Friday, 18 November 2011

Review for October’s Readers Choice The Taker by Alma Katsu

The Taker by Alma Katsu
Publisher: Century
Release Date: 14th April 2011
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Amazon Summary:

Have you ever loved someone so much that you'd do anything for them?

When Dr Luke Findley turns up to his hospital shift in the small town of St Andrews, Maine, he's expecting just another evening of minor injuries and domestic disputes. But instead, Lanore McIlvrae walks into his life - and changes it forever. For Lanny is a woman with a past...

Lanny McIlvrae is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. Hers is a story of love and betrayal that defies time and transcends mortality - and cannot end until Lanny's demons are finally put to rest. Her two hundred years on this earth have seen her seduced by both decadence and brutality - but through it all she has stayed true to the one true love of her life. Until now.

An unforgettable novel about the power of unrequited love to elevate and sustain, but also to blind and ultimately destroy, The Taker is an immortal love story on an epic scale..."

The Taker is an extraordinary and original immortal love story. What makes it stand out from others in its genre is that this is a story of unrequited love, which I thought was brilliant as I’m sure everyone knows from experience that unfortunately romantic feelings are not always returned and there isn’t always a happily ever after as a lot of paranormal romance suggests.

What first attracted me to The Taker was the books beautiful design. The gothic cover and black edged pages gives this book a compelling and dark feel that matched what’s inside perfectly. The book starts with Dr Luke Findley turning up for the night shift at the hospital where he works which brings him to meet Lanny a young and unusual woman brought in for examination after confessing to a murder. During Luke’s examination of Lanny he discovers that her injuries heal at rapid speed, that she’s been alive for 200 years and she needs Luke’s help. And so Lanny’s story begins and it’s one of danger, love, violence and dark magic that explain how she came to be standing before Luke today. Her story begins in 1809 and the book alternates between present and past making it part Supernatural Romance and part Historical Fiction.

The Taker is such a well written book that it’s impossible not to become totally immersed in it after only a few short pages. There are so many mysteries and the writing’s so dark and compelling making it a highly addictive read. Lanny’s is a story like no other and her journey and love for one man that transcends time is so fascinating to read.

This book has a recurring theme of unrequited love throughout but it’s also a story about the darker side of love and those darkest of human emotions that come along with it like jealousy and obsession and the drastic actions such feelings can lead someone to take. Lanny’s story is not a happy one. She goes through some terrible and horrific things and is by no means a perfect heroine. But there is something vulnerable and good about her despite everything and for that reason I really felt for her and wanted her to find some happiness and relief.

The only thing that I didn’t enjoy about this book is that some parts are quite brutal. The book features scenes of sexual violence, rape and paedophilia. I don’t think of myself as faint hearted but reading some parts of this book made me feel very uncomfortable so much so that at times I had to skim ahead just to get the jist of what had happened and move on. I understand completely why Katsu had to include these things into her story so we could understand exactly what these characters had been through and how the past had made them who they are today but I personally found some scenes a bit much.

Overall The Taker is a remarkable gothic romance like no other and I can hardly believe that this is Katsu’s debut. Terrifying and absorbing The Taker is a thrilling gothic romp that’s not for the faint of heart and not to be missed by those who can handle it!


  1. I love the sound of this! Although there have been mixed reviews, it is definitely one I would love to read.

  2. I loved this - glad you enjoyed too!

    I agree it contains pretty dark sexual themes etc at times which was fine for me as it is an adult book, so no problem with that, but I remember when it was out it was being mentioned as a book that fans of Twilight would like. lol! I was's definitely a grown up book! I think the twi-hards would get a shock if they read this!

  3. Haha! Yes if people went into this expecting some sweet Bella and Edward love story I think they'd really get a shock!

  4. I loved this one but yes, it's pretty dark in places. One of those books you don't forget easily. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel.


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