Monday, April 28, 2014

Frozen by Erin Bowman (Taken book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the trilogy, Taken, Stop! I don’t want to ruin a fantastic series for you.

“A world built on lies is bound to collapse.” – “The time has come for them to make a stand.”

Gray Weathersby, along with a few other rebels including his father, Bree and Emma are heading west to see if they can find Group A. Gray is still unable to forgive Emma for moving on so quickly after they were separated and there is tension between them, especially with Bree now thrown into the mix. Gray now has feelings for Bree and a good old triangle has formed. Group A is a forgotten and supposedly abandoned part of the Laicos Project that Gray and Bree believe is inhabited. Ryder is hoping the Rebels can use it as a base and find survivors to join their cause. After two weeks of walking through fridge temps, they come across a town that shouldn’t be there. Owen scans the scene and determines that they will make camp there that night. They notice a ton of crows flying over the town. Entering the town of Stonewall, they see that it has only been recently abandoned. Walking through the snow, Bree is the first one to discover the bodies beneath the drifts. The group immediately spreads out to search. 

Gray and Bree head towards a church. They find a starving dog standing guard and decide to enter. The pews are filled with dead bodies and despite the cold weather, the building reeks of decay. Bree discovers a young boy but is unable to get near him. He tells Gray and Bree that everyone in the town died from the sickness. His mother said that it came from a city under a dome in the east. They willing brought it to their town knowing everyone would die. Grey and Bree know that Frank had developed a virus.  They had gone to Taem in an attempt to try and steal the vaccine against it. The boy doesn’t trust Gray and Bree because they are carrying weapons, just like the ones who brought the sickness. Bree is a little aggressive with the boy when they hear “Stop!” shouted behind them. It is Emma. Emma has an easy personality and it’s not long before Aiden and his dog walk with her for some dinner. He lets Emma know he doesn’t like the girl holding the gun (Bree). Emma lets him know that in time if he wants to tell her what happened he can but not everyone with a weapon is out to hurt him.

At dinner with the rest of the group, Aiden begins to open up. He has counted the days since the men in black uniforms first came to take their water. They began hauling it off; saying the rest of the country needed it. When a man from the blacksmith shop tried to stop them, he was shot dead. The next morning, people started getting sick. His mother locked him in his room with the only jug of water and a loaf of bread and told him to stay there. She told him to lock the window and keep it closed. He thought that he was being punished but as the days went by, he watched everyone in town die. Only when things were quiet, did he open the window and leave. He asks Emma if they are going to take him with them and she says yes. Soon, an argument breaks out between Owen and Emma. She tries to draw Gray into it. Thinking over the consequences, Gray says that the boy will die if they leave him behind. Owen agrees but only until they find a populated town where he can stay.

An hour before dawn, Aiden's dog is barking. Struggling to find his boots, Gray is the last one outside. In the beams of the flashlights, Gray sees his brother Blaine is holding a gun to the spy’s head. Owen doesn't trust the situation and pulls his own gun. Blaine explains that he left three days after them to tail any Order spies that Frank may have sent out. He proved himself capable. Ryder relented and let Blaine be the Rebel spying on the Order spy. He caught up to him just an hour ago outside of town, loading a gun. The spy, named Jackson, quickly gives up information to save his neck. If they kill him, Frank will just send another. If they keep him, he can help them get around populated areas. He is more interested on keeping his life than the success of the mission. Owen tells Blaine to knock Jackson out.

Owen keeps his gun trained on Blaine. With all of Frank's forgeries out there, Blaine must prove who he really is. He is able to name several scars and how they happened on Gray's body. He appeases Owen. Owen looks for the scar where Blaine had his own tracking device removed. Owen claps his son on the shoulder and announces that the spy is right. He will be a valuable asset to them, once his tracking chip is removed. The group must quickly leave because Frank will send someone else. Blaine and Owen are thrilled to be back together, even if Blaine might not be quite healed from his head injury.

When the group makes camp one night, Sammy tells the story about how "chaotic things were between the Continental Quake and the Second Civil War." He talks about why Robert Taem designed the first domed city and how a fight over fresh water caused the West to seceded from the East. Frank's father was the leader of AmEast until AmWest killed all of Frank's family in their attempt to kill members of the Order, Frank then began the Laicos Project to build soldiers for his army. No one has been able to stop him. He has also continued the work of his father and the citizens of AmEast and the Order remain loyal. Blaine is playing a game with Aiden when he reaches out to touch him. Thinking Aiden is being harmed, his dog attacks Blaine. Gray and Jackson are able to get the dog to release its grip. Emma comes to tend to the injuries and flashes a light in Blaine’s eyes. She asks if he is okay but just complains that the light was too bright. She doesn’t seem convinced.

Gray is tired when he goes on his guard duty shift. He hears rustling and at first thinks it is Bree leaving his tent to go back to hers. The he realizes that the sound is coming from the opposite way. Gray goes to investigate and sees Blaine and Jackson. Blaine is holding a knife out to Jackson demanding that he kill the dog. Jackson doesn’t want to because Aiden will be crushed. Gray asks what is going on and Blaine says nothing. Gray admits that he knows what is really happening, why he can’t just tell him. Blaine laughs and says he couldn’t tell him or anyone else either. They hear footsteps approaching and Emma comes into view, telling them that they will soon wake the entire camp. In an instant, Blaine grabs Emma and uses her as a shield, holding a knife at her throat. Gray pulls up his bow and arrow on instinct. Blaine shouts that he has figured it all out but Gray is confused. He figures that the dog was sick and now Blaine is too. Emma stammers that she knew something was wrong with both of them. She tells Gray that their pupils don’t dilate correctly and the reason begins to dawn on him. Blaine and Jackson are both Forgeries and Blaine was easily able to convince his twin. Gray lets his arrow fly, striking Blaine in the forehand. He drops to the ground. The camp springs to life. Gray begins checking the scars on Blaine’s body. The scar from the arrow wound on his thigh is missing. Bent over sick, Owen drags his son’s away from the scene.

The group questions Jackson and he tells them the whole story. Everyone wants to kill him right then and there. Jackson says that they would be fools. He is a “technologically enhanced soldier overloaded with secrets.” He contains maps, computer passwords and access codes; things they will need to make their mission a success. Gray isn’t ready to but his story but Owen says that he will live for now.

Who knows where Gray’s group was to be able to infiltrate two Forgeries? Will Gray be able to forgive Emma? Is Jackson telling the truth about the depth of his knowledge? Will he be able to alert Frank to their location and plans? Are there hidden survivors from the Order hiding out in Group A? Can Gray’s group reach Group A before being found out by the Order? And in their harsh surroundings, who will Gray be able to trust? Who will Gray decide to be with; Bree or Emma?

Readers will be left hanging for book three in 2015 to see how Gray’s battle will end.
Visit Erin Bowman’s website.

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