Today I am reviewing The Taker by Alma Katsu; Book number 1 of THE TAKER Trilogy. Now not many people have heard of this book. Originally, I didn’t know I’d like it when I found it but as soon as I began reading it-I was hooked!
The novel opens to a hospital where recently divorced surgeon Dr. Luke Findley practices in the small town of St. Andrews, Maine. He lives a lonely life day in and day out until the town sheriff brings in a mysterious woman covered in blood. He instructs Luke to do a thorough examination before she is taken in for her interrogation for the suspicion of murdering her traveling companion.
After Luke begins his examination, he notices she has no bruises or cuts despite her being covered in blood. She proceeds to tell him her name, Lanore McIlvrae, and explains that nothing can harm her. Luke is skeptical at first until Lanore plunges a knife into her body, revealing no wound or blood seeping from the wound. To be honest, this whole scene was pretty interesting. You’d think she was about to reveal she was a vampire. Wrong…..instead Lanore is an immortal Alchemist. That’s right, Alchemist.
She begins to tell her tale of eternal love going back to the early nineteenth century settlers of St. Andrews. St. Andrews was founded by Puritans and ruled with an iron fist. Growing up in the small town, she paints a picture of what it used to appear like before the renovation of buildings, invention of motor cars, and technology. I grew to fall in love with St. Andrews despite the rules through Alma Katsu’s thorough descriptions.
Lenore’s first love turned out to be a boy by the name of Jonathan, the son of the founder of St. Andrews. Jonathan had the face of an angel but behind the scenes he slept with anything that moved: both married and unmarried. Despite his sins, Lanore only wanted him and him alone and believed he had a heart of gold underneath his infidelities. Finally, she received the “love” from Jonathan she craved, only through secret rendezvous. But much like those days, protection did not exist and Lanore soon discovers she is pregnant with Jonathan’s child.
Her parents then ship her off to Boston to a Catholic convent to take care of the child. While upon arriving, Lanore becomes involved with these two mysterious people who hold lavish parties for their immortal “leader” by the name of Adair. Lanore falls ill not long after becoming a resident within Adair’s home. In return, Adair gives her an antidote transforming her into an immortal.
This is where I shall stop. However, I will say Adair is both a menace but you almost feel sorry for him. He seems like a man craving the enduring love that everyone wishes to have. Only he releases his love through pain and sex. He wants Lenore but Lenore has eyes for only Jonathan.
Will Lenore and Jonathan have a happy ever after? Will Adair win Lenore’s heart? What about Luke? Where does he come into this tale with Lenore?
I personally give this book 9 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms!