Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Taker by Alma Katsu

Summary on GoodReads.

I loved the story of The Taker but hated the back and forth between the past and the present!

The story starts in the present when Lanore is brought to the ER of a hospital in rural Maine and, just like that, she tells her life’s story to Luke, the doctor on service. I mean, what was the point of that? The story could as well start in the 1800s directly.

So back to the past, Lanore lives in a Puritan settlement, yes, that one where showing your ankles was a sin. Since she can remember she’s been in love with Jonathan. But Jonathan is no ordinary man as he has a beauty out of this world. And I’m afraid that is all there is to Jonathan, as he is ambivalent and has no personality of his own.

For circumstances that Lanore brings to herself, her family sends her away… and away she goes to discover a completely different kind of life next to Adair, a man obsessed with beauty. Adair introduces not so innocent Lanore to a live of parties and sex that even now I find difficult to believe. How can a modest girl in the nineteen century develop a liking for sadomasochism so quickly?

But regardless her new sexual experiences, Lanore’s love for Jonathan never dies and sooner rather than later she finds herself sharing an eternal bond with the only man she loves but that can’t love her back.

I love Katsu’s prose and style of writing. Given, I’m a sucker for that type of stories set in a time when looking directly to a man’s eyes was a transgression. Katsu delivers a gripping and enthralling story that I couldn’t put down… if only it wasn’t shifting between back and present!

I really didn’t see the point of this! Okay, I said that at the beginning already.

I was beginning to wonder if Jonathan’s extreme beauty had a point other than to make everybody stare at him when Katsu dropped its purpose. I was also confused in Adair’s search for perfection when Katsu, through Lanore, tied it all in. I must say that I didn’t see that one coming! It was truly surprising.

At the end, Jonathan chooses an easy way out; pretty much like his personality and actions throughout the book are. But the focus of the story is Lanore and she pretty much gave a huge leap in personality, language and behavior from what she used to be in her little village to what she became once she moved to the big city.

All in all, the story is wonderful and the 3-stars are because of the useless mixture of past and present and Lanore’s promiscuity!

Different opinions here and here.


  1. Great Review! Insight taken! :)

  2. Great review Lectus, dear! I HATE when books jump tenses randomly and you have to sit there and guess if it happened before now or whenever. atleast the plot was good and readable

  3. The beginning does sound quite annoying, where you start reading and she just spills her entire story. It's good to hear that Alma Katsu writes it beautfiully, though. Glad you enjoyed this overall, great review, Lectus! :)