The Reckoning (Taker Trilogy #2)

The Reckoning (Taker Trilogy #2)

by Alma Katsu

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Overview

In this “rich, satisfying, and gorgeously written sequel” (Chapters) to her acclaimed debut novel, The Taker, Alma Katsu pairs a mysteriously alluring young woman with an ER doctor from rural Maine on a harrowing, passion-fueled chase that transcends the boundaries of time.

Lanore McIlvrae is the kind of woman who will do anything for love. Including imprisoning the man who loves her behind a wall of brick and stone.

She had no choice but to entomb Adair, her nemesis, to save Jonathan, the boy she grew up with in a remote Maine town in the early 1800s and the man she thought she would be with forever. But Adair had other plans for her. He used his mysterious, otherworldly powers to give her eternal life, but Lanore learned too late that there was a price for this gift: to spend eternity with him. And though he is handsome and charming, behind Adair’s seductive façade is the stuff of nightmares. He is a monster in the flesh, and he wants Lanore to love him for all of time.

Now, two hundred years after imprisoning Adair, Lanore is trying to atone for her sins. She has given away the treasures she’s collected over her many lifetimes in order to purge her past and clear the way for a future with her new lover, Luke Findley. But, while viewing these items at an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Lanore suddenly is aware that the thing she’s been dreading for two hundred years has caught up to her: Adair has escaped from his prison. He’s free— and he will come looking for her. And she has no idea how she will save herself.

With the stunningly imaginative storytelling and rich characterizations that fascinated readers worldwide and made The Taker a singular and memorable literary debut and an international sensation, Alma Katsu once again delivers “a powerful evocation of the dark side of romantic love” (Publishers Weekly) in her breathtaking new novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451651843
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 06/19/2012
Series: Taker Trilogy , #2
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,042,047
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Alma Katsu was born in Alaska and raised near Concord, Massachusetts. She has a BA in writing from Brandeis University and an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Program. She is the author of the Taker trilogy (The TakerThe Reckoning, and The Descent) and The Hunger. She lives with her husband in Virginia. Visit her on Twitter @AlmaKatsu.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Beautiful, mesmerizing… and leaves readers anxiously awaiting Katsu’s final volume.” —Library Journal

"Katsu’s seductive second book in her supernatural thriller trilogy picks up where her well-received debut, The Taker, left off...this installment stays true to its author’s initial vision. " —Publishers Weekly

"Katsu’s brilliant series second will utterly enchant you." —RT Book Reviews

“Grips you from start to finish. . . . Fascinating and thrilling. A unique, enduring story of the paranormal!” —Historical Novel Review

“With The Reckoning, obsession is taken to a whole new level….The characters in this trilogy are fascinating…Adair is the perfect mix of villain and ‘hot guy.’ Not only is this a good sequel, but it’s a powerful lead-in to what is sure to be the final, unforgettable chapter in Lanore’s amazing life.” —Suspense Magazine

“Enchanting. . . . Amazing. . . . A gorgeously written sequel. . . . I simply couldn’t put it down. . . . Rich, satisfying, and convincing.” —Chapters

“Fast-paced. . . . Fans will enjoy this supernatural drama.” —Genre Go Round Reviews

“Fans of Katsu’s haunting novel The Taker can finally indulge in their next juicy fix. . . . Gripping, pulse-pounding. . . . A whole new level of suspense.” —Night Owl Reviews

“Amazing… breathtaking and beautiful.” —Just Another Story

The Taker blew my mind and The Reckoning had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. This is a must read series.” —Hooked on Books

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Reckoning includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Alma Katsu. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

In the sequel to Alma Katsu’s riveting debut novel, The Taker, The Reckoning opens with Lanore embarking on a new life—attending a museum exhibit showcasing a collection of her lost nineteenth-century treasures with Luke who has fallen both into her immortal, hidden world and in love. She has seemingly outrun her past and has broken free from Adair’s eternal power, imprisoning him over two hundred years ago. Yet when Adair breaks free from his cell, a treacherous hunt begins; one that will surely end in bloodshed. As Adair regains his strength and struggles to adapt to modernity, he vows vengeance against his once-beloved Lanny. Flashbacks to past centuries, dark magic, and wanton violence pepper The Reckoning as it swells to an intense showdown between Lanny and Adair. In the moment of truth, Adair must choose to put aside his feelings for Lanny in order to exact his revenge, or to forgive her betrayal and try to win back her love.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. In the beginning of The Reckoning, does Lanny seem like she is living a happy life with Luke? What are her concerns and hesitations about Luke?

2. Consider the quote Lord Bryon inscribed on Lanny’s fan: “Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart, ‘tis woman’s whole existence.” What does this quote mean to you? Do you think it foreshadows any future events in the novel?

3. Do you think Adair deserved to be locked away for two hundred years? Did Lanny have any other choice? Do you feel any sympathy toward Adair? Why or why not?
4. The Taker begins with Lanny confessing to murdering Jonathan, the eternal love of her life. Do you believe that she should be held to society’s rules and tried for her crime? Or do you think the circumstances excuse her actions?

5. Do you think Luke made the right decision to follow his heart and run away with Lanny? What did he sacrifice? What would you have done if you were Luke?

6. When Lanny sensed Adair was pursuing her, do you think she made the right decision to leave Luke? What did this choice tell you about her character?
7. In your opinion, do you think Lanny is capable of ever really giving her heart to a mortal man, with the knowledge that the man will leave her behind by aging and dying? Do you think she can ever truly love anyone other than Jonathan? In your opinion, do you think it is possible to be in love with different people at the same time?

8. If given the opportunity, would you choose to live for eternity? Would you consider it a blessing or a curse? How does Lanny view her immortality? Adair? Pendleton?

9. What does Lanny learn during her time with Savva in the Middle East? How does her ill-fated love affair with Abdul influence her perspective on relationships?

10. Which do you think would be a worse punishment for Lanny—to be possessed for eternity, like Uzra, or to die? Explain your answer.

11. Jonathan and Lanny do not spend any time together after his reincarnation. Were you surprised by this turn of events? Do you think they ever had a real chance at reconnecting romantically?

12. How was Jonathan changed by his death? How did his feelings for Lanny change in his reincarnated state?

13. Do you believe that people can genuinely change the way Adair seems to have changed by the end of The Reckoning? Compare Adair and Tilde’s capacity to change and evolve as characters.

14. Which characters are you most interested in learning more about in the next installment of The Taker Trilogy? Do you think Lanny is capable of forgiving Adair, as he hopes? Do you think they stand a chance at finding happiness together—for eternity?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Consider serving a signature “elixir” at your book club discussion by adding food coloring to an ordinary drink or by serving it in a unique bottle or glass. Before everyone drinks their “elixir,” go around the group and have everyone state what they would mix a potion for if they had knowledge of alchemy.

2. Create a “reverse” bucket list with you book club. Go around the group and ask: What would you do if you were never going to kick the bucket? What would you want to accomplish if you literally had all the time in the world?

3. The Reckoning takes place all over the world—from Casablanca, to Venice, to Boston, to London. Print out a map of the world and chart Lanny and Adair’s travels. Discuss with your group how each new setting impacted the narrative action and tone of the story. For maps available to print, visit www.english.freemap.jp/world_e/6.html.

4. Do you have a question for author Alma Katsu? Consider inviting her to your book club discussion of The Reckoning! Find out more about The Taker Trilogy and about how to contact Alma by visiting www.almakatsu.com/books.php.

A Conversation with Alma Katsu

How did the process of writing The Reckoning differ from writing your first novel, The Taker?

It was completely different. Okay, aside from a laptop computer being involved and getting to work with the same editor, Tricia Boczkowski, it was completely different. It took ten years to write The Taker on my own, wandering in the wilderness, as it were, whereas with The Reckoning I had about twenty months and a very clear idea of the story, and the process still didn’t go as I expected. Add the usual angst associated with a sophomore book—you’ve pulled a rabbit out of a hat once, but can you do it again?—and all these voices that you now have in your head, the less-than-stellar reviews and criticisms (which every writer gets) of the first book to deal with. Luckily, I have several friends who were also working on second books and we’d get together for lunch and have a good cry. It helps to know other people find it as maddening as you.

In The Reckoning, your second book in the trilogy, you delve deeper into the sources and extent of Adair’s alchemical power. How does alchemy’s real history compare to Adair’s life experience?

The practice of alchemy can be seen as the transition between the time when man solely used philosophy/theology to make sense of the world and the beginnings of modern science. It’s chemistry and physics, but intertwined with religion and spirituality, or—another way to think of it—looking to the natural world for evidence of the divine. Alchemy was practiced for a long time and by many cultures, so—to address the question directly—I think its “real history” covers a wide range of experience. In other words, I don’t think there is only one valid “experience” of alchemy. In classical Greek times, practitioners were more apt to look for evidence of the divine in their experiments than, say, a later Westerner practitioner like Sir Isaac Newton. Unlike Sir Isaac Newton, however, Adair studied alchemy over centuries. He started in the flat-earth days, when some worried that attempts to understand the physical world would be an affront of God, and became more inclined over time to see his experiments as purely scientific.

Is alchemy truly magic, or just mastery of natural resources and processes? Would you consider modern-day medicines and procedures comparable to ancient alchemy?

Alchemy is an attempt to understand the world through both the natural/physical and the philosophical. The two are fused; you can’t say alchemy is one or the other, and it’s a reflection of our times (or perhaps Western thought) to think that alchemy can be defined in these terms. The best way to think of it might be as a sliding scale, with pure spirituality on one end (think Paul Coelho’s novel The Alchemist) and pure science (Sir Isaac Newton) on the other. Even the “holy grails” of alchemy, the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life, have metaphysical properties that can’t be derived solely from the physical world.

Which is why people don’t practice alchemy these days: because we in the West tend to separate modern science and spirituality into two different realms. The scientific and the spiritual have each been banished to its own corner, and we look to science alone to explain the unknowns of the physical world. We know through chemistry that you can’t turn lead into gold, case closed. Or is it? Look at quantum physics: latest research only goes to show that our understanding of the universe is incomplete, and new properties are being uncovered that, at this early stage, look an awful lot like magic.

What the reader should notice in The Reckoning is that while Adair professes to be a man of science, the feats he performs are more in the realm of magic, even if he doesn’t acknowledge this. There’s a reason, and it will be explained—all will be explained—in the next book, The Descent.

In The Reckoning, Lanny donates belongings acquired over several lifetimes. What was your inspiration when you described these items, including the fan signed by Lord Byron?

Part of my inspiration comes from a childhood experience. When I was young, we lived next door to an elderly woman, once socially prominent but long a widow, childless, pretty much living in seclusion. Her house was one of the fanciest in town but inside was dark and formal, and seemed very exotic to me, having only lived in military housing up to that point. It was filled with nice but odd things from earlier eras. One thing that stands out in my memory—to give you an example—was a pair of ornate wall hangings made with dead birds, stuffed and posed under glass, very Victorian, fancy and creepy at the same time. I suppose some people grew up surrounded by grandma’s “things” but to me, it was like visiting another planet. My mother sent me over to clean her house occasionally, so I got a good look at stuff as I’d dusted and vacuumed. I guess it made more of an impression on me than I realized.

The exhibit in the first chapter of The Reckoning was inspired by a show held at the Smithsonian in the 1980s, Treasure Houses of Britain: 500 Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting. It was an exhibition of art objects from 200 country homes in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, meant to illustrate the scope of British private collections from the 15th century to the present. It was jaw-dropping to think that these beautiful things normally graced someone’s actual house (granted, the “house” was a grand manor home), that there were people who lived surrounded by priceless masterworks every day.

You write beautifully about several very different eras and geographic locations in The Reckoning. What era and location most intrigued you? What kind of research did you do before writing these scenes?

Like most writers, I tend to draw on places and periods in time with which I’m already familiar. This is where being a former intelligence analyst pays off, because you amass a huge amount of random knowledge, especially of geography and history. For instance, when I was with the Defense Department, I spent a lot of time working on Afghanistan—no surprise there—and came to learn a lot about the country and the people. That, combined with a fondness for Kipling, led to the idea of Lanny and Savva running guns in the Hindu Kush. For the character of Savva, the perpetual expat on the run from his inner demons, I drew on the lives of two famous Brits who also fell in love with the desert: Paul Bowles, author of The Sheltering Sky, and T.E. Lawrence, more widely known as Lawrence of Arabia.

In some ways, flashy technical devices seem magical, but Adair is not impressed; he dismisses them as distractions. Do you identify with Adair’s critique of modern technology—and society’s addiction to technological devices?

Not at all: having grown up in the age before computers, I have a strong appreciation for technology. I meant for Adair’s disdain of modern technology to show, not so much that he didn’t value technological change as that he was tired of having to keep up with the times. That even an immortal being will act like a crotchety old man sometimes. It’s fairly universal as we age, I think, to be frustrated not so much by technology but by constant change. And these days, nothing exemplifies change like technology. It was interesting to put myself in Adair’s position and think about how much life had changed between the 19th and 21st centuries, and to imagine how someone would leapfrog from the Industrial Revolution to the present day.

How do you approach writing female characters, like Tilde, Lanny, and Trish?

I don’t think I approach female characters any differently than male characters. I try to give all my characters depth, even minor characters. Not to harp on my past life, but analyzing behavior and evaluating people is a big part of intelligence work. You need to figure out what makes a person tick, if they’re being truthful with you, what their motives are, that sort of thing. I try to utilize this experience and understanding of human nature when developing characters. Readers may not see themselves behaving the same way as one of the characters but hopefully, because they understand what drives the characters, their actions will seem natural—inevitable, even. And that’s why we read novels, isn’t it, to step into someone else’s head for the duration of a few pages?

Do you believe that anyone is capable of the kind of forgiveness Adair is asking of Lanny?

Sure—you see it every day. You see wives go back to philandering or abusive husbands, children nurse elderly parents who once belittled and tormented them, friends stand by each other despite the hurts they’ve inflicted on each other. Sometimes it’s done consciously, but sometimes it’s done because the person has been so shaped by his experiences that he’s unable to function in a “normal” environment. Maybe he won’t leave out of guilt or obligation, or because he fears if he leaves this person, no one else will love him. Lanny is trying to learn from past mistakes, to reach beyond her fears and insecurities—just as we all do—but only time will tell if she’ll be successful.

Yes, Adair is a monster. He is as unfeeling as stone, and has done terrible things to innocent people. In The Reckoning, however, his stony heart begins to soften. He vows to change and believes he can give Lanny the kind of devotion she has always wanted, if only she’ll give him a chance. He’s not unlike a felon who has committed a terrible crime, but has gone to prison and done his time. He says he’s reformed and only wants a chance to live a normal life. It’s up to Lanny to decide whether it’s in her heart to forgive him and if she wants to be with him. There’s one more waltz before the dance is over, and we see what Lanny decides in the third book, The Descent.

Do you think your characters are capable of experiencing true love?

Absolutely. You might ask, however, what I mean by true love.

To me, true love is the ideal state of love. True love is not conditional. It’s not necessarily a two-way street. It may not be equitable, but you have decided that you can live with the terms. It’s when you love someone so much that you’ll do what’s best for them, even if it’s not going to get you what you want, even when it gets you nothing. It’s not romance. It’s not about what the other person can or will do for you but about what he or she brings to your world, how he makes you want to be a better person. True love works best if the person you love loves you in the same way. Really selfish people cannot know true love. Lots of people experience true love, but can’t sustain it. (There are a lot of broken people out there. They don’t only exist within the pages of my books.)

Redemption is a continuing theme in The Taker Trilogy and the driving force behind Lanny, Adair, and Jonathan’s actions. Is it a theme you identify with in other great works of literature?

I think I identify more with the lack of redemption in literature. It seems a recent trend—and by recent, I mean the past thirty years or so—that any character who has fallen from grace must learn his lesson and change his ways by the end of the book. Look at Madame Bovary or Wuthering Heights, look at Thomas Hardy. To require happy endings is understandable in a children’s book, but in adult literature it seems disingenuous, because in life, most people don’t redeem themselves. They continue through life nursing their shortcomings, the low-grade alcoholism, the occasional extra-marital fling. Of course, most people aren’t as flawed as Lanny and Jonathan, let alone Adair. But that’s the reason for immortality in the story: when you’re this bad, you need a very long time to straighten yourself out.

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The Reckoning 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
I read and reviewed The Taker, Alma Katus’s first novel in this trilogy with a Goodreads group. I found it to be disturbing, compelling and one that left me breathless. I found myself repulsed and drawn to Lanore MciLvrae’s story and had to know more. The group decided to read The Reckoning for August and again I found myself completely drawn to this tale and its fleshed out and complex characters. Katus is a powerful story teller and I encourage you to pick this trilogy up. The tale picks up shortly after book one ended, and we find ourselves in England with Lanore and Luke Findley. While at a museum, Lanore senses that Adair has escaped the prison that she and Jonathan trapped him in over two hundred years ago. Lanore is terrified for she knows he will hunt her down and seek revenge. Adair wakes up to find his fortune gone and the world around him completely changed. He seeks one of the others and makes plans to find Lanore. The tale that unfolds left me breathless, as Lanore tries to escape and the two of them deal with their complex feelings. The characters in this tale are unique, complex, and twisted. I find myself completely surprised that I connected with them and understood them. They are all flawed, all damaged and despite what they claim they all want love. We get to know more of Adair’s back story, and things we thought were true, turn out to be lies. We learn more about the other members of Adair’s twisted family and I enjoyed getting to know them. I liked Lanore more in this novel, perhaps I understood her a little better. While a part of me still fears Adair I was completely floored by the other side of him that Katus unveiled to us. I am amazed at the hold Lanore has on Jonathan, Luke and Adair. I think what I find refreshing is that she doesn’t think she deserves it, and has a twisted idea of “happiness”. These characters will haunt you long after you close the book. While there is still a veil of mystery to the alchemy behind Adair and his ties to them all, I found this to be a wonderful middle book. Often, it can fall flat, but this was action packed and took me on an emotional ride. Character development and depth brought the tale to life. The author’s writing style flows beautifully as you ride one intense scene after another. Elements of suspense, mystery and fear had me turning the pages, oblivious to the world around me. This is a dark tale that explores love, greed, hatred, selfishness and power. The characters kept me riveted and I consumed this in a single afternoon. This tale will take you out of your comfort zone and intrigue you at the same time. Readers in our group have made comments like, “It made me uncomfortable, yet I loved it.” “It’s sick but addicting.” It has left me eagerly awaiting the final installment and has currently earned a place on my top five adult novels for 2012.
tamsparks More than 1 year ago
Alma Katsu is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Both The Taker and The Reckoning are filled with lush and descriptive writing, historical details, and a delightfully agonizing tension that makes them worthy of the description “page turner.” But at the core of the story are Katsu’s characters, enormously flawed individuals that the reader wants to root for, kill or sleep with, often all at the same time. The Reckoning picks up soon after the ending of The Taker. Lanny and Luke are in London visiting the Victoria and Albert museum, where Lanny has anonymously donated her precious collection of objects d’art acquired from her travels over the past two hundred years.While gazing at her objects behind the museum glass, Lanny feels a terrible and long-forgotten sensation, the tingling approach of a headache that could only mean one thing: Adair has escaped, and will certainly be looking for her to exact revenge. In alternating chapters, Katsu goes back and forth between Lanny and Adair, released from his prison by happenstance and thrust into the modern world without a clue about how to survive in it. Of one thing he is certain, however. Lanny must pay for her treachery no matter how long it takes to find her, and so he uses his powerful connection to the members of his immortal “family” to track down Jude, another immortal who has used his freedom from Adair to build a comfortable life for himself. Jude is shocked to see Adair on his doorstep, but reluctantly agrees to help him adapt to modern life and find Lanny. As Jude searches the internet for clues to Lanny's whereabouts, the two discover the truth about Jonathan’s death. Adair is sure that Jonathan is the key to locating Lanny, and so he sets out to find his burial-place and attempt to resurrect him from the dead, using his book of magical “recipes” that also contains the secret to immortality. As Adair gets closer to tracking down Lanny, she herself has made contact with friends from the past that can help her hide from Adair. But fate is cruel, and from this point on the story is a dizzying game of cat-and-mouse as Lanny realizes she cannot outrun her past. Katsu is brilliant at pacing her story and dropping bits of information about the characters’ pasts in just the right spots to spark the reader’s imagination, but she’s very careful not to give away too much. She takes us from the past to the present and back again, weaving together a story that spans centuries. The characters themselves go through many changes throughout the course of the story. Adair especially surprised me when his cruelty and power over the other characters became something else by the end of the book. But all of the characters seem to have one thing in common: they are all capable of lies and deceit, and the reader is never really sure who to trust. The Reckoning never loses momentum and unlike many “middle” books, it was even better than The Taker, if that’s possible. The writing is gorgeous and almost visceral, and there was more than one occasion when I marked a lovely passage to go back again read again. Katsu ends the book in a highly satisfying way, but wisely leaves many questions unanswered that she will most likely address in the final installment. A heady mix of intrigue, cruelty, betrayal and enduring love, The Reckoning will leave you breathless and impatient for more. Many thanks to the author and publisher for supplying a review copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BrokenTeepee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In The Reckoning Lanny and Luke, the man who helped her are in London attending a museum exhibit of Lost Treasures that Lanny had anonymously donated when Lanny feels a sharp buzzing and she knows that Adair has escaped from the building where she confined him. Now she is scared because she knows that he will come looking for her. She also knows that he will stop at nothing to hurt her and that means he will harm Luke and his family. So Lanny runs.What follows is a tale of Adair walking into a world he does not recognize. A world he is finding it hard to understand. All of his skills are useless in a world driven by computers and cell phones. He finds an old acolyte to again rule over and starts his search for Lanny. He has been dreaming of revenge for 200 years - but is it revenge that he truly wants?Lanny knows that she is in deep trouble when Adair finds her and she knows that he will. As she tries to hide from him she reconnects with "the old gang" and learns more pieces of the pasts of various members and deeper truths about herself and Adair. What she learns shocks her to her core and she now truly understands that very fine line between hate and love.What is so special about both of the books written by Ms. Katsu is the magic of the writing. It swirls around in your brain and brings you to a new place where you can believe that immortals walk the Earth. Her way with words is truly something special and while these books are in a genre I generally do not enjoy I find myself enthralled when I start reading. I cannot wait for the final installment to learn how it all began.
