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The Descent: Book Three of the Taker Trilogy Paperback – January 7, 2014

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The Descent: Book Three of the Taker Trilogy + The Reckoning: Book Two of the Taker Trilogy + The Taker: Book One of the Taker Trilogy
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Product Details

  • Series: The Taker Trilogy (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451651821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451651829
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Katsu concludes her engrossing Taker trilogy (The Reckoning, 2012; The Taker, 2011) with this yarn, which finds immortal heroine Lanny haunted by dreams of the object of her obsession, Jonathan, in torment in the underworld. Distraught at the thought of Jonathan being tortured by the Queen of the Underworld for the rest of time, Lanny resolves to seek out dangerous, unpredictable Adair, who gave her the gift of eternal life. Lanny finds Adair is much changed from the brutal man who kept his followers virtually enslaved. He now lives on a remote Mediterranean island in a gigantic mansion with two young but decidedly mortal women. Lanny cautiously inserts herself into Adair’s life, and once she works up the courage to ask him to help her reach the underworld, she finds her feelings for him have blossomed into love. With a surprising twist that explains much of the mythology of the series, this thrilling conclusion is a can’t-miss entry for fans who have followed Lanny’s journey from 1800s New England to contemporary times. And it’s utterly impossible to put down. --Kristine Huntley


“This is ultimately what makes Lanore such a compelling heroine, and what makes this series so indelible: While her journey is set in an extraordinary world, her need to love and be loved is fundamental.Her passions are our passions, her weaknesses are our weaknesses, and her quest for a perfect love is every woman’s quest for a satisfied heart.” (Jamie Brenner, Heroes & Heartbreakers)

“This isn’t a vampire trilogy; it’s something entirely new. It’s smart, sophisticated, and utterly shocking; if you have delicate sensibilities, you may prefer not to pick up these books. But if you’re an adventurous reader and enjoy beautiful writing and characters you can’t even imagine, Katsu’s trilogy is an absolute must read.” (S. Krishna's Books)

“Beautifully written with fleshed out characters and an engaging conclusion… Katsu has created the most unusual and dark characters yet she managed to make me fall in love with them all… The Descent was decadent, and all of the questions and puzzle pieces fell into place… The Descent was a brilliant, well crafted ending to this dark trilogy.” (Caffeinated Book Reviewer)

“While the ending wasn’t one I would have wanted in the first book, by the time it happened, I LOVED it. I thought it was absolutely perfect and helped me put the series away in my mind, it was the definition of closure… I cannot recommend this series more highly for those who love strange, gritty, dark books that will shock you but keep you riveted to the pages. The Descent was the perfect end to a great series.” (Book Addiction)

“Alma Katsu’s The Descent is one of my most anticipated read since reading The Reckoning in 2012. This novel is the last of The Taker Trilogy, and I must say, Ms. Katsu did an AMAZING job.” (Under the Covers)

"Throw away everything that you thought you knew about this series. I don’t believe there is a reader who could have foreseen the culmination of this trilogy… I loved The Descent and adored this series. It’s the kind of series you pass along to your friends…" (Vampire Book Club)

"[The Descent] will blow readers away with its creativity, nuance, and multilayered story. Book series tend to taper off for readers in terms of depth of story and the ability to surprise, but Katsu’s Taker series has transcended levels with each installment… Peers behind the veil between the human and spiritual world… A stunning end to a brilliant trilogy.” (Savvy Verse and Wit)

“It’s always difficult to come to the end of a series, especially one that was so good… This is certainly one of the more interesting series to come along in quite a while.” (Bookreporter)

"The Descent is enchantingly magical with unanticipated surprises and fascinating charactersan unforgettable roller-coaster ride, where emotions run the gamut from deep fear to highest elation. The Descent is part of an extraordinary series, where supernatural adventures are memorable while the cast of characters are notably original.” (Single Titles)

“Brilliant series” (RT Book Reviews)

“More than a wee bit dark, and super sexy. . . " (Cosmopolitan UK)

“Beautiful, mesmerizing.” (Library Journal)

“A spellbinding journey through time.” (New York Times bestselling author Danielle Trussoni)

Alma Katsu’s searing tale of otherworldly lovers and eternal obsession will seduce you from page one. . . . The Taker is as irresistible as the hauntingly beautiful, pleasure-seeking immortals who scorch its pages. You have to experience it for yourself!” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole)

“Did you ever pick up a book that changed the way you looked at a certain genre? That's how I felt when I read Alma Katsu's The Taker. Her vivid, imaginative storytelling, and the most unique worldbuilding ever…” (The Reading Frenzy)

“This is a greatbook. And by great, I mean, devastatingly so, like reading The ScarletLetter, while riding a roller coaster, on acid. Seductive, daring, soaring,and ultimately gut-wrenching. . . .” (New York Times)

“Imaginative, wholly original. . . . Mesmerizing.” (Booklist (starred review))

"This story resonates with spirit, blending myth withreality, tragedy with triumph, the pages oozing with passion into a compellingsaga. Sharp as a broken piece of glass, crisply plotted, way ahead ofanything and everything in the pack." (Steve Berry)

"I was really grabbed by the narrative voice and I was fascinated by the story--what a story!" (Charlaine Harris, NYT bestselling co-author of graphic novel Cemetery Girl, on Alma Katsu's The Taker)

Looking for a good read? Get ready to hear about a time-transcending page turner. Two years ago,having just finished The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer, I was still hungry for more of the supernatural. My only hesitation was that I wanted something a little more plausible than blood-sucking vampires. As fate would have it, I stumbled upon The Taker by Alma Katsu. Dutifully, I checked reviews before purchasing the book. How I hadn’t heard of it prior to then is beyond me, as the book was insanely well-received and only growing in popularity. I took the novel home and was blown away by the captivating story of an impressionable young woman, the “Adonis” who she falls in love with and the “monster” who falls in love with her. Lanore, Jonathan and Adair had me spellbound like no other characters have. The Taker satiated my need for the supernatural, but was unique in it’s portrayal of everlasting love and unrelenting obsession, both of which know no boundaries for these characters. The second installment, The Reckoning, was equally fascinating—the never-ending love chase propelling the jump between several different time periods and beautiful locations all over the world. Finally, the end of this twisted tale will come to an end with Katsu’s final installment, The Descent. (Jennifer Castro, Cliche Magazine)

More About the Author

Read what people are saying about THE DESCENT, the final book in the Taker Trilogy:

"This isn't a vampire trilogy; it's something entirely new. It's smart, sophisticated, and utterly shocking; if you have delicate sensibilities, you may prefer not to pick up these books. But if you're an adventurous reader and enjoy beautiful writing and characters you can't even imagine, Katsu's trilogy is an absolute must read." -S. Krishna's Books

"Blows me away with the beauty and creativity of the world building...a masterful conclusion to what may be one of the best trilogies I've ever read." --Fresh Fiction

"With a surprising twist that explains much of the mythology of the series, this thrilling conclusion is a can't-miss entry for fans who have followed Lanny's journey from 1800s New England to contemporary times. And it's utterly impossible to put down." --Booklist

Ms. Katsu's writing has been compared to that of early Anne Rice and Shirley Jackson. A former intelligence analyst, she is a graduate of the writing program at Johns Hopkins University.

Selected Q&A from a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA):

Q: What was your inspiration for The Taker novels?

A: The Taker was inspired by all kinds of things, I think. At a basic level, I'd say it was inspired by Interview With The Vampire which, in my view, was a pretty groundbreaking work. I didn't consciously set out thinking I was going to write a book like it, but the upshot is that it has some similar characteristics--the present day frame over a long historical backstory, the main character's fatal attraction to the dark, etc.

The other inspiration, however, was that I wanted to write a sort-of anti-romance. There is a dark side to love. It can bring out the worst in people. Let's face it, most of us have probably done one stupid, mean thing over love (usually in our youth). If we're smart, we learn from it and quietly decide never to make that mistake again. The Taker is the story of a young woman who gets punished for loving unwisely--but that punishment, and her lesson, is on a much grander scale. In the end, she comes to understand the grand thing that love truly is, is tested and prevails, and is rewarded with a love the likes of which few people will ever have. If you like love stories, I think you will find this really different and (hopefully) really rewarding, and if you don't, well...

