Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review of The Taker by Alma Katsu

True love can last an eternity . . . but immortality comes at a price. . . .
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.
                                            PRAISE FOR THE TAKER
"Alma Katsu's debut takes the reader on a spellbinding journey through time. This sensual tale of starcrossed love, betrayal, and redemption is a rare and addictive treat. Pleasurable from page one" - DANIELLE TRUSSONI, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of Angeleology

" Alma Katsu's The Taker is a frighteningly compelling story about those most human monsters--desire and obsession. It will curl your hair and keep you late at night."- KEITH DONOGHUE, bestselling author of The Stolen Child

" Alma Katsu takes reader by surprise in the first chapter of her mesmerizing debut a never stops delivering. What a wonderful book! A dark, gothic epic worth savoring. A sweeping story that transends time as it moves effortlessly from the tempestous past to the frightening present. Enchanting and enthralling! No question--I was taken!- M.J. ROSE, international bestselling author of The Hypnotist 

" A centuries epic that will keep you turning pages all night. This marvelous debut is a thinking person's guilty pleasure."- SCOTT WESTERFELD, New York Times bestselling author of Leviathan

" Alma's searing tale of otherworldly lovers and eternal obsession will seduce you from page one. With its elegant prose and riveting plot, The Taker is as irresistible as the hauntingly beautiful, pleasure-seeking immortals who scorch its pages. A wicked, sensoous, shattering love story that I can't  recommend enough. You have experience it for yourself!"- KRESLEY COLE, #1 New York Times bestselling author

" This is a great book. And by great, I mean devastatingly so, like reading The Scarlet Letter while riding a roller coaster, on acid. Seductive, daring, soaring, and ultimately gut-wrenching. The Taker is a lush, historical rendering of transcendent love, paranormal beings, and dephts of pain that can be felt by immortal hearts."- JAMIE FORD, New York Times Bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

"Alma Katsu's tale of immortal love is brutal, wrenching, and ultimately moving. Gothic and richly detailed, The Taker is an astonishing good read."- MEG WHITE CLAYTON, bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters.

" The Taker is a sexy dark romance. Alma Katsu's tale of immortality. and unrequited love covers hundreds of years but never strays from the question: What price are we willing to pay to completely possess another?- ALEXI ZENTER, author of Touch
                                       About The Taker  

Available as: E-book, $11.99 ('s Kindle Edition), Hardcover, $13.13 from, Paperback, $10.94 from
Recommended Ages: 17 and Up                                                                   
Hardcover: 438 pgs.
Published:  September 6th 2011 by Simon & Schuster / Gallery Press

 For This Review:  *Book Copy Provided Through Goodreads First-reads Giveaway Program*

My Star Review                                                                          
Buy The Taker

The story of unrequited love takes a new meaning in "The Taker". For Lanore ("Lanny") life close to childhood friend Jonathan St. Andrew is enchanting. Jonathan has an incredible charasmatic pull which Lanore can't help herself fall in love with. As Lanore matures into a woman she realizes that same love will allow her to to go to great extremes. Sadly,  she also realizes that Jonathan isn't able to return her love. When tragedy strikes she's forced to leave the town of St. Andrew, Maine to Boston. Scared and alone she comes to meet Adair, a mysteriously seductive man, who gifts her with immortality. Going from the present through the past's many centuries with beautiful description makes it a very pleasant experience. It is in this way, we hear Lanore's story of an intense love, painful memories, and human nature that is left to the reader: to either forgive or forsake.

The characters within The Taker contain remarkable beauty and immortality yet are never content. The most admirable of all the characters is Lanore with her fierce undying love for one man.

The Taker not only has a beautiful amazingly rich storyline but its characters are by far the most complex. I've seen in a while. There is this evocative feel as well as sadness within the story that we can sympathize or at times even despise. A very, very emotional read that will leave you uplifted with its many lessons or shattered. For if your read "The Taker" you'll understand. It's just so richly detailed and beautiful. And, I'm happy to say I'm in love with The Taker!

                                                 Overall: Amazing read!
  Genre: Fiction, Immortals, Alchemy, Historical Fiction, Romance

                                   QUOTES OF THE TAKER BY ALMA KATSU
" You might ask if I love Jonathan for his beauty, and I would answer: that is a pointless question, for his great, uncommon beauty was an irreducible part of the whole. It gave him his quiet confidence--which some might called aloof arrogance--and his easy, disarming way with the fairere sex.
And if his beauty drew my eye from the first, I'll not apologize for it, nor will I apologize for my desire to claim Jonathan for my own. To behold such beauty is to wish to possess it; it's desire that drives every collector. And I was hardly alone. Nearly every person who came  to know Jonathan tried to possess him. This was his curse, and the curse of every person who loved him. But it was like being in love with the sun: brilliant and intoxicating  to be near, but impossible to keep to oneself. It was hopeless to love him and yet it was hopeless not to.
And so I was afflicted by Jonathan's curse, caught up in his terrible attraction, and both of us were doomed to suffer for it."
~ Lanore McIlvrae, The Taker (Pg. 24)

" But now with hard-earned wisdom, I understand how foolish we were to say such dangerous words to each other! We were arrogant and naive, thinking we knew what we felt was love. Love can be a cheap emotion, lightly given, though it didn't seem so to me at the time. Looking back, I know we were only filling in the holes in our souls, the way the tide rushes sand to fill in the crevices of a rocky shore"
~ Lanore McIlvrae, The Taker (Pg. 97)

" You shouldn't take his inconstancy to heart. He's not capable of such love, not for any woman. He's not capable on putting anyone else's needs before his own wants and desires. For instance, he told me it troubles him that he makes you so unhappy---'
~ Adair, The Taker (Pg. 97)

" That was when it hit me, what I had lost. Jonathan had always been there, even during  the years when we were apart, and the resonant hum had always been in the back of my mind, a comfort. Now all, I had was a great, sucking void."
~ Lanore McIlvrae, The Taker (Pg. 430)

" I don't remember ending up at the highway, limping along the logging road to be found by the sheriff and his deputy. It wasn't until I'd been locked in the car with my hands cuffed that it  all came back to me, that I realized all I wanted was to be back in the woods with him, to die with him so we could stay together forever."
~ Lanore McIlvrae, The Taker (Pg. 430)


                                                                    About the Author
Alma Katsu is an author who used to love to spend her childhood in books before her love for writing really came out. The Golden Book of Fairytales is her prized possession. 

The Taker is her debut novel. The Reckoning is her second novel in The Taker series which is to come out in June 2012. While, The Descent is Book Three in The Taker series.

Alma Katsu's Website for Information on her and her books:


Unknown said...

Wow! The synopsis of the book sounds great. I'll add this to my wishlist. Great post!

Amused said...

This looks like a great book!

Unknown said...

Cassandra, Thank you for the wonderful write-up! I'm so glad you liked the story. I'll let you know when the second book in the trilogy, The Reckoning, comes out!best,

Lucie said...

Hi Cassandra,
I've enjoyed "The Taker" a lot too. Can't wait until June 2012. Great review!

Cassandra @ Book & Movie Dimension a Blog said...

Thanks Lucie:)

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