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Alma Katsu Books In Order

Publication Order of Taker Books

The Taker (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Reckoning (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Witch Sisters (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Descent (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Hunger (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Devil's Scribe (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alma Katsu is an American author most popular for the writing of adult fiction. She is best known for “The Taker Trilogy” a series of fantasy and historical novels that she published in 2011 to much critical acclaim. The Taker was just the first of the Taker Trilogy and went on to be declared one of American Library Association’s ten best debut of 2011. Her novels have been translated into more than twelve languages in Italy, Spain, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. Before becoming an author, she spent almost three decades working for the Federal government in several departments that included foreign policy and intelligence, where she was a technology expert. Since 2012, she has been a consultant with the RAND Corporation where she holds the title of senior policy analyst. Katsu currently lives in a suburb of Washington with Bruce Katsu her musician husband. In addition to writing fiction, she also contributes to the Huffington Post and writes reviews for Publishers Weekly.

Katsu was born to a Japanese born mother and an American born father who lived in Fairbanks Alaska. Nonetheless, she spent much of her childhood and young adult years in Concord Massachusetts, and attributes her life there as one of the reasons why she has such an interest in early American history. She graduated from Brandeis University in 1981 with a Bachelors in Writing and Literature from a class that included Margaret Rey the children’s book author and novelist John Irving. In 2004, she attended Johns Hopkins University from which she graduated with a Masters in Fiction. Outside the formal education setting, she attended the Squaw Valley writing workshops, which gave her the courage to finally become a published author.

Alma Katsu’s works are generally known for the quality prose and depiction of supernatural settings in a realistic and immediate way. Her debut novel “The Taker” is a novel with a setting in the past which nevertheless has a modern day narrative as a frame of reference. Without being a hyperbole of romance, it renews the genre in something of a Faustian bargain set in a story within a story. The Taker Trilogy is the narrative of Lenora, a girl that has been granted immortality but who believes this is a punishment for evil acts she committed in life, and is now condemned to revisit her sins until the end of time. Katsu’s Taker Trilogy has been likened to the early novels of Diana Gabaldon and Anne Rice such as “Outlander” that effortlessly combine fantasy and the supernatural into one narrative.

“The Taker Trilogy” may best be described as dark historic novels, part gloomy thrillers, part magical and alchemical novels. However, at their core the novels are a terrifying study in obsession in its many forms. But despite the darkness in the novels are also love stories full of poignancy and wicked debauchery. Dealing with aspects of sacrifice and possessiveness, they ask the question “What separates obsession from true love?”. At its most accurate description, the trilogy may be best called an exploration and lesson in different human experiences and tragic lessons in romance and love. Hopeful yet heartbreaking all at the same time, the novels can be many things and span several genres. The novels of the Taker Trilogy take the reader through a roller coaster of emotions and difficult challenges that make one reflects and ponder in complex aspects of life and love. However, even with their emotional and moving stories, the narratives gets dark in some places which can make for some uncomfortable thrills. The novels dark aspects are more akin to “Eyes Wide Shut” by Stanley Kubrick or “Quills” by Doug Wright. But the dark nature of the novels is a crucial for the development of the characters, who go on a journey of self-discovery and grow over the course of the series.

“The Taker” is the first novel of the Taker Trilogy series of novels that comes with the premise that immortality has a cost even as true love can last for eternity. Dr. Luke Findley is working the midnight shift at a small hospital in rural Maine and does not expect much activity during the night. He is jolted out of his reverie when Lanore McIlvrae is brought into the Emergency Response Unit with a couple of policemen. Luke is inexplicably drawn to the Lanore who happens to be a murder suspect just recently arrested. Lanore proceeds to tell her story of betrayal and love, an impassioned narrative that transcended mortality and time and changed her life forever. In the very early years of the nineteenth century, Lanore was obsessed with a love for the heir to the St Andrew Medical hospital founder. She was prepared to do anything to make him hers, which included entering into an immortal bond that turns out to be some kind of Faustian bargain that results in a terrible fate she can never escape.

“The Reckoning” the second novel of The Taker Trilogy continues with the story of Lanore McIlvrae. McIlvrae is so obsessed with love that she kidnaps her nemesis Adair and entombs him behind a brick and stone wall in a quest to save Jonathan, a boy she considers is the love of her life. But the man Adair is not so easily gotten rid of. He had put to use his paranormal and magical powers to make Lanore immortal and will not be cast aside so easily. Too late, Lanore had learned that the price for immortality was to spend eternity with her enemy. Adair is a seductive, charming, and handsome man who hides his monster tendencies behind a façade. His real self often comes out when someone fails to do what he wants them to do. Two centuries after locking up her enemy, Lanore has come to realize that Adair will not let her go and tries to make right her wrong. She is atoning for her sins by giving away the many treasures she had accumulated over the many lifetimes her deal with Adair had presented to her. She is hoping that giving away her tainted wealth will get rid of her past and make it possible for her to start a new life with Luke Findley her new lover. But while she is giving away her treasures, she realizes that what she has been running away for nearly two centuries may have finally caught up with her. Adair has just escaped from his prison and is looking for revenge.

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