Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu


Simon and Schuster
Pages: 448
Source: Publisher



Dr Luke Findley is recently divorced, he has returned to his childhood hometown in Maine to take care of matters for his ailing mother. When his mother passes away, Luke is all alone. His life in St Andrews has become routine, and comfortable but not entirely satisfying. His ex-wife and daughters have moved on. On a midnight shift Luke is shocked to find a young woman brought in by the police, bloodied and accused of killing a man, leaving his body in the woods. On a frigid night, Luke was expecting to treat frostbitten drunks; this was not on this radar. Immediately Lanore McIlvrae completely captivates Luke; inexplicably Luke wants to help. Lanny is not denying that she has murdered someone but she tries to explain herself to Luke. After convincing Luke to free one of her cuffed hands, Lanny pulls out a scalpel and plunges it deep within her chest. A distraught Luke is stunned to see her flesh heal before his eyes. Luke has no idea what she is, but he feels compelled to assist her. Luke doesn’t have much time but he must make a decision. The police have gone looking for the body, and Lanny is in his care. A novel rooted in the paranormal, filled with horror and suspense. Lanny’s history is filled with alchemy, deceit, and romance.

The Taker is a fascinating read, full of gothic mystery and intrigue. Alma Katsu is an incredible writer, enchanting her readers with a haunting tale. The Taker crosses centuries and continents as we learn who Lanny really is, and what her story is. Lanny is immortal, and the essence of the story is her love for Jonathan, a young man that was always deemed too good for her, a young man that captured her heart and tore at her core. It’s hard to believe that this is Katsu’s debut novel, her writing is flawless. The Taker is a book that is undeniably adult, for the open minded reader who is willing to step outside of their boundaries. In my opinion this book is not for everyone, and not for the squeamish. While I fell in love with the book immediately, half way through I became very nervous and wasn’t expecting the obscurity of the novel. As the book shifted gears and became very dark and graphic I started to be turned off, and had to take a break. I knew I needed to come back when I had a few hours to devote to it and finish. While I adored the opening of the book, my adoration never truly returned for the characters. This was due to the malicious character’s that began to unfold. I appreciate the novel for what it is; a work of art that is unquestionably filled with talent, and skillfully crafted.

17 comments:

  1. I had this on my wish list but maybe it is not for me. I can be a bit squeamish. The first half of the book sounds very good. I'll have to think about this one! Thanks for the honest review!

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  2. I've read many reviews and they seem to be all over the board. You've really intrigued me. Still not sure it's for me but I can see why it appeals to some. I appreciate your review.

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  3. I'm so excited to read this one; I have this one on my shelf and can't wait to read it in the next couple of weeks.

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  4. I loved this book, but was initially confused by the ending. I had no idea that there were more in the series, but now I am hungering for more! I thought Katsu did a remarkable job with her story and that she was incredibly clever in her character creation and narrative. We got the chance to hang out with her and hear her speak at SIBA, and she is just an incredibly nice woman as well. We had a lot of fun with her!

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  5. Iv heard great things about this one. Glad you enjoyed it

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  6. It sounds like this book is pretty dark and heavy. I'll have to be in the right mood to read it.

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  7. It sounds intriguing, but I'm so not into the "ick" factor in dark books, so I haven't made up my mind about this one yet, but I'm leaning toward skipping it.

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  8. Oh wow, this book sounds SO dark and intriguing! But I'm a pretty squeamish person LOL so I don't know if I'd pick it up on my own. In the spirit of almost-Halloween, though, I think it might be cool! ;)

    Awesome review, Mrs. Q!

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  9. I like those last words, skillfully crafted. Nothing makes me fall more than a master at what she or he does

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  10. I adored this book! It's very dark and gothic and all the things I like! :)

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  11. The story sounds fascinating. But I'm sorry to hear that it lost some steam towards the end. I hate when you fall in love with a book and its characters only for them to change everything you loved about them. But at least it still seemed to be an interesting read.

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  12. I passed on this one, but now need to reconsider. I liked what you said about this one.

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  13. This sounds like a really interesting book. I love to read a good gothic novel, adding it to my TBR list.

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  14. I picked up a copy of this one at the Book Blogger Convention -- it sounds really interesting! I'm usually easily freaked out by stories with mystery and/or scary themes, but I think I'll give this one a shot... maybe closer to Halloween!

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  15. This is one I will definitely read if it crosses my path but I probably won't seek it out.

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  16. I'm intrigued by this but I worry that I might have the same reaction to it that you did. It sounds sort of strange!

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  17. A dark read... maybe I'll take it on. Just finished one where the main character gave me the creeps... His last Duchess' Alfonso is too creepy for me. But I loved the BOOK!

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