Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

The Reckoning (The Taker, #2)The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I turned to Luke and reached for him. My blood felt as though it had seized up in my veins.
“Lanny, what is it?” Luke asked.
I clutched his lapel desperately.
“It’s Adair. He’s free.”


He gave her immortality.
She tried to destroy him.
Now he is searching for her.
They must not meet.

Or there will be a RECKONING

My thoughts: Okay. So I was taken aback by "The Taker." It was so beautifully written and articulated but lacked 1) morals and 2) character likeability. To summarize The Taker; Lanore is born in the early 1800s. She loves Jonathon, a beautiful and shallow boy. They grow up in parallel lives but are friends. Jonathon sleeps around. Lanore finds herself pregnant. She is sent to Boston to have the baby in a convent. She runs away and finds herself in the company of Adair and his crew who happen to be not only immortal but into all things unholy and carnal. Sexual acts of the imagination ensue but not in detail. Also, Adair is incredibly sadistic. Punishment is also sexual in nature. Lanore becomes immortal. She returns to her village and gets Jonathon who is, at that moment, caught for sleeping with another man's wife. Jonathon becomes immortal. Lanore feels trapped by Adair and she is. She makes a plan and makes Jonathon carry it out with her, rendering Adair neutralized for the next two centuries. Jonathon is gone. Lanny is with a doctor who helped her escape. Adair awaits.

This is all important to understand for the second book which I went into prepared to love the writing style, never connect to the characters, but I really wanted to know what happens to Adair. The book opens with Lanny and Luke (the doctor) at a museum exhibit opening. Treasures were donated anonymously throughout the world by Lanny cleaning out her things. Suddenly, she feels a keening inside her head and knows immediately the cause. Adair is free.

In the first book, Adair was formidable. His life spans many, many centuries of growing in the art of alchemy. He is terrifying but never single dimensional. He follows his internal compass to the closest of his minions, Jude, and enters the twenty-first century.

The rest of the book is told by differing points of view. Lanny revisits some of her immortal siblings (Adair's creations) and makes some self-discoveries of her true nature. She doesn't like who she is when she sees herself in contrast to the others. They were all chosen for their ruthlessness, lack of conscience, and overall unlikeability. They had histories that were sordid and crimes that horrific. We get a glimpse of the history of many of them. Most are still vague except for her first stop, a man who wants immortality to stop. He is ready to die. He is so tired. And she continues on her journey to the old players from the first book, always trying to stay away from Adair.

Meanwhile, Adair is adjusting to this new world. He still holds a great deal of power within him and, with his old books, it seems he is even more powerful. He bides his time until he and Lanny meet by being controlling, hateful, vengeful, and trying to master patience until he can exact his revenge upon Lanny. We also get a brief history on Adair. He flashes back to other times in his life when becomes immortal, how he gains his current body, and some other noteworthy moments. Also, Adair finds himself despicable like Lanore finds herself the same. Weird as it is, Adair becomes the character I liked the most in this book. He discovers his buried humanity.

Again, the book is very well written. Violence is abundant but not detailed. It is not a young adult book, regardless of the cover. I liked it much better than "The Taker" but found the information from the first book to be crucial to the second. Developments in this book make the third book MUST READ. I will definitely read the third book.

*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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