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The Taker

(The Taker Trilogy #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  7,258 ratings  ·  1,273 reviews
True love can last an eternity . . . but immortality comes at a price. . . .

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening--until a mysterious woman, Lanore McIlvrae, arrives in his ER, escorted by police. Lanore is a murder suspect, and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an im
Hardcover, US, 438 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published April 14th 2011)
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Christina Very indecent. Gang rape, child molestation, kidnapping children to use for sex, torture, rape, violence . . . I have no idea why some like reading th…moreVery indecent. Gang rape, child molestation, kidnapping children to use for sex, torture, rape, violence . . . I have no idea why some like reading this book. It made me feel sick inside. (less)

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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,258 ratings  ·  1,273 reviews

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Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 e
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Actual rating 2.5 stars.

I can't say I enjoyed this book. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting.
The story didn't grab me at any point. It is just interesting enough to keep reading, just enough to want to find out where is all going to arrive to, but not entertaining enough to not have me thinking about DNFing it. Then, after the barely there interest, we arrive at an end that doesn't deliver. I was left unimpressed, disappointed and frustrated because how pointless all was. I could have gon
*** The review may contain some spoilery concerning the first half of the plot ***

Finally over. *sigh*

That short outburst above had been my "review" right after I had finished reading the book, and as far as my account was concerned I planned to leave it at that. Now, more than three months later, I have accumulated enough emotional distance to deal with the story again.

I do not remember the exact wording, but when I was handed Alma Katsu’s debut The Taker in March, it came with th
Wee Shubba's World
First I was to say just a little bit about the book cover. So everyone is always saying "Dont judge a book by its cover". However, honestly it usually the cover that makes you pick up the book to start with. If the cover catches your eye you will pick up the book. Most people deny that they judge a book by its cover but we are all guilty of it at some. And this cover is one that would catch your eyes in book store. Its looks really pretty in the picture. However it is simply WOW in person. It ju ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This uneven first novel promises the start of an entertaining series for those who enjoy supernatural/paranormal historicals. Big, dramatic, and lurid, this novel tells the story of Lanny McIlvrae, a woman born in 19th century rural Maine, who still walks the Earth some two centuries later, tortured by her past. Alternating between now -- when she convinces the ER doctor to help her escape to Canada and then Paris -- and recounting her past -- how she ended up immortal -- the story features sex, ...more
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
I'm just going to list the things I hated most about this novel.

1. Jonathan. He was beautiful, sure. The most beautiful man on the planet (because everyone on the planet in this book's universe shared the same standards of beauty, apparently). But beyond that, what was his appeal? He was weak, spineless, and disloyal. He had no character. I have a hard time believing anyone would love him upon getting to know him.

2. Both Lanny and Jonathan holding themselves responsible for driving someone to su
Juliana Philippa
3.5 stars | Grade: B-
This novel is a story about the choices we make and how they can result in consequences we are unwilling to imagine at the time and unable to fix later on. It’s a story about blind and selfish love, about becoming a slave to one’s desires, about the evilness that exists in the human heart and the loneliness that can drive us to do terrible things. It’s a story about human weakness and indulgence, about how permissiveness and indifference can become cruelty. It’s a story
Sep 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I received this book for free through Goodreads first reads, and I was excited to dig in. I only got a few chapters in and lost interest, though. I quickly grew tired of Lanny's obsession with Jonathan, a weak and spineless individual not worth such devotion. Apparently there are some twisted sex scenes later on that you have to wade through to keep up with the story--not worth it for a mediocre read to begin with.


I keep coming back to my review of this book, perhaps because I rarely give on
Crystal Craig

Lot's of culture
Total cover love
Flawed characters

Oh, boy! The Taker was a treasure to read. I used to be a mystery/thriller/suspense reader through and through. I rarely read historical fiction, and I certainly didn't read fantasy other than an odd paranormal romance—vampires, of course. In the past year, I've begun to branch out into historical fiction, and fantasy—even some sci-fi, and I'm loving it.

The cover caught my eye. It's stunning. I so enjoyed this book. I literally couldn't put i
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Debut author, Alma Katsu has really hit a home run with The Taker. This book is so anti-love, a true pessimist’s delight. The Taker shows with Lanore Mcllvrae, the main protagonist, how falling in love with someone who doesn’t love you in the same way back can destroy your life. In the case of Lanore, Alma has created a more sensationalized example, using supernatural elements to prove that love can be not only destructive but can become an unhealthy obsession that will eat away at a person unti ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
I seem to be having the hardest time connecting with characters lately. I wanted to love this in all its darkness glory but the truth is I felt nothing for any of the characters. All the male leads with the exception of Luke, were horrible people. How can I be in love with a love interest when I can't even find a redeeming quality in them?

I don't know, this may be a rare case of it's me, not you...

This just wasn't my cup of tea at this time. Maybe some time in the future I will pick up the sequ
Sep 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. I wanted to love this book. I am dying for a book that spills real love and real heart. This book was trying so hard to be Anne Rice. Katsu begins her book by going down that road, but ends up with a sad mimicry of a Rice's connection between immortality and sadism (something that could not have been avoided by the characters even if Katsu had a better writing style). The characters were flat and apparently incapable of making sound or selfless decisions. There is nev ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-s-best
An astonishing and accomplished novel. Brutal, heartbreaking and magical, easily comparable to the likes of Anne Rice.
Sher Free
So The Taker was a really difficult novel. To be honest I was not sure what to expect, having mostly been drawn by the beautiful cover. Yes, I know I know. But who really doesn’t judge a book by one? Anyway, the publisher description was vague enough as to add to the intrigue. So like a donkey with the proverbial carrot I was pulled along with the expectation of a sweet surprise. Was it a gothic mystery? A paranormal romance? A modern cautionary tale? Well it turned out to be all of these things ...more
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having been quite taken (zing!) by Alma Katsu’s slow-burn take on the Donner Party in her excellent novel The Hunger, I was eager to give her earlier works a chance. So I figured I’d start at the beginning, with her debut novel The Taker. And while the premise sounded suspiciously like a romance tale with vampires (two genres that I really have no interest in), the actual contents of the book were quite entertaining and rather original.

”One partner doesn’t love the other enough to stop drinking,
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This novel promises an unforgettable story before even the first printed page. A golden metallic, embossed scroll-like paper adorns the inside flaps of the hardcover version of this book, hinting at mystery, intrigue and antiquity.

And the first haunting chapter delivers on that promise, leading the reader into the intriguing stories behind those scroll-like papers, propelling the reader forward. Yes, Alma Katsu’s debut novel captivated me from the start. It is a complete anomaly in terms of the
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Where I got the book: freebie at RT Booklovers' Convention.

In the endless reaches of Book, a reader wanders in search of a likeable character.

Things I Did Not Like:

1. the pouty-face girl on the cover. It's one of those photos that follows you with its eyes.
2. the way the plot jerks about like one of those horrendous carnival rides where you think you're going in one direction and then you're not.
3. every single character. No wait, the prostitute in the woods was OK.
4. SO much telling-not-showing
Leanna (daisychainbooks)
An addictive tale of immortal love, Alma Katsu’s debut novel, The Taker, will keep you reading late into the night, and leave you wanting more. Combining elements of paranormal romance with historical fiction, this book will take you on an unmissable journey through time.

The story opens in present day Maine, in the small town of St. Andrew, where Dr. Luke Findley is about to embark on yet another monotonous shift at the Aroostook County Hospital. Recently divorced, and living a totally unfulfill
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust

I had a ADORE/ dislike relationship with this book.

Will I be reading The Reckoning ? You betcha. One word---> ADAIR <3

I must percolate my thoughts. Full review to come.
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Enjoyable story. The story kept the book in my hands but one thing that drove me bonkers was why the heck did we have to know about how beautiful Jonathan was every few pages? That irked the heck outta me. Another peeve with the book is that Lanny had lived all those years and she never learned about the boy? I mean dang woman grow a set of balls.
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It's been a while since a book has haunted me consistently like this one has/is. Even a few days after finishing it scenes suddenly flood my mind and emotions, sometimes making me pause in the middle of whatever I'm doing just so I can fully ponder it all.

'The Taker' is a dark, heart wrenching tale of unrequited love, obsession, and the price of immortality. (Yet, that seems a very weak summation.)

It's a romance, but nothing like your average romance. It's a paranormal, but everyone is human, j
DNF @22%

Some lame ass doctor (Luke) was wasting his life away in some small town in Maine. The police brought some bloody chick (Lennore) who murdered someone to the hospital. He listened to her story since she had supernatural healing abilities and he was intrigued. The book was so damn boring. The paranormal elements were practically nonexistent. The chapters from Luke's POV were in the present tense, and it made it awkward to read. The chapters from Lennore's POV took place in the 1800's when
Karina Halle
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
A spellbinding debut by Alma Katsu, but not without its flaws. I keep wavering between 3.5 and 4 stars but I suppose it doesn't matter since, in the end, I do recommend this book. Lanny and her story will captivate you from day one, and though she seems rather one-dimensional (even though half the book is told from her POV in the past) she will grow on you, as will the tales of her life before and after she meets "The Taker." Though there are many gruesome scenes in this book, particularly with ...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This was a very interesting take on immortality. The cover and title imply of something sinister, so my first impression/expectation upon seeing this book was vampires. Since they’re virtually the only creatures I know that can live several lifetimes, my uncreative mind immediately jumped to this assumption. Of course I was severely mistaken.

The Taker was an atmospheric novel about a girl who’d fallen on hard times at a time (1800s) when pregnancy out of wedlock was mortal sin. But that’s not ho
Barbara Elsborg
Nov 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
This reminded me of a "Discovery of Witches" - a story that didn't work for me. The Taker is supposed to be a sort of love story - but the problem is - there is no love in it - so I'm not sure how the book should be marketed. What passes for love is just deep infatuation and I never really believed in it. One part - near the end - when something very bad has happened, the heroine is so flat emotionally, I wanted to throw the book down. I think that's what the real issue is for me - no feeling - ...more
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
"A love that is too strong can turn poisonous and bring great unhappiness. And then, what is the remedy? Can you unlearn your heart's desire? Can you stop loving someone? Easier to drown yourself, Sophia seemed to be telling me; easier to take the lover's leap."

"I was insecure around him and always would be, the burden of my love like astone manacled to my neck."

I really enjoyed this book and thought it was well written. It reminded me somewhat of Twilight - in the sense that the girl thinks not
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction, fans of Anne Rice
The Taker is a story of mystery, passion, unreturned tragic love, and the paranormal.
It’s sort of adult dark tale with goth elements, paranormal romance and historical fiction.
This book is cleverly constructed and has a few stories within a story, it's very well written - compelling characters, and intricately detailed.
The brilliant Alma Katsu is definitely an author to watch out for in the future!

If you are looking for a fantastic, brutal, heartbreaking and magical story, read THE TAKER.
I high
Sandy S
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
THE TAKER by Alma Katsu

THE TAKER can best be described as a novel of mixed genre. It is a historical fantasy that spans the past to the present with sci-fi undertones, gothic horror and there is a definite love story, of sorts. Some reviewers have labeled The Taker as a romance story that crosses the centuries, but for everything I have read, this is definitely not a romance novel. The Taker is well written, thought provoking and eerily depressing. The novel spans two centuries in the life of La
Diana | Book of Secrets
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Is it possible to become completely absorbed in a book and find all of the characters reprehensible in some way? The answer is yes. The Taker is a beautifully written, mesmerizing tale, but the characters! They are so terribly flawed, but I could not look away. It's the kind of book that leaves you wondering who the real villain was. The Taker is actually stories within a story, from the past and the present, effortlessly woven together.

The story begins as a suspected murderer is brought into th
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Sorcerer enslaves young boy then steals his body. [s] 10 39 Jan 03, 2016 01:15PM  
Thoughts? 7 58 Sep 01, 2013 11:07AM  
Plot questions for those who have FINISHED the book 7 101 May 02, 2013 09:20PM  

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"Hard to put down. Not recommended reading after dark." -- Stephen King

"Makes the supernatural seem possible" -- Publishers Weekly

THE HUNGER: NPR 100 Favorite Horror Stories

THE HUNGER: Nominated for the Stoker and Locus awards

Author of THE DEEP, a reimagining of the sinking of the Titanic, and THE HUNGER, a reimagining of the Donner Party's tragic journey (Putnam);

Other books in the series

The Taker Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Reckoning (The Taker, #2)
  • The Descent (The Taker, #3)

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“I’d always secretly believed that a love as fierce and true as mine would be rewarded in the end, and now I was being forced to accept the bitter truth.” 193 likes
“I´ve always wanted him to love me the way I loved him. He did love me, I know he did. Just not the way I wanted him to.

"And it´s so different for a lot of people I´ve known. One partner doesn´t love the other enough to stop drinking, or gambling, or running around with other women. One is the giver and one is the taker. The giver wishes the taker would stop."

"But the taker never changes," Luke says, though he wonders if this is always the case.

"Sometimes the giver has to let go, but sometimes you don´t. You can´t. I couldn´t give up on Jonathan. I seemed to be able to forgive him anything.”
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