The Taker by Alma Katsu
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I must have missed something with this book because the reviews are rave yet I am ashamed I finished it. Because I am Puritanical? Perhaps.
The writer's style is flawlessly executed. She created interest immediately. Her description complete and idea of immortality intriguing. I could have been happy with the first few chapters then the last few chapters and skipped about 200 pages in between.
Lanore is from Puritanical Maine in the early 1800's. She is in love with Jonathon, the son of the town elite. He is set to inherit the semi-charmed life and, although he cares much for Lanore, he could never marry her. It would be socially inappropriate. Also, Jonathon is not in love with her. Oh, he'll have his dalliances and they will include Lanore, but he is a philanderer at heart.
Lanore ends up in Boston and is quickly inherited as a possession by a hedonistic and sadistic man named Adair. He is the king of his little lair and whatever he desires, he will acquire. He is also an alchemist of sorts. He grants immortality. The price, however, is he owns who he makes.
So, just to be clear - this part of the book is about sex. All forms of sex between people. This takes up an inordinate amount of the book. The story is still continuing and I am still reading because I feel compelled to find out what happens but I had to swim through a lot of sewer water to get to the end of the book. I'm not talking titillating kind of chick lit sex. It is hedonistic and sadistic, quirm-in-your-own-skin, uncomfortable kind of sex. It is violent and I am afraid I will need to take a long, hot shower.
You may be asking why I kept reading even when it was so uncomfortable. I kept thinking it would move on! And it didn't! Lanore kept giving in to Adair and doing things that were ethically against her background (more than just the sex) and I didn't like her. I didn't like Jonathon. Certainly I would have some sympathy for Luke - but I didn't. Against my better judgment, I kept reading. It had to get better. It just had to. Then I turned the last page and found the Acknowledgments.
Talented writer. Interesting concept. Well used verbiage and sentence structure. Compelling style. Really, really good writer. Did I say that? But the story to be told was not worth it.