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The Reckoning: Book Two of the Taker Trilogy Hardcover – June 19, 2012
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SECOND IN ALMA KATSUâS GRIPPING SUPERNATURAL TRILOGY THAT BEGAN WITH THE TAKER
Lanore McIlvrae is the kind of woman who will do anything for love. Including imprisoning the man who loves her behind a wall of brick and stone.
She had no choice but to entomb Adair, her nemesis, to save Jonathan, the boy she grew up with in a remote Maine town in the early 1800s and the man she thought she would be with forever. But Adair had other plans for her. He used his mysterious, otherworldly powers to give her eternal life, but Lanore learned too late that there was a price for this gift: to spend eternity with him. And though he is handsome and charming, behind Adairâs seductive faÃ§ade is the stuff of nightmares. He is a monster in the flesh, and he wants Lanore to love him for all of time.
Now, two hundred years after imprisoning Adair, Lanore is trying to atone for her sins. She has given away the treasures sheâs collected over her many lifetimes in order to purge her past and clear the way for a future with her new lover, Luke Findley. But, while viewing these items at an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Lanore suddenly is aware that the thing sheâs been dreading for two hundred years has caught up to her: Adair has escaped from his prison. Heâs freeâ and he will come looking for her. And she has no idea how she will save herself.
With the stunningly imaginative storytelling and rich characterizations that fascinated readers worldwide and made The Taker a singular and memorable literary debut and an international sensation, Alma Katsu once again delivers âa powerful evocation of the dark side of romantic loveâ (Publishers Weekly) in her breathtaking new novel.
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Adair, who's been imprisoned for nearly 200 years, is finally free due to the demolition of the Boston house. He "wakes up" to find the world completely changed. It's one of the more interesting aspects of the book seeing Adair try to navigate the modern world yet still try to maintain the command and authority he had 200 years ago.
The Taker was difficult for me to read. I find it hard to read a story where the characters and their situations seemingly go downhill as the plot prgresses. Lanny's disastrous love for Jonathan could not end in a happy way for anyone. I found myself picking up and putting down the book quite a few times before I was engrossed enough in the story to read to the end.
The Reckoning posed no such problem. The driving force behind this book is the inevitable reunion between Adair and Lanny. We all knew it would happen the moment she locked him up behind that wall. Since we all know it's coming (and I obviously Alma Katsu knows that we know), there's a slight twist put upon it. I will not share this twist with you because I don't want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say, Alma Katsu successfully delivers another layer to all of our characters with her beautiful writing. It's really difficult in this series to know what side is truly evil and what side is good. There are so many different perspectives and points of view that everyone is in an area of gray.
Everything will have to be revealed in The Descent coming out soon. I'm exicted to read the conclusion.
Adair, the chief villain and alchemist responsible for Lanore's present deathless state, has escaped from his prison of two hundred years. In fear of her previous master's vengeance, Lanore seeks out the other immortals Adair made, in the hope that she might find a more permanent solution to her situation, and perhaps even a cure for the curse of her immortality. The last thing she wants is to fall under Adair's sway again, for he is the only being who holds the power of life and death over her.
What follows is a tangled, sensuous web of betrayal and obsession, as author Alma Katsu allows tantalising glimpses into the pasts of her tragic creations. None of her characters are wholly good or evil; all of them have some sort of dark past. Some are irredeemably sadistic, and gleefully set about finding new ways to express their cruelty to those they manipulate.
Lanore suffers for her unrequited love, yet she cannot return the affections of the two men who'd do anything for her. Her fear cripples her as she tries to stay ahead of her erstwhile master. Plainly put, Adair is a monster, an individual whose obsession with the one woman who outsmarted him blinds him to all reason. He will stop at nothing to get Lanore back. There is no such thing as true love, according to Katsu. At best, her characters stumble from one joyless predicament to another, forever - such is the curse of their unnaturally long lives - grasping after an idealised love they can never attain.
Throughout this, they damage the ones close to them, sometimes wilfully or, in the case of Lanore, they hurt unintentionally through their selfish actions. The picture Katsu paints is bleak and filled with much violence as her characters thrash about in their self-created mires. Yet at the same time, and in much of the same way that gothic novels such as Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles are so engaging, one cannot help but be drawn into their world, and wonder how characters will torment each other next. Because as soon as readers assume they have an idea of where the story is headed, Katsu pulls the metaphorical rug from under their feet.
Though the title suggests it, there is no closure by the time The Reckoning ends. Katsu introduces further mysteries that suggest some sort of catastrophic outcome in book three; there really are a lot of plot threads that need convenient tying off by the end of book two. But be warned - some characters behave in a most deplorable fashion which might shock sensitive folks. Yet, despite the characters' actions, I found myself unable to stop reading and look forward to book three with great anticipation. Because, hell, I absolutely have to find out what happens next.
I really enjoyed both books in the series thus far. It is a new twist on the "immortal" genre. A bit disturbing. Full of action.
In book 2, we pick up where book 1 left. Lanny is "living" her life without the fear that Adair (her maker/keeper) is holding her back. But then Adair comes back into the story. Angry and vengeful, his feelings soon take a dramatic turn. That might be what I liked best about this book. Having learned what we thought we knew about Adair's past, and who he really is, it made for an interesting dilemma... how can you feel bad for and even LIKE someone who is so evil?!?!?
All in all, great books. Can't wait for book 3.
And if you ever get the chance to hear Ms. Katsu speak, do it. You can really tell that she enjoys interacting with her readers. Hearing your opinions, and answering questions. And she is a reader too, so she is always willing to make recommendations.