Title: The Reckoning
Author: Alma Katsu
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Warning: This review contains spoilers for The Taker, the first book in this trilogy.
Lanny McIlvrae is enjoying life with her new lover, Luke, when she feels a presence in her mind that she hasn’t sensed in hundreds of years – that of Adair. It seems that the twisted man has escaped from the prison in which Lanny confined him, and she’s certain he’s out for revenge. Desperate to keep away from Adair and whatever dark punishment he has in store for her, Lanny flees, trying to keep one step ahead of her mortal enemy.
The Reckoning starts up just a few months after The Taker ends. Lanny and Luke are living happily and in bliss, but it’s clear from the beginning that it won’t last. After all, Katsu sprinkled serious hints at the end of the previous book as to what the subject of this one might be, and sure enough, Adair pops back up within the first few chapters. Thus, the premise of this book is set up: Lanny must atone for all her previous sins, including imprisoning a madman for hundreds of years.
Adair is, perhaps, the most appalling character of the entire Taker trilogy thus far. Readers have no doubt he’s a dark, sadistic man intent on inflicting pain on those closest to him in order to control them. His long life has perverted any sense of normality he may have once contained. When Lanny imprisoned him, he truly believed he was invincible. As a result, his endless years as a caged man have changed him. He’s at once more unstable, but also more thoughtful and careful. His character development over the course of the novel is absolutely shocking. It’s a testament to Katsu’s writing ability that she takes this absolutely loathsome man and transforms him over the course of The Reckoning.
Like The Taker, The Reckoning takes place over multiple time periods. While Lanny is living (and hiding) in the present, reflecting on her decisions and coming to terms with her immortality, Katsu fills in some of the holes of her past. It’s not quite as atmospheric as The Taker, but it provides some welcome background information to help readers understand Lanny further. She, too, grows over the course of this novel. She has done some horrible things in her lifetime and is ready to pay the price. She’s ready to be free.
The storyline of The Reckoning takes the reader on twists and turns. Every time they might believe they have a handle on what’s happening and can predict what’s coming next, Katsu pulls out the rug from under them. It makes for a delicious, twisty read that readers will want to read in one sitting. Fans of The Taker shouldn’t hesitate to pick up The Reckoning, as they wait patiently for the final book in the trilogy.
Other books by Alma Katsu: