Friday, September 2, 2011

Early Review of The Taker by Alma Katsu - Debut Novel

The Taker
  • Title: The Taker
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Supernatural/ Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (September 6, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1439197059
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439197059
  • Author's website:
  • Notes: Contains rape, violence, & ménage à trois.     
     Looking at the woman (girl?), Luke feels a strange tingle, a buzz behind his eyes. His pulse picks up with something almost like--recognition. I know you, he thinks. Not her name, perhaps, but something more fundamental. What is it? 

In the dead of winter and dark of the night a young woman is brought into the emergency room covered in blood, but not her own. Having confessed to murder she has been brought in to assure she has no physical injuries of her own. While with the doctor she makes a secondary confession - she is immortal and asks for his help escaping from the police.

     "Let me show you something."
     Then, with no warning, she points the scalpel at herself and cuts into her chest.  A long, broad line that catches her left breast and runs all the way to the rib area under her right breast. Luke is frozen in place for a moment as the line blooms red across her white skin. Blood oozes from the cut, pulpy red tissue starting to peep from the opening.
     "Oh my god!" he says. What the hell is wrong with this girl--is she crazy? Does she have some kind of death wish? He snaps out of his baffled inertia and starts toward the gurney.
     "Stay back!" she says, jabbing the scalpel at him again. "Just watch. Look."
     She lifts her chest, arms outstretched, as thought to give him a better view, but Luke can see fine, only he can't believe what he is seeing. The two sides of the cut are creeping together toward each other like tendrils of a plant, rejoining, knitting together. The cut has stopped bleeding and is starting to heal. Through it. the girl's breathing is rough but she betrays no sign of pain.

And so begins the tale of how she got to this point in her life. How she became immortal and came to kill the man whom she claims to have loved. Spanning hundreds of years and toggling between the past and present, the story slowly unfolds capturing you into its clutches and immersing you into a world of lies, seduction, debauchery, and deceit. This one will have you enthralled from the very first page. So clear some time from your schedule and be prepared to read it in one sitting.

I loved Lanny and how she was both smart and naive. I loved how she acknowledged her weakness and her inability to overcome it. I loved discovering where Luke had seen Lanny before. I disliked Jonathan and the way he treated Lanny. It seemed he fell in and out of love at the drop of the hat and thought of nothing one but himself. I would have loved to have found out how Jonathan would have reacted if he lost his good looks.

Adair was perfect for the role of seducer and predator. He's handsome, wealthy, and surrounds himself with beautiful people. He can lay the perfect trap. The story about how he came to be immortal was heart wrenching. I'd love to find out more about the Physic and how he came to have the elixir for immortality. The twist at the end really got me. I knew something wasn't right, but I was totally caught off guard.

I found this to be a dark tale that seduces you into it's dark world. It will get you thinking and make you wonder about many things--What would you be willing to do for the one you love? Could you love them enough to let them go? Would you be willing to right a wrong you'd done them. Also, if offered immortality would you be willing to take it and, if so, at what cost?

If I had to liken this to something else, it would be Alyson Noel's The Immortals series meets 'Interview with a Vampire' with a dash of  'Eyes Wide Shut' mixed in for good measure. Make no mistake, however, this is a very original story. While everyone is attempting to give you a feel of what the book is like by making comparisons, the book is unique unto itself.

Where does the book get its name? I believe from the following:
      “I´ve always wanted him to love me the way I loved him. He did love me, I know he did. Just not the way I wanted him to.
      And it´s so different for a lot of people I´ve known. One partner doesn´t love the other enough to stop drinking, or gambling, or running around with other women. One is the giver and one is the taker. The giver wishes the taker would stop."
      "But the taker never changes," Luke says, though he wonders if this is always the case.
     "Sometimes the giver has to let go, but sometimes you don´t. You can´t. I couldn´t give up on Jonathan. I seemed to be able to forgive him anything.” 

 I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. This was a total and utter book seduction for me. A wonderful debut novel. Loving that this is the first of a trilogy.

Book Trailer:

Interviews with the author:


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