Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Taker - Alma Katsu

I literally had heard nothing (or probably more accurately remembered nothing) about this book or this author until Kathy (Bermudaonion) mentioned that we would have an opportunity to talk with Alma Katsu at SIBA in September.  I jerked to attention.  I can't meet her and not read her book!  While I was scrambling around trying to figure out how to get my hands on a copy (it releases today, September 6th), Heather (Raging Bibliomania) requested an ARC for me.  Isn't it great when you have blogger friends?  From my words to her ears. 

A couple of weeks later, Heather delivered the book to me over a lunch date.  She'd already read the book, and she summarized the book as follows:

Synopsis:  In a small town in Maine, a bedraggled young woman is found at the side of the highway, covered in blood.  She confesses to a murder, and indicates where the police can find the body.  While the local doctor examines her for injuries and mental status, she grabs a scalpel and inflicts a mortal wound upon herself, then miraculously heals in a matter of minutes.  Having gotten the doctor's attention, she begs him to help her escape.  Intrigued with WHAT she is, he sneaks her out of the hospital and to freedom.  On the way, she tells her story that dates back to the early 1800's.

My thoughts:  That is what Heather told me, and that is as much as the plot as I am going to tell you.  Armed with very little knowledge, I plunged into this book blind, and with the turn of each page I become more and more confuzzled and at the same time invigorated.  What on earth is going on here???  It is bizarre, exotic and disturbing.  It is the story of enduring love, and the ends to which one will travel for that love.  It is about the search for youth, beauty and eternal life, and the evil that accompanies these goals.

I've seen the book described as a romance.  My response would be...like hell it is.  If this is a romance, then we are all in trouble.  It is much more dark, sinister and demented than that.   

This is not a vampire story.  It is something quite different than anything else I've ever read.

Want everything wrapped up in a big red bow?  Then don't bother.  There are threads left unchecked that have the potential to keep me up at night.  The beauty is...(you know what is coming, wait for it)...yes, that's right.  It is a trilogy.  Born solely to drive us all mad.

In closing, while I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, I can imagine that some wouldn't.  There is too much darkness and ugly personalities to make everyone happy.  For a slightly different opinion on the matter, why not hop on over to my literary sister Jill at Rhapsody in Books to see what she had to say?

4.5 out of 5 stars    
  

21 comments:

Zibilee said...

I agree, this was NOT a love story! Much more a story about obsession and lust, sprinkled with sex. I did just read Jill's review, and I can see her points clearly too. I think I just was fascinated by the very bizarre twists and turns that this story took, and felt like there was a lot here to wonder about and speculate on. By the way, I loved this review.

Jenny said...

I almost want to read this just to see if I love it like you and Heather or hate it like Jill. It's so interesting when there are such polarized opinions!!

farmlanebooks said...

It is good to know it is a trilogy - think I'll wait for the others to be released before I even consider starting it - I hate not having the books ready to read if I really enjoy something.

JoAnn said...

Intriguing for sure, but probably not for me...

bermudaonion said...

I started this whole thing at SIBA and it looks like I may be the only one who won't get the book read! I am dying to read it too.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Personally, I would cast my vote with Team Jill! (ha ha)

Meg said...

So glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I met Alma at the Book Blogger Convention in May and really enjoyed chatting with her. I've been a little scared to pick this one up because I'm such a skittish reader, but you've convinced me to give it a go!

Melissa said...

I'm with Jenny. I almost want to read it to see if I agree with you or with Jill. But it's not really my thing, so I might just skip it all together...

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I do have this book in my collection and am looking forward to reading it, I think. Seems a bit different, but I might give it a go since the RIP Challenge is getting me all motivated this year!

Julie P. said...

I think I agreed with you on this one more than Jill! I was surprised by how much I liked it. I wouldn't say romance but more like obsession!

Melody said...

I've fallen for the blurb the moment I read it and ordered it thereafter. The atmosphere, the setting... everything intrigues me! I look forward to reading it (as I always say, I'm waiting for the right mood to strike!).

Jenners said...

"Slightly different opinion…" I was wondering if you and Jill read the same book!! It made it fun to read your dueling reviews.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Awesome review - I have this one and need to read it soon.... very soon. I am going to try to get it on next weeks list!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

This sounds like such a unique read, I'm going to add it to my wishlist right away!

Care said...

OK, I am intrigued. I appreciate how you set up this rview. Now I have to go find out what Jill says...

Swapna said...

You know my opinion of THE TAKER agrees with you and not Jill's. I found this book so complex and fascinating! I can't wait for you guys to meet Alma, she is the best!

Amy said...

I think every other blog I read in the last couple of days reviewed this book...and almost every blogger gave it high marks!

I think this review is fantastic, Sandy! I am glad you stated this isn't a romance because it didn't sound like a romance to me...or not any kind of romance I'd want any of my friends or family not to mention, myself, involved in!

It seems any time a character in any medium searched for youth, beauty and eternal life there are dark, sinister forces involved.....

I'm certainly intrigued and too curious about this book not to read it at some point!

Alyce said...

Wow, you and Jill had such opposite reactions to this book! I like the idea of character mysteriously living a long time, but probably not the darker aspects of the story.

softdrink said...

Woo-hoo! I just bought this on my nook yesterday and am looking forward to it!

Serena said...

I'm reading this now and I will have to pop back here to leave you my thoughts when I am done.

Serena said...

THIS IS NOT a ROMANCE AT ALL! I found Luke's presence useless, though, and I think there there was a serious obsession going on with Lanny. I think that this book will be polarizing among reviewers, but I enjoyed it for the dark decadence and I'm looking forward to the next book for sure. Oh, and Alma is a doll....but there's something dark in her that has come out in this book.