Review Blog

Dec 03 2011

Taken Away by Celine Kiernan

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2011. p/b. ISBN 9781742377520.
(Ages 14+) Celine Kiernan's mastery of imagery and ability to enthrall, will keep the young adult spellbound in her new novel Taken Away; added to this mix, is an edgy and faintly disturbing tale of  'Loss. Theft. A Haunting.'
Sixteen-year-old twin brothers, Patrick and Dom, live a normal family life, that is, until the fire. What follows will surprise - Dom is overtaken by a ghost. This is a story of Patrick's desperate race to save Dom from 'the grey' before he is lost to his family forever. It is no coincidence that the twins save an old man from drowning in the ocean, and Patrick comes to the horrible realisation that his brother is possessed by another man's soul.
It is impossible not to feel the chilling cold of the haunted or the indescribable grief of the twins drawing apart as Dom's painful removal from the present becomes more certain. Wartime battle scenes ramp up the tension as the novel approaches its climax.
Although there is minimal swearing in the opening pages, this does not underpin the character of the novel. Kiernan sweeps the reader along, weaving the 'other world' into this novel with ease; the novel slips between dimensions in a truly believable manner. With 255 pages, it is an ideal length to hold the interest of secondary readers age 14+.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it as being suitable for placing on school library bookshelves. It is a well-crafted introduction to a darker genre of fantasy prose.
Colleen Tuovinen

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Booker Prize 2019 longlist
Miles Franklin Award 2019
2019 Branford Boase Award
2019 UKLA Book Awards
Children's Laureate's charter
2019 Locus Awards Winners
Little Rebels Award 2019

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Value of School Libraries