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I Belong

Review: The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

Title: The Reckoning

Author: Alma Katsu

Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal

Series: The Taker Trilogy (Book 2)

Publication Date: June 19, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1451651805 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1451651805 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Kristie


A love triangle spanning 200 years…Alma Katsu takes readers on a breathtaking journey through the landscape of the heart.

New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan) praises Alma Katsu’s The Taker as, “a centuries-spanning epic that will keep you turning pages all night. This marvelous debut is a thinking person’s guilty pleasure.” And Keith Donohue (The Stolen Child) says, “The Taker is a frighteningly compelling story about those most human monsters—desire and obsession. It will curl your hair and keep you up late at night.”

Now Alma Katsu delivers the highly anticipated follow-up to her haunting novel about an immortal woman learning firsthand that the heart wants what the heart wants…no matter how high the stakes. Fans of The Taker can finally indulge in their next juicy fix with the second book of the trilogy, The Reckoning. In this gripping, pulse-pounding supernatural sequel, discover what happens to Lanny, Luke, Adair—and Jonathan. The Reckoning picks up where The Taker leaves off, following Lanny on her path to redemption—and creating a whole new level of suspense.

Quick & Dirty: Deeply unsettling and gripping sequel to The Taker. Part historical, part modern day thriller that explores deeper character development and emotions.

Opening Sentence: We were nearly at the Victoria and Albert Museum when we saw the crowds spilling out of the entrance and across Cromwell Street, forcing our taxi to stop in the middle of the road.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Lanore McIlvrae and Lucas Findley are spending some quality time together in Europe after Lucas helped her escape from murder charges. It is not long before their tranquil lives are shattered as Lanore once again feels the tug of Adair’s’ presence. Her first conclusion is that Lucas is not safe with her so she runs away leaving him to pick up the shattered pieces of his life by himself much like Jonathan left her many years ago. Lanny seeks other immortals whom were once Adair’s companions looking to find a way that could possibly undue her curse or destroy Adair forever. Lucas is left hurt and betrayed. He wants to prove to Lanny that he should stay by her side while wondering if she has already been caught and destroyed by Adair.

Adair is furious. He wants nothing more than to claim his revenge on Lanore for locking him up for two hundred years. Adair must enlist the help of Jude, one of his unloyal and selfish companions, to find Lanore and to learn about the modern world. As the time passes for Adair, he realizes his feelings for Lanore are less about revenge and more about love. He has never felt this way for anyone in his centuries of life. Adair spares no expense or injustice until he can find Lanny again.

The Reckoning has a dark, grim and terrible atmosphere that reminds me so much of Anne Rice books. There are really no redeeming qualities for any of these characters yet I was sucked in by their emotional plight. Lanore and Adair both come to realizations about their feelings for each other and they both fight these feelings in different ways. I absolutely cannot wait to see how this plays out.

Lanore goes from fighting to live her life too wanting to end it so she doesn’t have to live through what Adair will undoubtedly put her through. She is a strong character but sometimes comes off a little childish even though what she is doing makes sense. She wants to protect Luke from harm, but it doesn’t take much research for Adair to find who she was last seen with so her protections may be for naught.

Adair is frightening. He has no scruples to how far he will go to get what he wants. He really doesn’t care about anyone or anything else but himself. When he realizes that Lanore has left him with feelings he has never felt before, he tries to act on them. He tries to make himself a better person but is it enough for this tragic tale?

I really like how The Reckoning goes between modern times and historical storytelling. How Lanore’s past lessons reflect on events that are currently happening. The Reckoning goes between different perspectives, Lanore’s first person to Adair and Luke’s third person accounts. The only thing that I had problem with was the time shifts between Adair and Lanore. Weeks would pass with Adair then it would go back to Lanore and it was only a couple days since Adair had escaped.

Overall, there is nothing fun or lighthearted about The Reckoning. It is a dark, heavy read that borders on tragic consequences. I was a little surprised by how this novel ended and I can’t wait to read the conclusion of the trilogy in The Descent.

Notable Scene:

Whereas, when I thought of Adair, I knew I should be terrified of him, I knew he was capable of doing horrible things, but I also couldn’t help being overtaken with excitement, too. It had been like being courted by a demon, heady and intoxicating. My stomach fluttered at the memory of it. I had been loved by a man who would do anything for me: lie, cheat, steal. Murder. How many women could say that? As frightening as it had been, it also had been a singular love.

Exactly the way I had felt about Jonathan, once upon a time.

I sat upright, holding a pillow to my stomach as though it had some magical power to keep down the bile rising in my throat. The belief I’d held most sacred in life, the star by which I’d charted my course, had been an illusion. Even if I’d had a perfect love with Abdul and the others, each had come about because, subconsciously, I’d sought to re-create what I once had with Adair. The truth of this realization fell into place like tumblers aligning in a lock. It had been Adair all this time, not Jonathan. Adair, the monster, was the one I had loved all along.

This couldn’t be. For a moment the inside of my head spun like a top, or perhaps it was my world flipping topsy-turvy and crashing around me. I’d always prided myself on following my heart, but I could not—would not—accept this. It must be mad lust or some kind of sick attraction dressed up to look like love. It must be trickery, one of his spells to make me think I loved him. It must be insanity brought on by Jonathan’s death. I could not be in love with a monster, I vowed. I would not let myself be in love with the devil.

The Taker Trilogy:

1. The Taker

2. The Reckoning

3. The Descent (May 21, 2013)

FTC Advisory: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of The Reckoning. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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