Lila_Gustavus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As The Reckoning is a part of the trilogy, I'm advising everyone who hasn't read part one, The Taker, to hurry up, get it and read it. The sooner, the better. This way you'll get to enjoy The Reckoning as soon as possible. And trust me, your time will not be wasted. Alma Katsu wrote a fantastic book. Even better, in my opinion, than her debut, The Taker. Which must have been a difficult task, considering that usually the middle books in trilogies are the weakest (that has been my experience).Ms. Katsu wrote the continuation of Lanore's and Adair's stories with so much refinement that I was actually humbled in my light (sometimes possibly patronizing) treatment of the paranormal romance genre, although The Reckoning definitely belongs to the dark group of paranormal romances. It really is an intelligent novel, with writing and characters and the plot that stand out from the crowd that floods today's book market. This second part of The Taker Trilogy is better than the first (don't get discouraged, because The Taker is certainly a great beginning and you will want to read the whole trilogy based on it) in one, very important aspect. While The Taker was a fairy tale for adults, with very strong and mostly very brutal sexual elements, The Reckoning is no longer that. It deals with serious issues, such as a possibility of redemption, an opportunity to change and why it's not always fulfilled. It shows us the strength of love that endures centuries but that also can be very dangerous and may make us vulnerable to others and open to be fully exploited, helpless and yearning for the end of our lives. The Reckoning serves us the painting of how tragically potent and destructive human emotions can be in their extremes. All that makes Alma Katsu's second book a notch above the clear-cut fairy tales, even the ones in the spirit of Grimm Brothers.And here, I must break my rule of never comparing one work with another. In general, such comparisons may very well turn detrimental to the novel discussed. However, in the case of The Taker Trilogy, such doubts must be dispelled. It will indeed appeal to readers who are 'seeking a less erotic, more literary Fifty Shades of Grey. But it will also satisfy those of us who run away from any book mentioned in the same sentence with The Fifty Shades Trilogy. Trust me, Alma Katsu is a class writer of her own, galaxies above what E. L. James could ever produce.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story
DTChantel More than 1 year ago
Alma Katsu’s second installment of the “The Taker” trilogy was an astounding surprise. She manages to overcome the mediocrity that plagues second, or middle, books in a series and writes a fascinating and completely compelling story that captivates from the very first word. I found it almost impossible to put this book down and was quickly mesmerized by the smooth, seductive narrative and the hypnotic weaving of the back stories of a few of the main characters. “The Reckoning” referenced by the title is not what you would expect or anticipate at the close of “The Taker,” but each character in the book has a reckoning of some type. These epiphanies are surprising and in some cases, shocking, and pull you further into the unfathomable mysteries surrounding these characters. At the end of the book, I found that it was the characters, even more than the action, that made me wish their stories would never end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having completed my graduate degree last year I finally have the pleasure to indulge in "light" reading...add to that "easy summer reading" (one of my favorite pastimes) and the trilogy is a winner! My friend gave me "The Taker" to read and I was hooked....My only problem is I have to wait for the third book...please hurry Alma...it's getting cold in my neighborhood!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved continuing the story without pages and pages of recapping. Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found a deal on the  first book The Taker, and got hooked on the series.  I cannot wait for the third installment.  Yes, they do need to be read in order. Start with The Taker.   This was one of those books you won't want to put down.   Lanore is looking for love in all the wrong places.  Love the alchemy twist on immortality.  You will develop a love/hate relationship with Adair.  Don't want to give away the plot like alot of reviewers do.  It suffices to say that if you like historical you will love the traveling across time that comes with immortality.  i love that it is magic/fantasy without the unbelievable monsters and demons.  I have had enough of vampires and werewolves.  I would much rather believe in the magic and possibilities of a love that spans across time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THE RECKONING is a brilliant sequel. Katsu makes sure that her exposition remains active, never allowing any summary of the first book in the trilogy to get in the way of the action-packed events of the second book. I normally don't like the first few chapters of a sequel, but Katsu manages to bring life to them in a way others do not. Thank you for an amazing read. I hope it's adapted into a theatrical experience.
Christas_Books More than 1 year ago