Writing that first book was really a challenge I set for myself. I wanted to see if I could create great characters. Yup, that was it. Characters that you couldn't forget, and a story that would haunt you after you finished reading it. I love big fat daring fiction. I didn't think I'd do it, certainly not the first time out of the box. And I absolutely didn't think it would ever be publishable. But I just wanted to try. That's why it ended up being such an unconventional book, I think.

Q: Was this "mix" of genres something you always wanted to do, or did you explore other things before realizing this is what you wanted to do?

A: I was kind of naive with The Taker. First of all, as I've mentioned, I wrote it because it was what I wanted to write, and I didn't think it would ever sell. I didn't think of it as cross-genre as I was writing it. I thought of it as literary fiction. It's definitely character-driven, as opposed to plot driven. But because of the genre elements, and the fact that it's pretty dark, there has been a reluctance for it to be seen as literary fiction.

Q: How do you go about the creative process, as in, what steps do you take to take an idea, and make a novel out of it. And how long does it usually take for you?

A. That's a great question. One of the hardest things for me to figure out, still being kind of new to thinking about writing as a business, is which ideas are worth investing a year or two to write and which don't have the emotional or intellectual heft to be viable. Add to that the fact that projects change once they get beyond a certain stage: your editor and/or agent will make suggestions (it's like a renovation project; you start to remodel the kitchen and suddenly you think, let's move this weight-bearing wall! It'll open the whole space up! and before you know it, it's twice as expensive and difficult as you originally envisioned.)

My first book, The Taker, took ten years to write. I was seized with the idea and the characters, and despite putting it aside many times to work on other projects, I couldn't stop thinking about it and hence, couldn't stop working on it. In some ways, that kind of crazy commitment makes it easy. What I'm finding is after you sign the contracts, it becomes less about relying on emotional energy to carry out a project than it does determination and treating it like a job. There will always be emotional ups and downs but if you rely on that to get a book written, you're toast (I think).
Regarding time, it takes me much longer than I'd like it to, and that's because I am still learning how to tell a story. It seems to get both harder and easier with every book. (I love a paradox!) Harder, because my expectations have risen. Easier, because if I'm lucky I learned something from the last one. I was on a book-a-year schedule, for the most part, for the contract, which in practical terms means you must complete a full manuscript in six months, and I think that's a bit rushed for me.

Q: Who were your first favorite authors, and which books do you remember falling in love with first?

A: I was a funny reader as a kid. I read adult books--Edgar Allen Poe, Shirley Jackson, Alexander Dumas. And fairy tales. One of my older sisters had a huge book of fairy tales. It had amazing full-page illustrations. There were some unusual fairy tales, too, not the usual ones. Both my sisters and I read that book so much that by the time we were adults, it was falling apart. We all loved the book, but the older sister kept it for herself. I didn't think I'd ever see it again until I found it in my in-laws' basement. My husband--who wasn't my husband yet--had never shown much interest in it when he was a boy, so it was in mint condition. I figured it was an omen that we were meant to be together. I joked that I married him to get my hands on that book.

Q: Do you intend to write in any other genres?

A: I would like to write a straight historical novel but we'll see... I also want to write a spy novel someday.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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N-ews, Adair will face anything for Lanny he is guided by his heart.
Ria Jay
The third and last installment of The Taker Trilogy is a must read for those who have read the first two books.
Lestat Fan
The characters come to life and you become attached to them...I really didn't want the book to end (sigh).
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Valdizan on January 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am still in shock and in awe with this fantastic finale to the Immortal Trilogy. The unfold of the storyline was totally unexpected, without getting away from the main plot, Ms. Katsu proved once again her talent as a writer and story teller.
The story unfold in a way that will surprise you with the most unexpected turns and twists.

We've met a new Adair in each book, and this Adair is even more "godlike" that you can imagine. It is so hard to review this book without giving up spoilers of the plot... I'll do my best.

Let's begin saying is the culmination of a love story, is about the power of love, and how much we are willing to give up and sacrifice in order to be with the love one.
But is not a fairy tale either; this specific book it might seem like one, but if you have followed the story since book one, you know that is not the case. The main characters have gone thorough a journey of self discovery, and not an easy one. From romantic love, addictive relationships, abusive relationships, codependency, immortality, betrayal etc. Until they find true love, not without being hurt and not without paying a price.

