TITLE: The Taker
AUTHOR: Alma Katsu
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 437 pages
PUBLISHED: Gallery, 2011
SOURCE: Received from Publisher for Review
FROM GOODREADS: True love can last an eternity...but immortality comes at a price..
On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her . . . despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.
Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement. Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity. And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation lies with Dr. Luke Findley.
Part historical novel, part supernatural page-turner, The Taker is an unforgettable tale about the power of unrequited love not only to elevate and sustain, but also to blind and ultimately destroy, and how each of us is responsible for finding our own path to redemption.
MY TAKE: Debut author Alma Katsu has come onto the literary scene in a big way. Her new novel The Taker is one of those books that will fit on the shelves of several different genres: historical fiction, paranormal, thriller, fantasy, romance, mystery, etc. I really am having a hard time choosing just one niche to put it in on my own bookcase.
I must admit that I didn't know exactly what to expect from this book. A lot of the really early hype likened the author's style to that of Anne Rice and a few others. While I can see why they might mention these other authors and/or stories, it might take away from the fact that this is a truly original tale. Ms. Katsu has taken elements of myth, history and fairytale to create a new masterpiece for readers to delve into and not want to return from.
The Taker is a fantastic story with multi-dimensional characters that drive an exciting and intriguing plot. It is definitely a dark story, but with the odd moments of brightness. The author has a beautiful writing style that flows effortlessly from one character to another and from the past to the present and back. I like the technique of flashing back into the past to tell the historical aspects of Lanny's life. It is an effective way to educate the reader of the events that led her to be in the present sitting in Luke's emergency room, asking for his help.
Lanore/Lanny is a courageous woman who has been through hell. Even though she has 200 years of bad choices behind her, she still holds out for love and what it promises. Adair is very seductive and I can see why he would be so hard to resist as well as easy to despise. I did actually feel bad for him when I read how he became immortal. It was a bit ugly. Lanny's unrequited love Jonathan is, quite simply: a putz. I wanted to just whack him up alongside the head on a regular basis. But then we come to Luke. While Luke has his own share of issues, he is the stability that Lanny has been searching centuries for. Maybe together they can figure this out.
The ending is not quite what I expected. It was a tad bit abrupt and I was definitely left wanting much, much more. I was quite happy when another reader told me that there is a sequel planned. Can't wait for it.
While I highly recommend this enticing new story, I do want to caution that it is an ADULT novel. The paranormal aspects are most likely going to appeal to younger readers (as will the gorgeous covers - I WANT one of those UK copies!), but there are some heavy sex scenes that include violence and multiple partners as well as actual rape. This aspect does not take away from the story by any means, it is just part of the tale and is intended for a mature audience.
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