Review: The Taker (The Taker Trilogy #1) by Alma Katsu
A mysterious woman found covered in blood is brought to the local E.R. after having confessed to the euthanasia of her travelling companion. Attempting to persuade her doctor to help her escape police custody, Lanore reveals her body’s healing abilities that defy science and everything Luke has been ingrained to believe in as a doctor. As the two flee, Lanore tells a haunting tale of a life started over 200 years ago, unspeakable sins and debauchery, and the unrequited love for her travelling companion Jonathon. The Taker is a GraveTells Must-Read!
- Title: The Taker
- Series: The Taker Trilogy #1
- Author: Alma Katsu
- Prominent Characters: Lanore, Jonathon, Luke, Adair
- Recommended Reader Age: 18+
- Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
- Sexual Content Level: light to moderate
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
After an inevitable divorce and the death of his parents, Luke is unable to sell his parents’ farm and move on. His life has become a monotonous holding pattern of regret and indecisiveness until Lanore is brought into the E.R. Covered in the blood of her true love, Lanore must prove to Luke that she’s not a murderer and solicit his help in escape. To get his attention, she reveals a secret and weaves a tale that is so unbelievable it forces Luke to turn away from his inherent belief of right and wrong, and follow his heart, and soul.
Lanore’s story begins with Jonathon; the beautiful and alluring son of the town’s founding family. Overcome with her emotion and want to singly possess him, she corners him and professes her love. Born with an almost otherworldly beauty, Jonathon’s face is the kind that turns every head in the room. Men despise him, women want to own him and through it all Lanore is his only friend and confidant.
The story is almost painful to read as the two get older. Jonathon grows into his beauty and the attention it draws causing Lanore’s love for him to reach a turning point and go beyond normal to a dark possessiveness and leading to her forced departure. Alone and in a strange city, she’s lured to the house of Count Adair and forced into a hidden world of excess, depravity, and immorality. Adair’s apparent obsession with the collection of beauty and vitality threatens the one person Lanore holds dear. Because of Lanore’s love and protectiveness of Jonathon, the two embark on a dangerous path that could ultimately lead to the loss of his soul.
Back in the present, Luke is captivated with Lanore’s story. Her inconceivable loss, loneliness, and amount of love she has to give brings out an inherent belief that he must protect her at all costs, as well as an emerging affection for her that he can’t explain. As she draws them deeper into her past, she provides the ability for him to finally move on from his own.
“I´ve always wanted him to love me the way I loved him. He did love me, I know he did. Just not the way I wanted him to.
“And it´s so different for a lot of people I´ve known. One partner doesn´t love the other enough to stop drinking, or gambling, or running around with other women. One is the giver and one is the taker. The giver wishes the taker would stop.”
“But the taker never changes,” Luke says, though he wonders if this is always the case.
“Sometimes the giver has to let go, but sometimes you don´t. You can´t. I couldn´t give up on Jonathan. I seemed to be able to forgive him anything.”
The deception of youth
“We were arrogant and naive, thinking we knew what we felt then was love. Love can be a cheap emotion, lightly given, though it didn’t seem so to me at the time. Looking back, I know we were only filling in the holes in our souls, the way the tide rushes sand to fill in the crevices of a rocky shore. We-or maybe it was just I-bandaged our needs with what we declared was love. But, eventually, the tide draws out what it has swept in.”
A warning taken in stride, but neglected
“I’ve come to warn you, too. It’s a dangerous game you’re playing. There’s a reason the rest of us maintain a distance from Adair, and we’ve learned our lesson the hard way. But now you’ve shown him love and that’s given him the notion that he is deserving of such devotion. Did you ever think that perhaps the only thing that holds the devil in check is that he knows how despised he his? Even the devil longs for sympathy at times, but sympathy for the devil is fuel for the flame. Your love will embolden him–likely in a way that will bring you regret.”
If you liked The Taker…
If you enjoyed The Taker and are looking for more dark tales of unrequited love, passion, and possession, don’t miss E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, a memorable story of passion, discovery, and the ultimate control.
The Taker is gripping, desolate, and beautiful. Katsu’s way with words and ability to leave the reader on the edge of their seat as she maneuvers through past and present, love and lasciviousness, keeps your eyes glued to the page and your heart in your throat. The Taker is a must-read!
Rating: The Taker