The more I read this series the more I love Alma Katsu’s writing. She is a mystery/paranormal/historical fiction mastermind. She’s got three genres going on here and doesn’t drop the ball once. The Reckoningreunited us with Lanny and Luke a few months after The Taker ends. They’ve settled into a life together and Lanny is learning to let go of her past, to really let herself be free.  This plan hits a snag however when the building keeping Adair prisoner is demolished and he is finalley freed, ready to seek vengeance on Lanny. Despite being horribly evil Adair is easily my favourite character of this series. He’s just so…bad. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page when he’s in the scene. So you can imagine I was happy to see him return in The Reckoning. Not only does he return – you get to know his character in some very new and personal ways. It was really interesting to get a look inside the mind of the Devil himself. The Reckoning also goes back and fills in the gaps. It tells the reader, in amazing detail, what Lanore goes through all those years that Adair was buried in the wall. She travelled all over the world and Alma Katsu devotes equal attention to all the different locations she visited. From Moracco, to Italy, to Barcelona – it is so easy to get swept up in the epic nature of this story. Final recommendation:if you haven’t picked up this series yet, go out and find a copy of book one, The Taker, immediately. If you’ve already read (and loved) The Takeryou will not be disappointed by The Reckoning. It is a sequel that is every bit as good as the first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was not at all disappointed with the sequel. It was just as entertaining and surprising as the first. It kept me on the edge of my seat. Storytelling at the very best!!!! I can't wait for book three.....
SnickersDB More than 1 year ago
This was a good book to keep up with the story. This was not as good as book #1. I felt this book dragged on and did not keep me wanting to read more. I got through it for the story background and with the hope that book #3 will be as good as book #1.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I encourage you to read the all.
AngelaCarr More than 1 year ago
Ms. Katsu provided another well written, suspenseful, deeply emotional and definitely another engaging story. This dark LOVE TRIANGLE will sure stir up emotions and the extraordinary story telling will have you reading non stop. The book starts with a quote that I believe sets the tone and prepares readers of what’s to come. The question is, who is the Beast and who is Beauty? "You'll always be dear to me, Beast. I’m truly your friend. But I don't think I shall ever be able to marry you." "You're my only Joy," said Beast. "I'd die without you. Promise, at least, that you’ll never leave." -Beauty and the Beast, Madame Leprince de Beaumont After hundreds of years of her immortal life, Lenore is still in the same situation. She is still helplessly in love with Jonathan, a man that can never and will never love her back. Now, she is mourning his death. The book takes off a little after The Taker had ended, as Luke and Lenore continue their days trying to get some routine or normalcy but with Lenore’s immortal life, nothing will ever be simple. If you’ve read The Taker (which I recommend reading first), you know that Lenore is not only on the run from the law but she is also on the run from her past, Adair in particular. However, her past will soon catch up and well, shock the hell out of her. Adair’s imminent Reckoning is here and his revelation is not what I expected. He definitely had time to think of Lenore’s betrayal. It was justified but what he went through was unforgivable, IMO. It was wild to see him come out of his prison and wake up to find himself in a new world. Ms. Katsu did well to explain his experiences with adapting and comparing the now and then. She also focused more on his POV, which was great because I was right about his evil existence, his sick obsessions and evil doings in the past and present….sick bastard. But damn, Ms. Katsu threw me a curve ball making me think twice of how I feel for Adair. The character build up was quiet amazing. Lenore on the other hand, remains the same, strong willed. She continues to tell her story of the past and of the things she did with and without Jonathan and Adair. Unfortunately, they are more heartaches, betrayals and more hardships. I actually admire her for surviving; given the circumstances, she really does it without any support or assistance from anyone. My heart truly breaks for her, she just can't seem to get a grasp of any happiness. Ms. Katsu has to end this series with a good closure for Lenore, for my heart's sake. We also get to know a bit more of Luke whom I feel bad for. I also hope Ms. Katsu gives him an HEA of his own, it’s well deserved. The other immortals made their presence but didn’t really make a mark on me as much as the leading characters. I do have to warn readers that there are strong contents of sex abuse such as rape and violence in this book. Ms. Katsu kept me on my toes, surprised me with the unexpected outcomes and she left me needing more. Overall, a spellbinding read. *Review copy provided by author