One part of the book that touched me deeply, and made me meditate is when Lanore met Sophia in the underworld. Lanny felt guilty of Sophia's suicide, and Sophia tells her that she is giving too much credit to what she did. At the end, our ultimate fate is in our hands not in the hands of others, based on the decisions and choices we made.

This book like it's predecessors is about fantasy, magic, power, immortality, Love; but in this one we are also in touch with the underworld and the Gods. A fresh and romantic approach to Dante's Inferno and Greek Mythology. Never see that coming.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jillian Read-Love-Blog on January 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Descent is the final book in author Alma Katsu’s The Taker Trilogy. After reading, and loving, the first two books I was beyond anxious to see how things would end for Lanny, Adair, Luke and Jonathan. Well, the ending was far better and more awe-filled than I ever could have imagined.

After being curiously spared from Adair’s wrath over his imprisonment, Lanny had lived the last four years peacefully with Luke. All was well until the nightmares began. Nightmares of Jonathan being tortured in the underworld. Lanny had been able to dismiss these for quite some time but now the dreams were more frequent and more violent. Fearing these dreams were Jonathan calling her subconscious for help, she knew she had to do something about it. Knowing full well there was only one person who could help her, she sets off to find that person. Adair. Her journey not only takes her to a secluded and remote island and to Adair’s home, but also to the underworld and to visits with many of the people and places that make up her past. The question remains, will she be able to find and help Jonathan before it’s too late or was this whole trip wasted effort?

I just finished this amazing book and I am still in awe over this series ending. I have had mixed emotions since the very first book between Jonathan and Adair and who, if either, were the right choice for Lanny. I was leaning heavily toward Adair but had a sneaking suspicion that he wasn’t to be trusted and that there were tricks hidden up his sleeve that would end up hurting Lanny. On the flip side, I was tired of Jonathan and his inability to love Lanny the way she had been longing for since, well, forever. Then there was Luke, the safe choice. I wanted to like him much more than I did, but he was just too vanilla for Lanny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Veracity on January 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to this last book coming out. The first two books were soo good, I thought for sure this trilogy would be way up on my favorites list, but I ended up being a bit disappointed. I would say The Descent was a good book overall, but after the first two I expected the same or better dynamic out of the last. It was a satisfying ending, had a nice bit of twist to it...the general feeling of the book as a whole was four star worthy...but it just didn't round out as well as I was hoping it would. It needed more, there were parts left unexplained to a point of bordering on pointless, parts seemingly building up to something that just kind of fizzled out. It's a shame, I was hoping to curl up and read this trilogy again down the road...not sure if I will or not. It's worth buying but I suppose my personal expectations were a bit higher this time around based on Ms. Katsu's previous work (she's got herself to blame for that one, wink).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kimbacaffeinate on January 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Katsu has created the most unusual and dark characters yet she managed to make me fall in love with them all. Lanore or “Lanny” is such a complex woman. At times, she is selfish and others selfless. I enjoyed watching her grow throughout the series and understanding what she was and seeing her find happiness. Adair is a dark horse. Complicated, violent, insolent and yet Katsu exposes his vulnerabilities and desires. Through flashbacks, we get to know more about this strange complex man, and I thought it was brilliantly done. We see characters whom we met previously and Katsu manages to introduce a few new characters. I love that she fleshes them all out, and each adds depth to the tale. The interaction between Lanny and Adair was fascinating and intense. Their relationship is so complicated and to see it transform from darkness to light was spellbinding.

The Descent was decadent, and all of the questions and puzzle pieces fell into place. I love the direction that Katsu took with this final book. Her writing style is completely unique, and her words are like a melody that overcome me and pulls me into the story. The overall story arc of the series was well done. The darkest was The Taker, and I can remember setting it down a few times as if the words stung. It was dark and uncomfortable and yet I needed answers! The Reckoning shows us another side of Lanny and in the Descent we finally see her complete. Adair was a character I loathed from the beginning and skillfully Katsu peeled back his dark, rotten layers to reveal the man beneath. It was impressive. I could barely set this book down as the rest of the world slipped away. Fans of the series will be delighted. Copy received for honest review. Complete review originally published at caffeinated book reviewer
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