by Alma KatsuPublished by: Gallery Books Publish Date: July 19, 2012 Genre: Gothic/Paranormal, historical, Series; Book 2 in The Taker Trilogy (read my review of Book 1, The Taker) Source: Print Copy provided for review My Rating: Blurb from Goodreads:
A love triangle spanning 200 years…Alma Katsu takes readers on a breathtaking journey through the landscape of the heart.
New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan) praises Alma Katsu’s The Taker as, “a centuries-spanning epic that will keep you turning pages all night. This marvelous debut is a thinking person’s guilty pleasure.” And Keith Donohue (The Stolen Child) says, “The Taker is a frighteningly compelling story about those most human monsters—desire and obsession. It will curl your hair and keep you up late at night.”
Now Alma Katsu delivers the highly anticipated follow-up to her haunting novel about an immortal woman learning firsthand that the heart wants what the heart wants…no matter how high the stakes. Fans of The Takercan finally indulge in their next juicy fix with the second book of the trilogy, The Reckoning. In this gripping, pulse-pounding supernatural sequel, discover what happens to Lanny, Luke, Adair—and Jonathan. The Reckoning picks up where The Taker leaves off, following Lanny on her path to redemption—and creating a whole new level of suspense.
It is hard to know where to start as I write this review. In Book 1, The Taker, it took me a little bit to understand the characters and the nature of the book. By the end of book 1, I was definitely intrigued and looking forward to The Reckoning. Now that I understand the characters and the setting more, I was able to loose myself in the lives of Lanore and Adair in The Reckoning. The Reckoning was a refreshing change from my usual reads, I was enthralled by this story, and it has become one of my favorite books of the year.
The Reckoning picks up where The Taker left off (yes, you do need to read The Taker first). Lanny (aka Lanore) is at a museum with Luke when she feels that Adair has been freed. Lanny is immediately upset and determined to get as far away from Adair as possible. She does not have a plan, but she comes to realize that keeping Luke around could prove disastrous. Lanny seeks out other immortals, like herself, to help her figure out how to defeat Adair. Meanwhile, Adair is thrust into the modern world and has a difficult time adapting. He wars with himself over his desire to get revenge on Lanny for imprisoning him and his love for her. More of Adair’s past is revealed, and more of his magic is described. The main question in The Reckoning is what Adair will do once he finds Lanore, and what will happen to Luke.
There are many aspects to this series that I enjoy. Author Alma Katsu has found a way to write a series filled with magic and immortal beings without re-using vampire or werewolf mythology. The world, characters, and beings in The Taker Trilogy are refreshingly new, yet they have the feel of old-world magic and mysticism. Beyond the nature of the characters and setting is the style of Alma Katsu’s writing that draws me to this series. The quality of the writing is excellent, the story unfolds slowly with the current story relating to each of the characters pasts. The result is a story that jumps from modern times to past time periods, often centuries past. In each time-period, the imagery and description is vivid. I can’t begin to estimate the amount of time and research that must have been involved in this series, but I fully appreciate the results as seen in the books.
The Reckoning has been described as a love triangle story, and while there is a bit of a love triangle involved, it is not so cut and dry as one might think. Lanore is not vacillating between two men, the reality is that her past and her present are colliding. The love triangle is more of a by-product, not a featured part of the book. So, if you are put-off by love triangles, don’t let that stop you from reading The Reckoning.
I have to mention some thoughts on Adair. I love this complex character. Adair himself is not a lovable character. He is a cruel, merciless, monster of a character who has somehow let a glimmer of love slip into his life. Adair has never in his centuries of existence known love and has no idea how to cultivate it or keep it. His inherent nature is that of violence and control, whereas love is uncontrollable, patient and kind. Adair must deal with these dual natures as well as a vastly different world throughout The Reckoning. Adair seemingly makes progress from the violent monster he was in the first book, but there are many uncertainties for what he will do in the final installment of the series.
I could go on and on about the many aspects of The Reckoning that I loved, but I may loose some of you readers. Let me wrap-up this review with this: Alma Katsu delivers a beautifully written story with intense characters who explore love, selfishness, greed, and power; making The Reckoning one of the best books of the year.
I definitely recommend this series to readers who enjoy gothic, paranormal, or even darker historical novels. *Warning* There are some intense moments in the series that not all readers will be comfortable with (rape, violence, etc). The story is powerful, moving and I can not wait to see how this trilogy will end.
PS- I also have to say that the cover is GORGEOUS. I vote the cover for The Reckoning as one of the best book covers of the year as well. :)
Books 1 and 2, The Taker and The Reckoning are on shelves now. You can buy the books from: