The Taker by Alma Katsu has to be one of my best reads of 2011. The minute I put it down, I had the urge to pick it up and re-read it, though the mystery had unraveled itself for me. The Taker is not like anything else you’ve read before. I say that almost about a lot of books I read, however this one truly takes the cake.
The story centers on Lanny, who has become immortal. I will not reveal how and spoil it for you. That’s for you to read and figure. The book begins when Luke, a small town doctor in Maine is drawn to Lanny, who has admitted to a murder. While helping Lanny, she tells him the story of her life and love for Jonathan, and the readers are drawn back and forth in the book from the 1800’s to present day.
Lanny’s story is that of love and how she did everything in its name, only to be ensnared and captured and has to suffer as she loves. I am not going to give anything away in the review, however I must say that The Taker had me gasping in certain places and yes I was scared to some extent as well.
The Taker is not your vampire fiction or paranormal teenage romance book and I was thanking Alma Katsu for not giving it that shape and form. Lanny’s character is so well-etched that you catch yourself feeling both – angry and sympathetic towards her. On one hand her love for Jonathan is heart-wrenching and on the other, the extent to which she will go to in order to acquire his heart is ruthless. This makes her even more humane and extraordinary at the same time.
Katsu never for once misses the spot while telling this tale. Her writing is taut and elegant and it has to be considering the plot that she has invented is fascinating. Love is of many kinds and in The Taker, Ms. Katsu reveals the obsessive nature of love and yet not once will it leave a bad taste in your mouth. The Taker has all elements of a great goth romance and it so delivers. Alma’s writing is beautiful and fluid – it transported me for sure to different worlds and honestly I did not want the book to end. I have been told that this is a trilogy and that has now kept me waiting for the second book in the series.