Author: Melissa West
Series: The Taking #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Release Date: December 18th 2012
Book Length: 284 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
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.
This was such a great alien book; I’m now actively searching for more to read. After the awesomeness that was the incredibly popular Lux series (Hi Daemon!), I was a little nervous about reading Gravity because no matter how much you want to enjoy a book if it’s similar to another series that you love, it’s sadly nothing in comparison. However I can happily say that Gravity was able to completely stand out on it’s own and rarely gave me the feeling of it being too similar to other books.
In Gravity humans and aliens are completely aware of each other’s existence, in fact they are even heading towards co-existing. Each night humans must wear a ‘sleep mask’ that results in temporarily paralysis while an alien: ‘Ancient’ performs The Taking, basically feeding off the human. Ari the protagonist has been used to this ritual for years although her dislike for it hasn’t lessened, she would much rather think that her Ancient is some hot dude protecting her than a creepy alien that crawls through her window each night. One night is all is takes for Ari’s world to come crashing down because one night she loses her sleep mask minutes before she’s due for The Taking and must rush into bed and close her eyes…. Pretty obvious what happens next, I think we’d all peek? Yes? She does but she doesn’t expect to see her fellow 'supposedly human' classmate Jackson Locke above her.
Ari should report Jackson to her father but first she needs some answers. How long have the Ancients walked among humans? Why isn’t the government aware? More importantly, are they here to take over? Ari’s plans of turning Jackson in comes to a standstill when he begs her to help save his people although it will come at a grave cost; she must betray her friends, family and country. Confused and longing for more answers Ari goes along with the plan for now in hopes to finding an alternative solution that doesn’t end in a war between the two species.
Ari was a great heroine to read about, her father: the Commander has rigorously trained her since she could walk to be mentally and physically fit and ready to take over his position when she comes of age. Ari has also been betrothed to the President’s son: Lawrence, her good friend to ensure a strong leadership for humans in the future, so not only does Ari face the pressure of becoming what her parents wants her to be but she’s also forced into a marriage and title with huge responsibilities. Jackson was so mysterious throughout this book, always keeping his secrets close and expecting a lot from Ari with the little information he provided her. However what I loved more was that he wasn’t a bad boy, he was trying to protect his people and it doesn’t hurt that even though he was this jacked up alien with abilities, Ari could still kick his ass, ha!
The romance was lovely; it took center stage when it needed to but was also left in the background when the action came closer which I appreciated a great deal. It was also interesting to have all of my basic assumptions be completely wrong, nothing is what it seems, there's a constant mystery to everyone's motives. Gravity was pretty plot driven and managed to keep my attention from start to finish. Although I would have liked a bit more background on Jackson, his people and The Taking, I still flew through this book and from the ending I’m almost certain that I’ll get all those answers in Book 2.
Overall Gravity was a brilliant debut by Melissa and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes me... hopefully to a galaxy far, far away. Sorry, I had to.