Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tantalizing Sequel to The Taker

4 of 5 stars

Reviewed by:  Kathleen Richardson

The Reckoning is book 2 in "The Taker Trilogy" and is a long awaited sequel to the first thriller.  You can find my review for The Taker in Further Reading as well.

The Reckoning is the story of Adair and his quest to find Lanore.  The reckoning is referring to the 200 years Adair the Immortal was left bricked in a basement by Lanny.  Adair is still a tyrant, but he is trying to reform because he believes he truly loves Lanny.  The love comes because he respects the fact that Lanny is the only one to figure out his true identity, that he was indeed the villain of his life story, having switched bodies with the old Physic with his alchemical powers.  Lanny stopped Adair's wicked rule so she and the rest of his creations could live life in freedom without being abused and she wanted to stop Adair from stealing the body of the uncannily beautiful Jonathan, the love of Lanny's life.

The minute Adair is freed from his century’s long prison all of his minions can feel a strong psychic signal from him that he is searching for them and looking to control them as he did in the past.  No one feels the signal as strongly as Lanny as she is the one who captured him for 200 years and he is the one who seeks her to wreak revenge.  We are reintroduced to the main players from The Taker and discover where they are living and what they've done with their 200 years of freedom.  Some, such as Jude, have remained virtually unscathed and are fully productive members of contemporary society, and then there are others such as Alejandro who have been deeply scarred emotionally and psychologically and are still living as if controlled by Adair.  Alejandro still worships Adair as if he were his slave although he has a successful photography studio and he hides his desperation well from the general public.  Tilde is still evil and vengeful, living much as Adair did, constantly using others for her own gain.  Savva is an old soul that we are introduced to and he has a serious drug and alcohol problem trying to block the memory of centuries of living on the edge and abuse.

Why do I give this book 4 stars when I gave 5 stars to The Taker?  There was not too much about the relationship between Lanny and Luke which was a large focal point in the first book.  Relationships were critical to the first installment, Jonathan and Lanny as well as Luke and Lanny in the present day.  This second book does a perfect job at setting us up for the conclusion of the series but it does not have much time for relationships and features less character development.  The drama is good but I miss the emotional link between the characters being central to the story.  All that said I can't wait to read the concluding novel and hope it will be the best yet.  Will Lanny learn to accept a reformed Adair, does she secretly harbor romantic feelings towards him, and can she forgive the violence and destruction to her property that happened in The Reckoning?  Can Luke remember Lanny and will there be a reunion?  Many questions were answered in The Reckoning but many await answers.  It was a real page turner just like the first, but I thought there was a bit too much sensationalism.  Poor Alma Katsu (the author), The Taker was chosen as one of Booklist's Top Ten Debut Novels of 2011 so she had a hard act to follow.  I recommend The Reckoning and completing the trilogy.  Before I read book 3 I will reread book 1 and 2.  Better yet I will listen to The Taker on CD and reread The Reckoning.  The library system doesn't own an audio copy of The Reckoning at this point but with the book only being released last week there may be an audio book in our future.  That alone should show you what a big fan of the series I am.  I got the book the first week it was available for check-out and I had been waiting long and hard for it! 

Request it here

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