THE TAKER by Alma Katsu
THE TAKER by Alma Katsu
THE TAKER can best be described as a novel of mixed genre. It is a historical fantasy that spans the past to the present with sci-fi undertones, gothic horror and there is a definite love story, of sorts. Some reviewers have labeled The Taker as a romance story that crosses the centuries, but for everything I have read, this is definitely not a romance novel. The Taker is well written, thought provoking and eerily depressing. The novel spans two centuries in the life of Lanore (Lanny) McIlvrae and is told through flashbacks and flash forwards using three different and varying points of view. My biggest concern is that the novel left me depressed yet wanting more. Apparently I am a reading-masochist at heart because I want to know what happens next and I know I will regret both-not reading and reading more.
The novel is divided into three parts and three stories. There are overlapping stories (between the parts) where flashbacks are required to explain the significance to the current day drama and within the parts-the story is told from two different points of view and the current day is narration *heavy sigh*. Some readers may find the back and forth confusing, but the individual storytellers recount the circumstances of how they came to be.
Lanny and Jonathan is a story of unrequited love. Lanny has loved Jonathan all of her life and the fact that she has lived more than 200 years, has never eased the longing and memories. But the heartache grows deeper and the sorrow of loss and pain becomes almost unbearable with every bitter story of conquest and denial. Jonathan’s history of womanizing will eventually catch up and it will be Lanny who will make the decision between life and death.
Lanny and Adair is another story of love, power and control. But as her Master, Adair demands things from those he has brought into his life, and his demands are hard, especially on Lanny. Adair believes he is unlovable, a man who has lived 100s if not 1000s of years, but with each incarnation, he becomes more despondent and bored. His need for Lanny can only be explained as a necessary evil. Is it because he knows she will never love him the way she has loved Jonathan, or does it go much deeper than a maker to his charge?
Lanny and Luke’s relationship is the overlapping narration throughout the story. On the run from the authorities, Luke aids Lanny in her cross country and cross continent trek searching for the answers as to who and what is Lanny McIlvrae. Their adventure is the storyline. Lanny recounts her story to Luke, flashing back to the time of her making and allowing Adair’s point of view to flash us back even further. It is this particular part of the storyline that is the apex of the story. All other storylines are told throughout Lanny and Luke’s adventures.
The Taker is a well-written novel. It is not a story of vampires and blood. It is dark, mysterious, depressing and passionate. The storyline will haunt and anger. There is grief for the loss of a love, of a child and a life once shared. But in all honesty when I finished the novel, I felt depressed. There was only loneliness and misery, sorrow and pain. There is no HEA. But this is only Book ONE. OK….*looking around for some Xanax and a couch*….on to The Reckoning July 2012 (Book TWO ) and The Devil’s Scribe (e-novella)
reviewed by Sandy