Published May 4th 2009 by Chicken House Ltd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There are so many 5 star ratings for Stolen that I'm almost hesitant to write my less than enthusiastic response. The writing was lovely, the characters were dimensional, but I did not connect with them emotionally like this book seemed to require in order to fully enjoy this. The one thing that definitely comes across in Stolen is the emptiness and the hopelessness that Gemma was feeling. It was easy to understand how confused she must have been, yearning for human contact yet not being able to fully trust that he wouldn't cut her into pieces and feed her to his camel. The camel, by the way, was my favorite character in Stolen. I did like that the kidnapper was not shown as some tyrannical monster but that the reader was able to somehow sympathize with his motivations even while knowing his actions were unforgivable.
Mostly I just thought that it would be horrible to be kidnapped to such a barren landscape with no books, internet, or anything to distract from the kidnapper who keeps weeping at me. The kidnapper's emotional vulnerability was a bit much and annoyed me almost as much as the slow pace of the story. I was partly offended on Gemma's behalf and partly amused when she would try to escape and Ty (weepy kidnapper) would sigh in boredom and act like "Really Gemma? Again? Can you leave a good trail this time for when I have to rescue you....again." And he would just let her go without much protest knowing she wasn't getting anywhere.
I will say that Gemma was not completely docile, nor did she quietly come to terms with her fate. The Stockholm Syndrome aspect of Stolen was definitely well done and quite believable. I can see why so many people loved this story and I wish I could have liked it more. Ultimately, it was like the barren landscape it described, it's beauty was only visible to those who were meant to be there. As I said though, I really did like that camel!!
Rating 3 of 5 Stars