Lanore McIlvrae is brought into a hospital in small town St. Andrews, Maine late one cold night by the police. She had been found wandering the highway in the middle of the night, with blood soaked clothes, and is suspected of murder. Luke Findley is the ER doctor on call who is inexplicably drawn to Lanore as soon as he meets her. Lanore starts to tell Luke a fantastic story, about her childhood in St. Andrews over two hundred years ago. That of course can not possibly be true, until Lanore proves to Luke that in fact her claims of immortality isn’t the stuff of fairy tales. Before you know it, Lanore and Luke are on the run from the police and more of Lanore’s incredible life story unravels, including her life-long love for the self absorbed Jonathan (who also happens to be the man she is suspecting of murdering) and the connection that binds her to Aidar, a sadistic man who made Lanore what she is today. But can Lanore truly run from her past and start over again, or is it only a matter of time until it all catches up to her?
The Taker by Alma Katsu, the first book in a trilogy, was a wild ride of a story that had me feverishly turning the pages. This atmospheric, gothic tale of doomed romantic love, the price of immortality and escaping your own fate was a great story that grabs hold of you and won’t let you go until the very last page.
What’s interesting about The Taker is that even though I didn’t find the character’s very likeable, I still wanted to continue reading to see what would happen to them. Lanore comes off as selfish and manipulative, Aidar is controlling and just plain crazy and Jonathan as a self absorbed man who has a wandering eye for all the pretty ladies. This would usually turn me off, as I tend to need to get emotionally invested with the characters to care what happens to them. This wasn’t the case however with The Taker. I simply found the story to be so darn intriguing that I just had to continue reading! I was glad though to read in the Q&A section at the back of the book, where the author says that ultimately the characters in the series will struggle with the question of redemption. I’ll be holding my breath to see if in fact the author will make the characters a bit more sympathetic in book two. Regardless, I very much enjoyed The Taker and cannot wait to get my hands on book two, The Reckoning which is due out on June 19th! Thanks to Wunderkind PR for sending this great book my way. For more information about the author, you can visit her website here.