Win signed copies of both
THE TAKER and THE RECKONING
by Alma Katsu
The Taker opens on the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, where Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her . . . despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.
Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a settlement in the wilderness. Consumed as a child by her love for Jonathan, son of the town’s founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But when Jonathan fails her in her time of need and she’s exiled from town, Lanny is taken in by a man with mysterious, otherworldly powers named Adair. He uses his powers to give her eternal life, but Lanore learns too late that there is a price for this gift: to spend eternity with him. And though he is handsome and charming, behind Adair’s seductive facade is the stuff of nightmares. He is a monster in the flesh, and he wants Lanore to love him for all of time. And all she wants is Jonathan. She steals Adair’s magic to bind Jonathan to her so they can spend eternity together, learning too late that she’s doomed them both to a terrible fate for all eternity. It’s up to Lanny to figure out how to stop Adair and save them both—though she seems condemned to pay for her betrayal of Jonathan for the rest of her life.
In the second book in the trilogy, The Reckoning, Lanny believes she’s finally free of both Adair and her hopeless love for Jonathan. She’s trying to atone for her sins by giving away the treasures she’s collected over her many lifetimes in order, purging her past and clearing the way for a future with her new lover, Luke Findley. But, while viewing these items at an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Lanore suddenly is aware that the thing she’s been dreading for two hundred years has caught up to her: Adair has escaped from his prison. He’s free— and he will come looking for her. And she has no idea how she will save herself a second time from a man who is truly unstoppable.
With the stunningly imaginative storytelling and rich characterizations that fascinated readers worldwide and made The Taker a singular and memorable literary debut and an international sensation, Alma Katsu once again delivers “a powerful evocation of the dark side of romantic love” (Publishers Weekly) in her breathtaking new novel.
THE RECKONING is a nominee for RT Book Reviews 2012 Reviewers Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance and was a semifinalist in Goodreads 2012 Readers Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy.
Short Q&A with Alma Katsu
What’s been the most rewarding part of writing THE TAKER books?
For me, the most fun has been the freedom to write a series that is not locked into an established mythos. I wanted to create the kind of book that I love to read: dark, twisty tales filled with characters you can’t forget and a story that haunts you for days after you’ve finished the last page. It has magic—because deep down, everyone wants to believe in magic—and danger, and men you want to fall in love with but who are tragically flawed. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of The Taker books has also been the biggest challenge: the fact that it’s doesn’t fit neatly into one genre or another sometimes makes it tough to convince readers to give it a try. I hope I don’t sound immodest if I repeat what countless readers have told me: “Why did I wait so long to read this book? It was amazing.”
With your background in intelligence and the spy business, how did you end up writing fantasy?
You’d think that with 30 years in the intelligence business, writing spy novels would be a no-brainer. Maybe that means I don’t have a brain . . . But really, the truth is that the last thing I wanted to do after a long day at work was come home and wrestle with an espionage caper. It was simultaneously both too much like work and crazily unlike work: what you see in a James Bond movie or in the pages of a spy thriller is not like real intelligence work, but you probably guessed that already. Whereas with fantasy, you have carte blanche to escape from reality, to mark everything larger-than-life in order to reveal truths about life. I felt constrained trying to write spy fiction, whereas I feel totally free writing fantasy.
What’s been the most surprising part of being published?
Connecting with readers and other writers. It is mind-blowing to see the range of books being written these days. There are books for every taste, and there are an amazing number of readers who read widely and can turn you on to a new author or new favorite book you might otherwise have never heard of. And without fail, the authors I’ve met have been friendly, open, and so supportive, ready to share their experience or even lend a shoulder for you to cry on. Everyone is in it for the love of story. It’s a pretty wonderful community to be part of.
Alma Katsu lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. Her debut, The Taker, a Gothic novel of suspense, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and has developed an international following. The Reckoning, the second book in the trilogy, was published in June 2012. The Taker Trilogy is published by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster. Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career as a senior intelligence analyst for several US agencies and is currently a researcher at a think tank.