Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu
Simon and Schuster
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.