The ReckoningThe Reckoning by Alma Katsu
Published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:

Lanore McIlvrae is the kind of woman who will do anything for love. Including imprisoning the man who loves her behind a wall of brick and stone.

She had no choice but to entomb Adair, her nemesis, to save Jonathan, the boy she grew up with in a remote Maine town in the early 1800s and the man she thought she would be with forever. But Adair had other plans for her. He used his mysterious, otherworldly powers to give her eternal life, but Lanore learned too late that there was a price for this gift: to spend eternity with him. And though he is handsome and charming, behind Adair’s seductive façade is the stuff of nightmares. He is a monster in the flesh, and he wants Lanore to love him for all of time.

Now, two hundred years after imprisoning Adair, Lanore is trying to atone for her sins. She has given away the treasures she’s collected over her many lifetimes in order to purge her past and clear 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.

I absolutely LOVED The Taker (Book 1 in this trilogy) so I was thrilled when this one came out I knew I needed to get to it as soon as I possibly could. Luckily, my blogger-friend Sandy came to the rescue and lent me her copy and I tore into it immediately. If you have read and enjoyed The Taker, I have to tell you that you absolutely must get your hands on this second installment when you can. I really, really liked what Katsu did with this story here.

The Reckoning gives the reader even more insight into Adair’s character. I was surprised to find that I almost found myself feeling sorry for Adair, and even liking him a little bit. He is a horrible person, a monster of a human being, but ultimately we discover that his feelings for Lanore are genuine and he realizes it’s completely his fault that she hasn’t returned those feelings in earnest. He battles with himself throughout the book with his urges to hurt her and deep desire to love her and treat her like a queen – these struggles made me empathize with him a little and even want things to (possibly) work out for him.

We get to know Lanore a bit better in this book also, and I really felt for her. She knew with absolute certainty that it was only a matter of time before Adair caught up to her, and the terror she felt at that inevitability was something I could almost feel through the page. While this book wasn’t as exciting plot-wise as the first book, it took more time exploring the various characters and their relationships, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the novel. It set the stage perfectly for the third book in the trilogy – now we’ve had the action, we really understand these characters, and now it’s time to tie everything together. I can’t wait!

The ending started out a bit predictable but then took an interesting turn – I love that Katsu did some unexpected things with her characters and their choices. I’m seriously excited about the third book in the trilogy and I think that that overall, Katsu has done something incredibly exciting and unique with these novels. I love them. Definitely give The Taker and The Reckoning a try if you have not already.