Reviewed by Claudia Robinson

“The smothering darkness he’d struggled with, the vast loneliness he’d felt in prison, threatened to overwhelm him again, and it was only with great effort that he managed to push it away. He was free now and would rejoin the living.” ~ Adair

The Reckoning, by Alma Katsu is the second installment of three, and I was excited to be afforded the pleasure and honor of reviewing it, as I’d read and reviewed Alma’s previous novel, The Taker, and fallen immediately and completely in love with her writing style and characters. The Taker left us wondering about Luke and Lanny’s future. On the lamb from the law, new identities in place, The Reckoning picks up where The Taker left off, with Lanny and Luke living in London. Lanny is busy dispensing of many of her collected antiquities in an effort to let go of her sordid and dark past, and the lingering memories of the one man more powerful than her, the man who gave her eternal life, Adair. Comfortable and free, the pair have carved out a new life for themselves, despite their age difference (hundreds of years) and past (her immortality, his ex-wife and children) and it seems that all will be well for them, until one night, a museum exhibit opening, changes their future and dreams irrevocably and completely.

The hunt has begun.

For centuries, Adair has been trapped in a stone cell, entombed in darkness forever by Lanny, punishment for his evil and sadistic nature. When a demolition crew inadvertently frees him from his confines, Adair can think of only one thing, revenge. Seeking out a disciple from the past, Adair is forced to learn about the new world in to which he’s been freed. Computers, credit cards, cars, planes and trains. Modern society so unlike the golden opulence and decadence of court life he has been accustomed to. Penniless, confused and angry, Adair enlists the help of his minions in an attempt to rebuild his fortune, power and future with only one end goal, to find and punish Lanny in the most painful, torturous manner possible.

Lanny and Luke find themselves running again, this time from a foe that Lanny knows will eventually find them, no matter how far they run; not wishing to put Luke in harm’s way, she makes a painful decision to leave him, encouraging him to return to his family and medical practice. Forced to seek out others from their past, foe and friend alike, Lanny finds herself traveling to remote areas of the world, reliving memories of lost loves and lives, while discovering that not everything is as it appears and that the heart can play tricks on the mind if left to it’s own devices. Trust in the immortal world is a precious and rare commodity, and Lanny’s survival depends on her instincts, as Adair’s net threatens to ensnare her, once and for all.

Alma delivers another fabulous tale of love, loss, life and the supernatural in a believable, sumptuous manner that will leave her readers and devotees satisfied, and hungry for the next book. Intricately woven, past and present, memories and moments coexist in a passionately desperate story of survival and retribution, revenge and resignation, loyalty and betrayal. Alma writes with an eloquence that defies and defines her prose personality, at once masculine and powerful or feminine and seductive, her characters come alive under her guidance and explode on the pages, breathing, living, warm creatures that ensnare the reader with their every move.

The Reckoning is as powerful and poetic as The Taker was, and I can only hope to have the pleasure of reading and reviewing the final book in this magical, otherworldly trilogy.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Also by Alma Katsu: The Taker

Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.

The review copy of this book was provided free of any obligation by Gallery Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.