Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: THE TAKER by Alma Katsu

The Taker
by Alma Katsu
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 6, 2011

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.

The Taker was a really fascinating novel that sucked me in from the beginning. It was a dark, sexy, mysterious page turner. 

Lanny McIlvere is brought into the ER of a small town in Maine bloodied but seemingly unhurt. She’s been arrested on suspicion of murder. Dr. Luke Findley is on staff that night and sets out to examine her for injuries. Finding none, he begins to question Lanny about the blood that is all over her clothing. She admits that she killed someone but says that they wanted to die. Lanny begins to tell Luke her story and soon convinces him to help her escape from the police. During their get-away, Lanny begins to unravel the story of her dark past to Luke. The novel moves back in forth between the present and the 1800’s.

I thought the story was interesting and it captivated me but I really disliked most of the characters including the heroine. Usually this would be a problem for me but having a cast of reprehensible characters is what made the novel so good. I wanted to like Lanny and even felt sorry for what she went through. I just didn’t understand her infatuation with her ex-lover, Jonathan and how she pined away for him for so long. But The Taker is about unrequited love & betrayal and the journey through it was very dark & twisted. One of the most warped characters in the novel is Adair. His story was intriguing and will have you on an emotional roller-coaster. 
Jude then fixed his maniacal glare upon me. “I’ve come to warn you, too. It’s a dangerous game you’re playing. There’s a reason the rest of us maintain a distance from Adair, and we’ve all learned our lesson the hard way. But now you’ve shown him love and that’s given him the notion that he is deserving of such devotion. Did you ever think that perhaps the only thing that holds the devil in check is that he knows how despised he is? Even the devil longs for sympathy at times, but sympathy for the devil is fuel for the flame. Your love will embolden him - likely in a way that will bring you regret.”

~Jude to Lanny
The Taker was an impressive debut novel. It was filled with flawed characters, wicked sex and rich historical elements with dark magic weaved into the mix. Alma Katsu’s novel kept me enthralled to the very end. I give The Taker 4.5 Dragons.


  1. Wow, I'm glad you still enjoyed it so much, even though you seemed to dislike so many characters! I think this one seems real interesting too. Might have to consider giving it a try. :) Great review!

  2. ^.^ Sounds like a pretty good read. It's always good when you still like the book even though you're not a fan of a lot of characters. That was me with 'Touch of the Wolf' (the most recent book I reviewed). Great review!

  3. Thanks, Rebecca & Carole. You two should check this one out. Very well written and the first of a planned trilogy.

  4. So would you consider this a romance novel? And how wicked was the sex? :) More sensual, scorcher or wet

    Great review, sweetie! Sounds fascinating.

  5. Hey Ing! Yes I would consider this a very dark romance.


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