it to the Suicide Contagion.
The warning leads Kirsten and Keke to the Doomsday Vault and a hit list of seven people – and Kirsten’s barcode is on it. The twins are re-united – ironically – by the poisoned list, but as the bodies of the other victims begin surfacing they realize how real their jeopardy is.

This was such a fun read! Totally outside my typical comfort zone, but I’m so glad I decided to try something new. I’ve received word from the author that there is a sequel in the mix; I’m not sure I titled the series correctly but you get the gist. I honestly don’t know what to even compare this to, as I’m very inexperienced in this sort of science fiction/dystopian/thriller genre. The glue to this story for me was the characters; they are what truly made this a memorable read in a vast sea of futuristic stories that seem to be all the rage these days.

We pretty much begin with a bang as this book is gripping from page one. Our main character’s parents have been murdered, she’s trying to conceive a child unsuccessfully, and then finds out that in fact, she was a kidnapped child that grew up with foster parents (and none of that is even a big twist as we learn this early on). Slowly, Kate receives pieces of information that cut her to the core, making her question who she really is and if anything or anyone in her life can be trusted. She becomes reunited with a family member along the way, which was one of my favorite aspects of the book, as this family is twin. She finds out that the man she adores isn’t who she thought he was, and that there is something far more sinister than meets the eye involving a massive corporation, willing to wipe out anyone who stands in their way. AND THAT’S NOT ALL. There are more twists and turns that are gigantic, but I’m just going to leave it at that as to not spoil anything.

I have a good number of friends who moved to the states from Johannesburg and this made the setting even more vivid to me. I loved imagining what this city could be in the future and (ok I’ll admit) even put some of my friend’s faces in for certain characters. It was really fun. Tehe. If you aren’t typically a dystopian fan, I’d still recommend giving this a try, as it doesn’t have a heavy sci-fi feel to it; much heavier on the thriller side. I’m excited to see where this storyline takes us and am so glad I gave this one a go!

*I received my copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you Janita for hooking me up!

3 thoughts on “Review: Why You Were Taken”

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