Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Taker (The Taker #1) by Alma Katsu


The Taker
by Alma Katsu
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
*contains sexual content

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.(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Taker by Alma Katsu is a historical love story with supernatural elements and a dark underbelly. I read this novel for a book of the month selection on Goodreads. It had elements I expected and some that made me squeamish.  Overall I enjoyed this strange and dark tale. Katsu is a talented writer and her writing style captivated me. Some of the subject matter made me uncomfortable and I found myself skimming through those scenes. Ordinarily I would have stopped reading, but I had this overwhelm need to know Lanore’s story.- that is the beauty of Katsu’s writing. When someone writes this well, it becomes evident that they could  attend one of the many accredited online colleges.


The tale begins at a rural hospital in Maine.  Dr. Luke Findley is just beginning his shift and is told the local police are bringing in a murder suspect and need him to check her over. When Lanore McIlvrae walks in, he is shocked that this tiny, beautiful blonde, with cork-screw curls and blue eyes is involved in a murder. She is covered in blood and won’t speak.  The police leave a guard and head out to the woods to find the body of the man she confessed to killing. Once inside an exam room, Lanore (Lanny as she prefers), asks Findley to help her escape. She claims that she only helped a friend die at his request and that there are things he cannot understand.  Not easily duped he proceeds to examine her, removing Lanny’s bloody clothing and looking for injuries. It is then that Lanny grabs a scalpel and shows Findley something he won’t soon forget. She then proceeds to tell him her story….the tale that unfolds is romantic, dark, gritty and spans nearly two hundred years.

Lanore shares her life story with us. She begins her tale in 1809 set against the Maine Territory. The author skillful takes us from the present to the past. Lanore tells the past, and Findley the present. This was clever because Findley could clarify things by asking questions about what we had just read.  The tale that Lanore share’s with us is so unbelievable that it had a ring of truth to it.  It is a one-sided love story about her and a man named Jonathan. It is filled with obsession, alchemy, and magic. Some of the events that occur in Boston, supernatural elements aside, are probably based in truth, but nevertheless made this reader uncomfortable. There are two sides to Lanore and I found her to be complex and interesting. When it came to Jonathan and her feelings for him, she was a naïve, love sick child. Then the author shows us the darker side of Lanore and I was entranced.  At times I questioned her feelings for Jonathan, especially after his selfish acts. Findley is captivated and horrified by Lanore and her story. Yet he is unable to resist hearing it to its conclusion. Lanore’s story contains lots of sex, some implied and others graphic. It contains all forms of sexual encounters and may offend some readers. Think of an opium house and you will get the idea.

Katsu offers us an intriguing look at unrequited love. While some of the subject matter was dark, I ultimately enjoyed the Taker. Days after reading it, I find myself thinking about Lanore and Jonathan. This is part of a trilogy and book two, The Reckoning will be published June 19, 2012. I recommend this to fans of dark fiction. Katsu is a talented author and I look forward to reading more of her work. 

I gave this 4 coffee cups out of 5.





Alma Katsu

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Have you read this? What did you think? 

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17 Comments:

At April 12, 2012 at 6:00 AM , Blogger Debbie@ I Heart YA Books said...

Great review Kimba, Definitely putting this one on my to-read-list! Thanks!

 
At April 12, 2012 at 7:04 AM , Blogger Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Wow...that definitely sounds like a compelling read..not sure if it may be a little too much for me though...I'll have to think about this one!

♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

 
At April 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM , Blogger MissKimberlyStardust said...

I actually like the last two covers best:)
The first one reminds me of Bel Canto by Ann Prachett because of the colour scheme.
Great review!! I'll have to read this one for sure :)
-Kimberly @ Turning The Pages
P.S. Check out my 500 follower giveaway!

 
At April 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM , Blogger GMR said...

I was taken in by the synopsis, but ooh...that warning on content. I don't know...might have to skip it, we'll see. Thanks for the honest review!

 
At April 12, 2012 at 12:27 PM , Blogger Giselle said...

This sounds really good I've heard a lot of good things about it and I enjoy darker stories like this a lot! I really want to get myself a copy soon! Great review Kimba darling!

 
At April 12, 2012 at 6:02 PM , Blogger Christy D said...

Haha - if it has possibly offending sex, then I definitely want to read it! Seriously though, this does sound intriguing.

 
At April 12, 2012 at 8:38 PM , Blogger Sophia said...

This book sounds dark and romantic! I don't think it's for me, as I'm a rather young reader, but I'm definitely glad you enjoyed it. :) I always like a good romance. Fantastic review! :)

 
At April 13, 2012 at 12:48 AM , Blogger Erin W. said...

I've seen this book around . . . sounds interesting. Great review.

 
At April 13, 2012 at 1:04 AM , Blogger Celine said...

I haven't heard of this book before but it sounds awesome! I think I need to add this to my TBR!

Awesome review, Kimba! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it! :)

 
At April 13, 2012 at 2:09 AM , Blogger Danny said...

Oh wow!!! I got this book last year at BEA but never really got a chance to read it. But seeing you so excited now, I might pick it up after all. And.. seriously, those book trailers are getting better and better and this one is amazing!!!!!! Love it!!!

 
At April 13, 2012 at 5:52 AM , Blogger Sam said...

I just discovered this book on Goodreads! Great review, Kimba. It sounds a lot better to me than the description makes out. Plus all those different covers are amazing!

 
At April 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

I've seen this book around a lot on other blogs but I haven't read it yet. It probably sounds a bit too dark for my taste but I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

 
At April 13, 2012 at 3:55 PM , Blogger Blodeuedd said...

I have heard good things :D And I am so curious by now. I really want to try this one

 
At April 14, 2012 at 1:50 AM , Blogger Book Whales YA Reviews said...

Wow! Thanks for the great review. I would mark this book on my reading list. :D -TheUnseelieNerd

 
At April 14, 2012 at 9:06 PM , Blogger samantha.1020 said...

I started this book awhile back for a book tour but I just couldn't finish it. My main problem was that I didn't care or connect with any of the main characters...I found my interest in what was happening to the characters waning. I ended up just putting it aside. I may pick it up again eventually but I doubt it. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on this book. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it more than I did :)

 
At April 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM , Blogger Bea said...

I've been thinking about this book, trying to decide if I should read it. Your review has been the most useful one I've read so far. Thanks.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous lizasarusrex said...

This book looks so awesome! I cannot wait to read it. You wrote an amazing review!

 

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