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April 16th 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?
What would you do if you were turning eighteen and knew you had to experience the Heist? The Heist is a phenomenon where men aged eighteen are removed from the town of Claysoot in a blinding, earth-shaking flash of light. No one in the town knows what happens to their sons, brothers, and husbands...but they do know that the ending is probably not the stuff of fairytales. Gray's brother's Heist is approaching early on in the book and Gray isn't handling it all that well. He desperately wants to save his brother, but has no idea how to go about it. When Blaine's Heist takes place, Gray is depressed for weeks afterward, the only light spot in his life, Emma, a girl he was wanted all of his life. When Gray is slated to Emma (slatings occur to encourage matins between people), he thinks he might be happy...but he soon finds that he must find out what happened to Blaine or die trying, especially after reading a suspicious letter left behind by his late mother. With Emma following close behind, Gray intends to cross over the Wall and try to find out what truly happens to boys after the Heist.
I had a hard time liking Gray's character. He punches and fights a girl early on in the novel and is either moody or grumpy for large portions of the book at a time. His odd attraction to quiet Emma was a little off-putting, it felt fake. When he switches rather suddenly to another girl...I just didn't like him that much. His indecisiveness over whether he liked Emma or Bree was by no means attractive. Emma's character was similar to Gray in that she knew that he liked her, but she ignored it. She wavered between full-on liking him and hating him; her attitude became annoying fast. Bree was a the tough girl and probably one of my favorite characters, but she would have been perfect if she had stayed away from Gray and done her own thing. Other readers may have different opinions, but I felt that a lot of the characters were predictable and difficult to truly connect to.
The plot follows the typical dystopian novel. The reader will learn intriguing things concerning Gray's background and true relationship to Blaine as well as the secret behind the town of Claysoot. The author throws in a few typical dystopian factors such as a deadly virus and some sort of evil army led by the maniacally evil character. I do enjoy a good dystopian, but felt like this was only an "ok" type of read. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.
Guest Reviewed: Krystal @ Live To Read