Friday, March 15, 2013

The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

In The Reckoning, the second book in The Taker trilogy, the story of Lanore and Adair continues. Two hundred years ago, Lanore imprisoned Adair, the man who loves her, behind a brick wall. She had to do that to protect herself and Jonathan, the love of her life. Now that's she's with Luke, she's decided to make up for all of her past evil deeds. All of a sudden, though, she senses that Adair has been freed and is out for revenge.

This book was so good! I loved being able to catch up on all of the characters from the first book. Unlike the previous book, this story in this book takes place mostly in the present with little forays into the past to fill in bits and pieces. This style fit so well with the story.

I don't usually read fantasy, so I'm surprised I'm enjoyed this series so much. I think it's because the characters are, for the most part, living in the "real" world, the world we live in. For instance, Adair's 200-year confinement left him ill prepared for life in the real world where everything had changed so much. Things like automobiles and the internet were foreign to him. However, those are things I'm familiar with so to have him interact with them was interesting to me.

Even though I enjoyed the first book very much, I had trouble remembering everything that happened. I remembered the characters and the basics of the story, but not the finer details. Because the story wasn't told in a linear fashion, the time frames of certain events were a bit jumbled in my head. When I got to this book and certain previous events were mentioned I had a little trouble figuring out how those events related to others and how they fit on the time line. It didn't take me long to figure it out, though, so it wasn't too bad.

When it comes down to content and storyline, not that much really happened in this book. We got a little more background information on the characters and found out what they did during those 200 years while Adair was locked away. Nevertheless it was engaging, compelling, accessible and a wonderful bridge to the third and final book in the trilogy.

I love it when fictional characters interact with real-life people. In this book, there's a brief appearance by Lord Byron, the English poet. I'd heard of him, but wasn't familiar with his work or his life, so I probably missed some of the references. However, I still found it interesting that the author chose to include him.

There was one part that I didn't like. That is, the raising of the dead, especially one with advanced decomposition. It didn't gross me out or anything. I just didn't find it believable. I know that's silly considering that the whole premise of the story. Why I can buy immortality, but not this, is beyond me.

New words:
meniscus (page 78): curved upper surface of a still liquid in a jar or tube.
laggards (page 153): someone or something falling behind.
intransigence (page 337): unreasonable refusal to change your ideas or behaviour.

I've also read the first book, The Taker (my review). I really enjoyed it.

If you are interested in this series, I suggest you start with the first book. This book is really a continuation of that one. I'm don't think it would make much sense without all of the background information on the characters, their complex relationships and their past histories with each other.

Besides all of this, the cover is absolutely stunning!!    

Highly recommended. I can't wait for the final book in this trilogy.

For more information about this book, please visit Simon & Schuster's website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Alma Katsu's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Simon & Schuster for this review copy.

The Reckoning by Alma Katsu, Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster) ©2012. ISBN 9781451651805(Hardcover), 346p.

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