The Taker by Alma Katsu
Release Date – September 6, 2011
Publisher Website – Simon & Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 438 pages
My Rating- 7.5/10
**Obtained at Book Expo America for review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Dr. Luke Findley is on the midnight shift in the emergency room when the police bring in a young woman. Few strangers come to this remote town in northernmost Maine in the winter, and this stranger is accused of a bizarre crime: killing a man and leaving his body in the Great North Woods. The young woman, Lanny, tells the doctor that she and the man in the woods lived in this town at its founding two hundred years ago, until fate sentenced them to an eternity of unhappiness until they atone for their sins.The Taker is unlike anything I’ve read recently. A intriguing read filled with love, sex, greed, and betrayal. It offers the reader a glimpse at what love can do, and how it can even destroy.
The man in the woods is Jonathan, son of the town's founder, and the love of Lanny's life. After Lanny commits a terrible sin in the hope of claiming Jonathan for her own, she's banished from town and sent to Boston to serve her penance. In Boston, she falls in with a beguiling yet frightening man, Adair, who has otherworldly powers, including the ability to confer immortality. His world is one of unknown sensual pleasures and seemingly limitless power, but at what price?
Adair wants to add Jonathan to the collection of treacherous courtiers who do his bidding (but for unknown ends) and sends Lanny back to Maine to collect him. It seems like the answer to Lanny's deepest desire—to be with Jonathan forever—but once Jonathan has joined Adair's pack of immortals, she sees that Adair is not what he seems and his intentions toward Jonathan are far worse than she imagined. And now it is up to her to save her beloved—and herself—from a terrible fate designed to last for all eternity.
The Taker is a story of the power of love to corrupt, to drive us to do terrible things in its name, and the courage it takes to sacrifice in the name of love and ultimately be worthy of absolution.
The writing is quite well done. The pace is great, and it does keep your interest. The talent is evident in with this being her first novel.
The Taker really is the story of Lanny, and her life. As I was reading it almost felt like she was telling Luke her life story, the way you would if you were going to pass away. I often felt sorry for her. She was in love with a man who while he loved her in return, could never fully commit to her. She was tortured physically, emotionally, and often berated herself for things she did. Her quest to be absolved of her sins (real and imagined) was heartbreaking, because she truly seemed like someone caught up in circumstances she didn’t really understand. A lot of what she did was out of love for Jonathan and to protect (and possess) him.
Adair is the type of villain that chills your blood. The constant tip toeing around him, and treacherous court like atmosphere made you fear for everyone. He was not above killing when he was angry and staying in his good graces was not easy.
Jonathan, a man so beautiful he would captivate anyone, sadly did not have much else to make me like him. He was fickle, often infuriatingly selfish, and Lanny’s love for him was truly heartbreaking. Love can drive you to extremes, and when given and taken away at whim can drive a person mad. Jonathan never really commits to anyone, and Lanny’s unflinching love for him was one of the few good things about him.
This novel explores decadence, and debauchery. There is talk of sex, drugs, intimate parties with exclusive guest lists, and even sexual torture. It may shock some, and this is most certainly a novel for adults. The way love and sex were often used as a means to torture, to me, almost represented the power of love. It can heal, and destroy in equal measure; both are represented here.
The ending was abrupt. This is book one of a trilogy and I was expecting a cliffhanger, but this left me turning the last page looking for more. I am curious to see where the author will take this story.
This is a hard book for me to sum up. I was left with an over all feeling of wanting more. The writing talent was there, and it might have been that the characters were ones I could not really connect to. The story itself is interesting, and well developed however, and that was enough to keep my interest.