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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sheep Book Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu

The Taker, by Alma Katsu, is a PNR for readers who like some good old-fashioned storytelling mixed in with the darker side of life. And oh my my does this book take on the darkness!

True love can last an eternity...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
starts out in the cold, East Coast town of St. Andrews in the present day. We follow the lonely life of Luke, the small town doctor, and a night shift that might change his entire life. Luke is immediately drawn to the young woman Lanny, but with the cops trying to pin murder charges on her Luke has to make some hard decisions and possibly ruin not only his life but his career as well. It's a high risk gamble but one that could end up being the most life changing event! What will he do?!

What I liked the most about this story was the fact that the author takes the time to tell her story. It's like when you watch a well-written film for the dialog and character interaction, rather than the bang-bang and special effects. As the story continues into the history of St. Andrews you get to totally immerse yourself in the hard life our early settlers faced in the snow-covered lands close to Canada. The perfect amount of time is used to get the reader to feel as though they have become a part of that time, the people, and the family life that was so different. I was never bored in these moments and truly enjoyed them.

One of the major downfalls though was the present day interaction between Lanny and Luke. I never understood it and frankly wish this was either taken out or written completely different. Luke never strikes me as the type of guy to jump through so many hoops nor do or say all the things he does over the course of the book. In fact I would go so far as to say he was "Luke warm". (Get it? Pun usage. Point for me!) I am trying to keep this review spoiler-free but if you've already read this and would like to know my point of facts please feel free to email me privately.

Aside from the present-day nonsense, the story does have a very dark and twisted element; you should be aware this includes suicide, rape, kidnapping, murder and physical abuse towards women. I had to skim over a couple of pages, so make sure to put your big girl pants on before diving into this one. It's dark and twisted, but hopefully a message can be gained from the experience. If nothing else...never get in the car with strangers.

The next edition to this saga, The Reckoning, hits shelves June 19th 2012.

Getting 3 'Barn yard escapades' Sheep


  1. I have a copy of this and tried to read it, but faltered and set it aside. I will have to pick it up again. Whats up with the cover changes? I have the original and now I see the ever present mask showing up. It seems to be making an appearance everywhere - not that it is not lovely, it just seems to be quite a trend and has me curious.

  2. I agree with you on the mask issue...I guess it adds that element of mystery and secrets. The cover doesn't grab my attention.

  3. OMGosh, I was not prepared when I read this book! It was *extremely* dark. I got about 40% in, and nearly put it down. Those poor people had absolutely NOTHING go their way. It was really heavy (I sound like Marty McFly lol). I ended up liking it, and I'll definitely read the next one. I think I read somewhere that it will be a trilogy. And I don't really like the mask either - the orignal cover conveyed some of the bleakness of the novel!

    1. well, now you have me wanting to try it. I love DARK themes. kill, kill, hate, hate, murder, murder, mutilate! now....

    2. I had such mixed emotions too if you couldn't tell! I will prob give book 2 a go just to see what the heck happens next but damn is this one dark! Like wow dark.

  4. I just finished reading "The Taker" by Alma Katsu and it's an intriguing blend of historical fiction and supernatural elements. I loved how the characters were fleshed out and the story kept me guessing. On a different note, if anyone’s planning a kitchen renovation Dubai, CCGK is a top choice—they've been transforming spaces for over two decades with innovative design solutions!