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In this gorgeously written sequel to The Taker, Alma Katsu tells the story of Lanore, an immortal woman fleeing from the man she most fears: Adair, the powerful Adept who first gave her immortality, and the only one who can take it away. After two hundred years of captivity thanks to Lanore, Adair is free and seeking revenge. As Lanore runs from place to place, seeking the help of other immortals along the way, never knowing who to trust, her journey to escape her fate is like a journey through the seven layers of hell...if there was a demon at the bottom rushing up to meet you. Adair seeks Lanore relentlessly and the titular "reckoning" seems inevitable.
The Reckoning is the second book in The Taker Trilogy, but it stands very well on its own. I received an advanced copy from the publisher and decided it would be a good idea to read the first book in the series first so I would understand the characters. I borrowed it from the library but The Taker lay unopened on my nightstand while I devoured The Reckoning. I simply couldn't put it down, even long enough to read the prequel. I'm sure I would have had different opinions of the characters if I had read the books in sequence, but it was easy to follow the second book as a stand alone novel.
More after the jump...
Alma Katsu proves the notion that any genre, well written, can be accessible to almost any reader. I don't read a lot of fantasy novels, but this one was amazing. The writing was rich, satisfying and convincing. Alma Katsu created characters who go to the bathroom, so to speak. Okay, I'm not sure if the immortal characters actually need to go to the bathroom, but what I mean is that her characters, though supernatural, are still very real. When Adair emerges after two centuries of captivity, he obviously needs to learn everything about the new world and its technology, but it isn't computers or cars which most impress him but box spring mattresses and socks ("like little gloves for my feet"). These kinds of details are enchanting and make me trust that the writer has thought of everything.
Having said that, there are some pretty graphic scenes of sexual violence in the book that are uncomfortable to read and not for the squeamish. It's not a book I would recommend to a teen audience (nor is it intended for them), but the violent scenes--though graphic--are not as gratuitous or pornographic as, say, Angela Alsaleem's Women Scorned or Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
I was up very late finishing this book and immediately began reading the first in the series, The Taker. So far it seems I haven't lost anything from reading them out of sequence, though I would highly recommend picking up a copy of The Taker now so that you've read it by the time The Reckoning is available (but go ahead and pre-order The Reckoning!).
Click Here to Buy The Taker on Amazon.ca
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through GoodReads.com in exchange for an honest (though not necessarily favourable) review. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.