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The Takers

(The Oz Chronicles #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Never say their name! If you do, they will find you! If they find you, they will eat you! Thirteen-year-old Oz Griffin knows it's his fault that the Takers are eating everyone in sight. He also knows that a comic book written by a neighborhood boy is the key to defeating them. But every time he and his band of survivors try to read the comic book, the Takers draw closer. C ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published July 18th 2005 by Booksurge Publishing
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Showing 1-30
3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  418 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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R.W. Ridley
Feb 18, 2009 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, free-on-kindle
I knew from the minute I saw the cover I was going to like this book.It claims it "recalls both Stephen Kings The Stand and L Frank Baums The wizard of Oz" Umm, hello... Stephen King was the only author I would read when I was a teenager and The Wizard of Oz is my all time favorite movie. Then imagine my surprise when I start reading the book and theres a German Shepard in there. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE !! This book was meant for me.
I couldnt put it down. A great mix of suspense, horror and humour all
Shawn Davis
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oz Griffith was a bully. He didn't bully everyone, but he did bully one person in particular - Stevie, a boy with Downs Syndrome.

Oz's bullying drove Stevie to suicide and put in motion the end of the world. When the Takers appear, eating any human who notices them, Oz is passed out with mono. When he wakes up, it seems as though there's no one else left on Earth.

Gradually, he gathers a band of followers, human and animal - all dedicated to protecting the most unlikely member of the band, a newb
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Mercedes by:
Shelves: favorites
Excellent book, never read anything like this series. Read in one sitting.
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was so pleasantly surprised by this story. This book is a journey through a wildly imaginative and creative mind. It was different and exciting and I really loved it.

I would call this a young adult novel, but not too young. It is scary in places. It is also funny and sad and adventurous. The main character is a thirteen year old boy named Oz who begins the story by telling the reader a heartbreaking confession of how he bullied another boy with down syndrome.

Oz is honest that he was not kind t
Misty Ray
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-best-horror
This shouldn't work. It really shouldn't. The series is about the end of the world brought about by several children with Down's Syndrome who have been taught how to "imagine into being", ie. make their fantasies real. That being said, we have children, a baby, a warrior gorilla, giant ant-men that appear and eat you when you say their name, a comic book that can predict the future, a former pro-footballer, a giant ant-queen creature, a leader who may or may not be insane...It shouldn't work. An ...more
Lo Barnes
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Eveyone!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Oz, a normal 13 year old boy, wakes up in the bottom of his closet, covered in clothes. The last thing he knew as that he was sick. As he emerges from the closet, the only thing alive he can find in his house is his dog. Electricity doesn’t operate. All the people, with a few exceptions are gone and he has pieced together they have been ‘taken’. So off he starts from Tennessee to his uncle in Georgia. Or at least he hopes his uncle is alive. On the way he gathers a few people around in his journ ...more
Apr 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reread this book as I finally got the other books in the series and it's been seven years since I last read this one. Still really enjoyed it and am excited to see what's going on in the next books.
Read this whole book in a couple hours time. It was a pretty easy read and fairly short. Add on the fact that the story itself is quite engaging, and it made a few hours of reading go by pretty quick. This book is The Road (Cormac McCarthy) meets Life as we knew it (Susan Beth Pfeffer) all comb
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Seriously, I haven't had this much fun with a (YA) novel in a very long time. I'm always skeptical when someone compares a book to Stephen King, but this is actually warranted for this book. Although, to be honest, it combines a lot of things I love: horror, post-apocalyptic setting, sci-fi, and fantasy elements.

I can't say that this novel does anything new with any of the trappings of those genres, but it does combine them in a wonderful way. It also pulls in the th
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, which is the first in the Oz Chronicles series. A young boy wakes from a illness in a post-apocalyptic world. He soon finds other survivors and discovers that he is a key player in a mission to restore Earth to it's former state. Though this sounds somewhat generic, there are a few twists to the normal "random nobody saves the world" plot. The Takers and the Délons are an interesting concept for villains. I had trouble putting the book down, finishing it in a day, and ...more
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As a fantasy fanatic, I am pleased to say that this is the best book ever! I have read it three times already and it gets better every time! I love the diversity of characters and not just human characters. I recommend this book to any other fantasy lover or anyone who enjoys adventure books or road trips. READ IT!!
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I picked this up at the library becasue my eye doctor suggested iy...I'm sure it helped that his son is the author.
I really liked the way the story flowed on a YA level.
But what I really liked was the way he talked about our small towns here in Southern TN and didn't leave out any details. He was true to direction and look of everything.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it liked it
The first line will grab you - "We killed the retarded boy." This horror (yet not gory or gruesome) story has a bit of mystery. You learn bits and bits as the story progresses, and you can't help but cheer for the protagonist as he attempts to atone for his mistakes.
Nicole Forsgren
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite series to date. A very creative and unique idea for a story, rich with its own mythology. Ridley has created characters that you love to follow. I can't wait for the next installment.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good read, very entertaining even though it's weird. Great young adult story since there's a lot about how treating people badly has consequences. It's fun and crazy and scary.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was pretty good. Kind of scary and creepy, and yet had some funny moments. I want to see what else is in the series.
Imen Stitches
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
This was a young adult horror/sci-fi book in my opinion. It was pretty good and written so I could still enjoy it. It moves quickly as I finished in a day.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty good read. Reminded me of Stephen King told from the point of view of a 13 year old.
Lisa Nocita
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Great page turner for YAs. Very enjoyable! Good plotting and character development. And, a nice message too. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

