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Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu

28 May

Alma Katsu

The Taker

The Taker Trilogy, Book 1

Gallery Books | Wunderkind PR

Blurb: On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening. Until a mysterious woman arrives in his ER, escorted by the police – Lanore McIlvrae is a murder suspect – and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an impassioned account of love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality, she changes his life forever…. At the turn of the nineteenth century, when St. Andrew was a Puritan settlement, Lanny was consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, and she will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep – an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for eternity.

Review: The 2 Things I love about The Taker

1) This is not another love story.

I read lots of books about love. Romantic love. Familial love. Loving friends. Loving life. But I’ve yet to read a story that explores the darkness of love. When one will do anything… be anything for the one s/he loves. And that is exactly what Katsu does in her debut novel. Lanore (Lanny for short) is in love with Jonathan, has been ever since she was young. Although she couldn’t explain it at a young age, she knew her love for him was deep, completely unconditional, and knew no bounds. Jonathan was not the most evil person in the novel, but I instantly labeled him as a bad guy. He took advantage of Lanore’s love and devotion to him every chance he had, which led Lanore to making unthinkable decisions she never recovered from. 

The power of choice and love can turn dark and deadly very fast. Lanore’s love took on many forms, from adolescent love to obsessive love to blind love. She made decisions with her emotions, rather than her head. My heart broke every time Lanore made a choice based on love because the love she desired was never returned and her life spiraled downward incredibly fast as a result.

2) Human nature is it’s own scary story.

Many people know that I am a huge fan of horror, but the concepts I have the most trouble digesting are the ones that touch on the madness of human nature. The second and third parts of Alma Katsu’s novel is the scariest thing I have ever read, even trumping Stephen King. Lanore lands in the company of Adair, and he is the most evil character I’ve come across. It’s extremely difficult to describe the effect Adair’s character had on me. Let’s just say that I had to take breaks from reading this novel because Adair’s madness, psychotic nature was psychologically overwhelming. And that’s saying something from someone who can watch the unedited version of The Exorcist and not bat an eyelash. I definitely applaud Katsu for her powerful and multi-dimensional character develop. It didn’t go unnoticed!

The Taker is amazing. I’ve never read anything like it. It has captivated me, hypnotized me. This story is enchanting and magical. Undying love and betrayal are so strong that the power of choice is more important that ever before. 

Reader Question: What advice would you give a woman in love like Lanore?

Review: Dreams of Reality by Beth Bares

19 Apr

Beth Bares

Dreams of Reality

The Dreams Trilogy, Book 1

Blurb:

Be careful what you wish for… Elizabeth’s dreams have evolved into daytime visions that are becoming reality. Thinking she is losing her mind, those closest to her, are forced to confess their true identities and that Elizabeth’s unusual birthmark is really the mark of the Seventh Power. She doesn’t know whether to be freaked out or thrilled that her life-long wish has come true. But when her newest vision clearly displays evil and darkness within the most powerful immortal council, fear takes precedence over all other emotions. Elizabeth wants to embrace this new world and face whatever danger it may involve. But she is determined to achieve it on her own terms and not those from some century old, egotistical males.

Review:

Dreams of Reality is a fantastic story, and I’m very excited that this is the start of a new trilogy. This story is very well written, the pace is perfect, and the plot is so engaging that this book is very hard to put down. The story line keeps you hanging from the beginning to the end, which totally triggered my need to devour this story as soon as possible.  I couldn’t wait to find out when Elizabeth would be told about her mark and see the revealing of her magical powers. On top of secrets, some very cool magical powers, and a new world that has just opened to Elizabeth, we get to see Elizabeth as a normal girl who attracts the love of James and Andrew’s, which adds a layer of love, friendship, and romance that I really sank my teeth into.

Elizabeth and James are my favorite characters.  James is Elizabeth’s best friend and is madly in love with Elizabeth. He is unconditionally loyal to Elizabeth, and that’s a quality that I fell in love with. I enjoyed Elizabeth’s character so much because she is a normal girl who is confident enough in herself to take a leap of faith and see where life takes her. In fact, my favorite scene is when Elizabeth discovers her seventh power and slams guys to the wall. I laughed so hard at that part. Elizabeth was definitely kicking butt. 

This is the first novel that I’ve read by Beth Bares and it certainly won’t be the last. I’m completely hooked to this trilogy and I’m looking forward to reading what happens next!

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