Skip to main content

Review of The Taker by Alma Katsu

The Taker isn't a bad book; it is an offensive book. It is riddled with rape/torture scenes, and that is not something to be taken lightly. If you are uncomfortable (as we all should be), with sexual violence, you should probably stay away from this book. There are some entertaining parts to the story and Katsu's prose is fairly good, but I don't think that I could in good conscience recommend this book.

My first problem with The Taker is that it seems to confuse love for obsession. Nearly the first 100 pages describe how the main character, Lanny, was in love with Jonathan St. Andrew from the time she was a little girl and how she would do anything to be with him, including causing a pregnant girl to commit suicide. It is fairly obvious that somehow Jonathan is enthralling Lanny and every other woman in town, but it isn't obvious how, exactly, it is that he is doing it.
This also seems to be the case with Lanny and Dr. Luke Findlay to whom Lanny is telling her story. From the moment Luke meets Lanny, he is willing to do anything for her--even helping her escape police custody and head into Canada to escape a murder charge!

Another problem that I have with The Taker is that it is extremely illogical. Ms. Katsu doesn't really explain her world building and as other reviewers have mentioned she seems to be relying on the vampire myth and the current obsession with anything vampire related. She doesn't come straight out and say that Lanny is a vampire, and she isn't, but she obviously wants you to associate whatever Lanny is with vampirism.

A third problem was the fact that the narration jumps from character to character, and at first this isn't a bad thing. However, when we suddenly jumped from Lanny's POV to another ancillary character's POV it was really jarring, and at times it felt like a completely different book. (It doesn't help that Lanny's portion is in first person and this other character's is in third person.)
Finally, while all of the history seems to be really well researched, there is a part of the narrative that had me raising my eyebrow, and wondering if Ms. Katsu was sitting with her copy of Harry Potter (I'm not sure which one--maybe The Chamber of Secrets) because the scene in which the alchemist is explaining mandrake roots to Adair, the thing that made Lanny the way she is, smacks of the scene from Harry Potter where Harry and his friends learn of mandrake roots and their deadly screams. If I were J.K. Rowling, I would look into this and think of suing Ms. Katsu for plagiarism.

In the end, I wasn't able to finish the book, despite the Ms. Katsu's decent writing style. The rape/torture scenes were more than a little upsetting, and I think that if there weren't a part of the story (or maybe if they weren't described in such detail, especially the scene in which Lanny finds out that she is leaking blood and feces because of a gang rape it would have been a much better book--or at least a book I would have been able to finish it.

Comments

  1. […] has been nearly a year since I read The Taker and I am still pissed off about it.  Actually, I am still so angry about this book that I had to […]

    ReplyDelete
  2. […] are some modern books that involve rapist characters.  The one that immediately comes to mind is The Taker by Alma Katsu in which the main character, Lani, is brutally gang raped before being turned into a vampire-like […]

    ReplyDelete
  3. […] Reviews: Dukes to the Left of me, Princes to the Right What I Did for Love The Taker The Chocolate Kiss One Star Reviews: Blind Eye Two Star Reviews: Once in a Lifetime Three Star […]

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review of "The Other Miss Bridgerton" by Julia Quinn

Title: The Other Miss Bridgerton
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesby #3
Publisher: Avon
Price: $6.99 (e-book) $5.77 (mass market paperback) $21.55 (Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 I love Julia Quinn.  A few years ago, I stumbled upon Just Like Heaven in the Howard Beach library; I'd heard of Ms. Quinn before, but hadn't actually read one of her books.  Immediately after finishing the book, Marcus and Honoria became one of my favorite hero/heroine pairings ever.  I'm probably going to be diving back into the Smythe-Smith books again soon because despite reading all of the Bridgerton books, the Smythe-Smith series is still my absolute favorite Quinn series.  The Rokesby series is giving it a run for its money, though (I've read Because of Miss Bridgerton at least four times since it was published in 2016).  Is it wrong that I want another book already?  Sure, The Other Miss Bridgerton came out just last week, but one is never enough, right? From the Publisher:
She was in the wrong p…

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Kiss Me At Christmas" by Valerie Bowman

Title: Kiss Me At Christmas Author: Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #10
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Price: $7.99 (e-book) $5.98 (mass market paperback)
Rating:❄️❄️❄️❄️
Christmas Rating: 🎅🎅 1/2

I guess it is that time of year again--it is finally acceptable to listen to Christmas music on repeat!  Yes!  Unfortunately, I read this book in October and was getting a lot of weird looks when people heard snippets of Shake Up Christmas.  Honestly, this wasn't the earliest I've listened to Christmas music.  That honor goes to my review of Snowfall on Haven Point for the Smart Bitches, which I wrote in the middle of one of the worst heat waves in Northern California back in June of 2017.  But you're not here for a recitation of my Christmas music woes, so let's do this thing.

ExcerptCHAPTER ONE
London, December 1818
Lady Regina Haversham’s thirtieth birthday was precisely one month away, which didn’t leave her much time to lose her virginity. Not that she wanted it lost. S…

It's Not Me; It's You--A Review of "Shelter in Place" by Nora Roberts

Title: Shelter in Place
Author: Nora Roberts
ISBN: 1250161592
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Price: $14.99 (e-book) $16.49 (hardcover) $23.95 (Audible)
Rating:⭐️

Over the last few years, I have found myself reading fewer Nora Roberts novels.  In the past, she was my go-to author, an auto-buy, someone I knew whose work would never disappoint me.  Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.  While her prose is still beautiful and effortlessly depicts all manner of situations, her stories have become stale (recycling plots from other books is a big part of my problem with her) and it seems that she is less inclined to writing actual romances.  I was actually really excited about Shelter in Place because it wasn't like anything else I've read by her--and that sounded like a good thing.  What I got was a book that wasn't really sure what it was or what it wanted to be.

From the Publisher:
From Nora Roberts, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Year One (December 2017), comes…

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…