Alma Katsu's latest release - The Reckoning - is the second book of The Taker Trilogy. I read and reviewed the first in the series - The Taker - last year and enjoyed. I was curious to see where Katsu would take her characters in the second installment.
As a quick background... "In 1817 Lanny was sent to Boston to give birth to her illegitimate child. But she never made it as far as the convent. Instead she fell in with Count Adair and his household. Adair is a centuries old alchemist with the ability to bind his minions to him for life - never aging and never dying."
The Reckoning picks up the story a few months after The Taker left off, in the present day. Lanny has run away with Luke, a mortal, starting yet another new life. But their calm is about to be shattered - Adair is on the hunt to reclaim Lanny. Lanny has spent much of the last 200 years trying to escape from her past. The book treats us to many of her memories as she explores her life and determines the choices she's going to have to make in this time. I enjoyed these flashbacks and their historical detail as much or more than the present day story.
The Taker set up the characters, the settings and the story for Katsu's trilogy. The sense of urgency and action, although present, is not as prevalent in The Reckoning. Instead, this second entry deals more with emotions - wants, needs, desires and love. Adair is given a depth not seen in The Taker.
The Reckoning is outside of the genres I normally read but had no problem holding my interest as a story. I am pragmatic by nature though, so I found myself unable to swoon with Lanny as she determines who she wants to spend her eternity with. Readers who lose themselves in a character will enjoy Lanny. Personally I found myself more drawn to Adair this time 'round. His self exploration was much more interesting to me. Those who like a little spice in their reading will enjoy the 'swiving' scenes.
Katsu has a rich, imaginative, storytelling voice. Fans of early Anne Rice would enjoy Alma Katsu. You can find Alma Katsu on Facebook and on Twitter.
Again the ending was slightly unsatisfying as it simply leaves the door open for the third book. Although - I am very curious about this Queen of the Underworld. I would recommend reading The Taker before The Reckoning to have a full appreciation of the story. Read an excerpt of The Reckoning.
(The ARC I received had a different cover that mirrored the tone of the hardcover edition of The Taker. I have to say I preferred it to this cover - which seems a little YA for me. In my opinion, it comes off as a bit sensationalistic and really doesn't connote the rich tone of Katsu's tale.)