Sunday, December 20, 2009

TAKEN by Norah McClintock

The disappearance of two girls from a small town has the community on high alert. When one the girls is found dead, parents are issuing strict words of caution to all teens about traveling in groups and not staying out after dark. Those words of caution go unheeded when Stephanie, angry at her mother, decides to take a shortcut across an empty field.

The next thing Stephanie knows, she is waking up in a deserted wilderness cabin with her hands and feet tied. Alone in the filthy, abandoned cabin, Stephanie realizes she needs to take action quickly. Who knows when her kidnapper will return? Using a nail, she loosens the rope on her wrists and is able to free herself. Grabbing a few scant items, she heads off into the surrounding woods.

Stephanie's back-story is slowly revealed as she stumbles along in search of safety. After the accidental death of her father several years earlier, her distraught mother sent her off to stay with her grandfather for the summer. While living with him for three months in his backwoods home, Stephanie learned to appreciate nature and the survival skills needed to exist in those primitive conditions. Now those skills are coming in handy as she attempts to survive and find help.

While trudging in what she hopes is a westerly direction, Stephanie's memory regarding her kidnapping begins to return. However, as hard as she tries to remember, all she can piece together is that someone jumped her from behind and apparently drugged her and left her tied up in the cabin. As angry as she remembers being at her mother and her mother's boyfriend, Gregg, Stephanie wishes she was home safe and sound.

Author Norah McClintock's TAKEN is a different twist on the usual survival story. Most such stories feature boys rather than girls, and the added mystery of a kidnapping increases the suspense. Although, the pieces to Stephanie puzzle are fairly easy to put together, TAKEN offers a fast-paced adventure that will interest most readers.

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