Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu

The Taker

by Alma Katsu
Series: The Taker Trilogy #1
Release date: 6th September, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 438 (hardcover bought by me)
Summary 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.

Review By Alaiel Kreuz:

I truly believe that a good series needs a strong foundation, a clever and thoughtful start to help us connect with the characters and the story that will develop next.
This is what happened with me and The Taker, I finished the book in less than two days and honestly I liked it a lot.

What intrigued me the most is the lack of explanation for the immortality of characters like Lanore, Adair or Uzra. During a second I was worried they would be vampires (because I'm very tired of vampires right now...) but then no reasons or origin came to explain this other than alchemy. And I think that's brilliant.
I mean, think about it, vampires are often tortured souls that seek forgiveness for their sin of killing to survive. In this case the characters can choose to follow their nature to survive, being good or bad is only a mere conception of the world. They don't need to kill to exist, but they can choose to do it if that's what they desire.

As for the plot Alma Katsu did a marvelous job taking us from the present where Luke, a doctor that has suffered quite a bit lately, meets a girl, a murder suspect to be more precise. And after she introduces herself as Lanore she proceeds to tell him her story so he can help her escape.
And this is were Ms. Katsu won my heart. Lanny's past was a intricate net of drama, love, despair, violence and survival. A tale of bad or desperate decisions that would lead to more problems for the girl to solve or simply live with.

The cast of characters is vast and their past as marveling and tortured as Lanny's. Some I loved like my dear Uzra, but some I hated and feared for they were twisted and cruel like Adair.

Although sometimes the pace was a little bit slow and the change between first and third person confused me at the beginning overall The Taker has been one of the best adult books I've read in a lot of time.
A dark tale that is intended to a more mature audience as it shows the raw side of human nature.

As for me I can't wait to continue with The Reckoning very soon :]

Alaiel's Rating:

If you really liked it, you can order it here:

You can find Alma Katsu here:


  1. I'm not sure if this is my kind of book...but I do love a book with that has me so consumed that I read it quickly. Nice review.

  2. @Bookluvr Mindy: Yeah, this is a book that can be too strong for some people so if you don't handle that well then it may not be your cup of tea. But I'm glad you liked the review :D

  3. Ahhhhh this was a good book. I've (for some unknown reason) have neglected to read the next one...perhaps I'll read it very soon as well. I'm so glad you liked it. I named it book of the year for last year. ^.^

  4. I would love to win!! Seems like a great book


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