I read this on a cross country flight so I am not sure if I would have finished it if I was reading it at home. It wasn’t bad but wasn’t great either.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The young adult's Stephen King

Ridley has done an excellent job of taking children down the yellow brick road and straight into Hell!
Or is it all just a dream?
Caleb Blake
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
This review is cross-posted from Papyrus Independent Author Reviews (

The secret is not to let them know you're aware of them. Keep quiet. Keep moving. And whatever you do, don't speak their name.

The Takers is set in a contemporary Earth which has somehow been invaded by creatures that have devoured nearly all the population. It has a post-apocalyptic feel, a landscape with empty houses and abandoned cars strewn along highways. Th
The Window Seat Blog
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review can also be found at our blog!


Ok, so before I begin, I would like to say that I thought the blurb was somewhat misleading. Yes, JK Rowling made a pretty profitable franchise, but this novel should not be deemed similar to those works when picking it up. Just a forewarning to those who might pick this book up (which I think they totally should). But hey, if we're making comparisons, allow me to make a contrast: this book was in NO WAY like Harry
Pop Bop
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
An Excellent Example of "New Bizarro"

Some of the most interesting work being done in fiction is in the older-middle-grade young YA category. And some of the best work there is from self-published and small press authors. This book is a great example of that type of New Bizarro work.

The story starts out in a straightforward, if odd, fashion. Oz awakens from an illness to find that everyone is gone. He wanders his abandoned neighborhood and learns that some sort of evil entity has arisen and has "
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was not too sure what i was heading into when i found "The Takers" on the kindle fire but something about it just caught my eye, the idea of Wizard of Oz meets the stand just sparked something.

The story jumps in pretty fast as we build characters from the start that i can feel for, As time goes on im nervous that they may not make it in the final battle. But also we do find ourselves with a quick band of baddies that turn into companions this part did feel a bit odd but not nearly as odd as th
Marissa Pedroza
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is why I love my Kindle. I would never have read anything in this genre but because it was available in Kindle format at Kindle price, I thought I'll give this "kiddie" book a try. I was completely amazed at how good it was! I could not put it down, it was not "dummy down" for the reader it was a great read with well crafted characters. I am looking forward to reading Book 2. Every time I think this is where he (the writer) is going to get sloppy, he surprises me with something very in ...more
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is one of those rare finds that makes you wonder how you never heard of it before. It has "movie" written all over it. It was well written, well edited, vivid, and a total adventure right from the start. The only bad thing I have to say about it is that a couple of times the story seemed rushed. For example, Oz (our protagonist) meets some new people, a very short time has passed and all of a sudden they are willing to die to help him in his mission. It's a small thing but it bugged me ...more
Lynne Lowe
What an awesome story! Oz is a very believeable character. The rest of the characters are fantastic too. It flowed so smoothly with lots of excitiment on every page. It gave me the creeps at times, but I couldn't put it down. It's considered a book for young adults, but I'm sure all ages will enjoy it. The ending of book one was a shocker to me. I was truly surprised. That's exactly what a great book should do. I can't wait to get number two in this series.
Debra Jo Burnette
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really don't know how to review this book. It was very juvenile but very intense. Even though at some points I found the story extremely outrageous, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I think it was ahead of its time in the bully craze and I hope kids learn from that aspect. When I read the last page all I could say is okay gotta get the next book!!! I can't wait to see what happens next.
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R.W. Ridley is the author of the IPPY award winning novels The Takers: Book One of the Oz Chronicles, and Delon City: Book Two of the Oz Chronicles. His titles also include The Pure: Book Three of the Oz Chronicles, The Land of the Dead: Book Four of the Oz Chronicles, Lost Days, and The Man Who Saved Two Notch. The Takers is the winner of The Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awar ...more

Other books in the series

The Oz Chronicles (6 books)
  • Délon City (The Oz Chronicles, #2)
  • The Pure (The Oz Chronicles, #3)
  • The Land of the Dead (The Oz Chronicles, #4)
  • Banshee Worm King (Oz Chronicles, #5)
  • The Gore: Book Six of the Oz Chronicles