by Dee Henderson
This review can also be found on The Christian Manifesto!
Releases on April 28!
Dee Henderson has been my favorite Christian Fiction author for as long as I can remember. I first fell in love with the O'Malley's and then read every single one of her books. When there was a six year break between books before Full Disclosure came out in 2012 I was admittedly concerned she wasn't going to write any more books! But Full Disclosure and the other books that have released since have been more than worth the wait and Taken is no exception.
Henderson writes with great attention to detail. As I read Taken I can tell that every single line is well thought out and even more impressive is the massive number of characters she writes about throughout all of her books. I loved opening Taken and running into many of my favorite characters again. Somehow she is able to weave all of their stories and careers together and it provides such a wonderful level of continuity in her books even if they aren't part of a series. Between the detailed characterization and descriptions I also love the ability she has for such complex plots. It is impossible to get bored in Taken because you are truly discovering new parts of the story up until the very end.
I really loved Matthew and Shannon. Shannon's tenacity, bravery, and memory were astounding. I was equally impressed with Matthew's patience and wisdom. This book does not have the level of romance that some Henderson books have but I wasn't at all disappointed. This book would have been ruined by any higher level of romance and I'm glad she didn't force the issue.
Typically in Henderson books one character comes to Christ and the book is a great testimony to the power of prayer and witnessing but Taken is written from a different perspective. In this case all of the main and secondary characters are strong Christians already but Matthew and Shannon have some very deep discussions about God giving us free will. They also talk very frankly about how God is always with us. I really appreciate how Henderson never minces spirituality in her books. She could write excellent non-Christian books but chooses to make her books a powerful influence in people's lives for Christ.
Taken will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. From the very first pages to the very last pages you are in suspense. I don't know how she does it but she manages to take a plot line and perfectly space it out over more than 400 pages. I really loved how Shannon fed Matthew information a little at a time without making it seem too spread out. Shannon's story is truly amazing and while it is a heartbreaking story Henderson handles it beautifully giving readers just enough information to be intrigued without being morbid or overbearing with kidnapping, theft, and murder involved throughout the book.
These themes may have been used for countless books in the past but only Dee Henderson can take a book about a kidnapping and bring it to this level. I was amazed at how many of her previous characters reappeared in this book and cannot wait to go back and re-read their stories.
Anyone who has ever read and loved a Dee Henderson book needs to read Taken. I would also recommend her books to people who enjoy Irene Hannon and Dani Pettrey's books. I'm still holding out hope that someday someone will make a movie out of one of her books but until then I'll just have to settle for reading them over and over again.
Now that I've finished Taken I'm feeling quite depressed that it is over! I cannot wait for what Henderson will come up with next.
Bethany House provided me with a complementary electronic advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.