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Friday, August 19, 2011

My Thoughts: The Taker by Alma Katsu

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.
I knew nothing about The Taker by Alma Katsu before I received an e-mail from Simon and Schuster Canada. So, it sat on my shelf for a couple months, I knew I was going to read it, but I also knew I had other things to read. I am so glad that I got to read this book. SO glad. Alma Katsu took me for a literary ride that I will never forget. I think after reading this story I am kind of obsessed with it.  The story itself was amazing, but so was the writing, so were the characters. While reading this book, I had a hard time putting it down. It was full of suspense, and twists and turns, and thrills. It was a roller coaster that I was happy to be on.
The story essentially starts with Dr. Luke treating Lanny, and Lanny- revealing herself as immortal-needs Luke's help to escape. What Lanny also needs help with is her grief. She has just lost the love of her life, Jonathan, and is suffering for it. However it's not that simple. I don't want to give away to much here, So I won't go into to much detail. However, Lanny goes on to tell Luke her story.How she came to be immortal, the people she met, the things she did, and how after so many years, Jonathan is dead.
I have read stories in the past, that start out hundreds of years in the past, and somehow end up in present day. I have read stories that tell of what life was like way back when, what was done, how a character has changed for the better, and so on, and so forth. The Taker has all of this, but it also has more. What that more is, I don't really know. Lanny starts her story in 1816 when she first approaches Jonathan at church. It is here that their friendships begins. She talks about how their relationship evolved, but, she also says that she loved him from the very beginning. She tells about how things changed and she was forced to leave the town she knew as home, and venture to a big unknown city.  It is here that she meets Adair, and her life of immortality begins. It was all very captivating. The Taker was a story within a story, and at one point, I was reading a story within a story, within a story. I really loved the multi-dimensional story telling that I found in The Taker. The story flowed beautifully, and I was never confused by the back and forth between past and present.
Katsu is a great writer, and I feel like she had a great balance of plot and character. The characters in this novel were great, however I think that without the story that she had created they wouldn't have been that special, however, at the same time, I also believe that without the characters she had developed the plot would have fallen flat. The Taker was a story about interpersonal relationships, and the relationship dynamics were complex. They were insanely destructive,co-dependant, and incredibly unhealthy, but, at the same time, you didn't want them to end. 
I was happy with how the book ended, having no clue that it was indeed part of a trilogy, I felt it ended well. I thought there was some possibility for a sequel. Now I am so excited for the next installment. There are characters I am hoping will return and I am eager to read more about Lanny and Luke.
The Taker was really an amazing novel and I hope that you all go out and buy it on release day. Sept 6th, it will not disappoint.
~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. I haven't heard anything about this one either but I'm loving what I'm reading. The multidimensionality of the story is so neat!

  2. Great review! I have never heard of this but will be adding it to my TBR shelf cause it sounds awesome!!

  3. Great post! I'm glad that you liked the ending. I didn't know it is part of a trilogy either, which I usually don't like, but I think that I'm finding more that are making me happy with their endings.

    I got this at BEA and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

  4. Great review! I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds great!

  5. This books sounds great. Have you seen the cover with the masked girl? That one is really pretty. :)

  6. Great review and I think I'll read this one!

  7. Wow, I've never heard of this book before. Great review!

  8. My best friend loves this book and she always tells me to read it. Now you also say that it was great so I must read it.

  9. A marvelous review. I immediately put this on my list of must-reads. Thank you.

  10. I have had this book on my shelf for a while. Like you, I know that I'll read it but I was reading other books first. I like that you said "It was a roller coaster that I was happy to be on." I am inspired to move it to the top of my pile! Thanks for the info!

  11. My first thoughts when I saw the book was how much I loved the cover, it's beautiful and I like that the story is so interwoven and there are complex relationships.


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