From the Publisher
"A haunting tale of passion, obsession, and immortal longing. The Taker is unlike any other novel I have read: a gothic historical with a searing modern twist that will captivate your imagination and keep you reading long into the night." —C.W. Gortner, author of THE TUDOR SECRET
“Absolutely one of the best books [I] read in 2011.” —Just Another Story
“The Taker by Alma Katsu has literally left me speechless! [Katsu] mix[es] just the right amount of history, magic, and suspense…The only way to fully understand the magic of The Taker is to go and pick up a copy for yourself!” —Browsing Bookshelves
Looking for a good read? Get ready to hear about a time-transcending page turner. Two years ago,having just finished The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer, I was still hungry for more of the supernatural. My only hesitation was that I wanted something a little more plausible than blood-sucking vampires. As fate would have it, I stumbled upon The Taker by Alma Katsu. Dutifully, I checked reviews before purchasing the book. How I hadn’t heard of it prior to then is beyond me, as the book was insanely well-received and only growing in popularity. I took the novel home and was blown away by the captivating story of an impressionable young woman, the “Adonis” who she falls in love with and the “monster” who falls in love with her. Lanore, Jonathan and Adair had me spellbound like no other characters have. The Taker satiated my need for the supernatural, but was unique in it’s portrayal of everlasting love and unrelenting obsession, both of which know no boundaries for these characters. The second installment, The Reckoning, was equally fascinating—the never-ending love chase propelling the jump between several different time periods and beautiful locations all over the world. Finally, the end of this twisted tale will come to an end with Katsu’s final installment, The Descent.
Alchemy and love prove a volatile mix in Katsu's vividly imagined first novel, which toggles between the present and the past. While working the graveyard shift at a rural Maine hospital, Dr. Luke Findley discovers that patient Lanny McIlvrae has miraculous self-healing powers. Lanny then relates the incredible tale of her life: sent packing to Boston by her family in 1817 to give birth to her illegitimate child, she fell in with the entourage of Count Adair, a centuries-old alchemist who saved her life with an elixir of immortality. Decadent and domineering, Adair took Lanny as his mistress—a role she accepted until Adair's scheme to use her true love, Jonathan, to perpetuate his unnatural existence forced her to a desperate ruse to thwart his formidable magic powers. Katsu shows considerable skill in rendering a world where Adair's unspeakable evilness and Lanny's wild passion make the supernatural seem possible. The result is a novel full of surprises and a powerful evocation of the dark side of romantic love. (Sept.)
On a cold winter night a young woman is brought into an emergency room in the small Maine town of St Andrew. Lanore McIlvrae is covered in blood and probably injured, but the sheriff also believes she murdered someone. When Lanore is alone with emergency physician Luke Findley, she tries desperately to convince him of her innocence, telling her story in mind-numbing detail. In the late 19th century, she met and fell in love with Jonathan, the man Lanore is now accused of killing. At one point, Lanore's family sent her from the town to avoid a terrible scandal. During this journey, she met the man who made her immortal and brought her back to Jonathan. Finally, the plot begins to move, although at times the pace is still slow. VERDICT Hard-core romance readers might enjoy this debut novel, but it is not a necessary purchase.—Patricia Altner, Biblioinfo.com, Columbia, MD
A backwoods Maine doctor falls under the spell of a confessed killer whose loves and sorrows go back two centuries.
When Dr. Luke Findley undresses Lanore McIlvrae, the murder suspect the St. Andrew sheriff has brought into Aroostook County Hospital, he discovers that although her clothes are saturated in blood, her body is unwounded; every drop came from the man she admits she slashed to death. Even so, Lanny tells Luke that the murder was anything but murder and begs him to help her escape. After he's treated to an unnerving demonstration of her claim that she's not just an ordinary killer, he agrees. During their headlong flight to Canada and freedom, she fills in her back story for him, and what a back story it is. Lanny's troubles began at age 12, when she first spotted beautiful Jonathan St. Andrew, the son of the town's wealthy founder, at church back in 1809. Although Jonathan was happy to acknowledge her love, he never exactly returned it, and her tempestuous tale takes her from romantic disappointments, crises and encounters with evil to a genre-crossing exile in Boston, where she's taken in by the Mephistophelean savior who'll become her fate: Count Adair cel Rau, whose own lengthy back story, which stretches back to 1349, is even more eventful than hers. Adair and his unholy retinue don't suck anyone's blood, but the gift of eternal life he offers in return for the souls of his lovers and followers will sound awfully familiar to vampire lovers everywhere. Debut novelist Katsu adds heavy foreshadowing, insistent underlining and a suffocating earnestness to this familiar story of the bonds that never die.
Beneath the trappings of undead lore is a love story that's deeply old-fashioned, and not just because the principals were born 200 years ago.