The Reckoning: Book Two of the Taker Trilogy - Alma Katsu How did I not know that this came out!! Going to have to move this to the top of the TBR!!7/3/12Wow, so just finished and having a hard time trying to figure out what to think. I know that this story continues to affect me and it is really hard for me to even understand why. Is it the writing that flows so brilliantly that it makes it hard to set the book down when the menial tasks of life pop up to disturb my reading? Or maybe it's the storyline and the idea of these people who were given the gift/curse of immortality by a cruel sadistic master and who are all completely flawed and somewhat evil themselves. I don't know. All I do know is that I feel the same way as I did after finishing The Taker and my mind was completely absorbed by it, I know that will be the case once again and I won't be able to get my thoughts off of these characters for a while and so I can give this no less than 5 stars. A quote from Alma Katsu which has me both worried and hopeful for the final installment of the series: To require happy endings is understandable in a children's book, but in adult literature it seems disingenuous, because in life, most people don't redeem themselves. They continue through life nursing their shortcomings, the low-grade alcoholism, the occasional extra-marital fling. Of course, most people aren't as flawed as Lanny and Jonathan, let alone Adair. But that's the reason for immortality in the story: when you're this bad, you need a very long time to straighten yourself out. The thing is, after reading the last two installments of the series, do I believe these characters are worthy of redemption? Lanny, maybe? She has done things that I have found to be very selfish such as dragging Luke into the fray. Do I think she is completely evil? I really don't. I feel that she is a great representation of humanity as a whole. Everyone has flaws and everyone does selfish things from time to time, but she has the emotional intelligence to recognize the damage she has done to others and feels remorseful for it.As for Adair, I have the hardest time trying to wrap my head around this character. I finished The Taker and felt nothing but bad things for him. He was completely evil to me with absolutely no chance for redemption. I felt that he got exactly what he deserved from Lanny and Jonathan and only wished that they could have done more than just brick him up for two hundered years, but get rid of him for good in some way. However, in this installment I waiver between hating him to feeling pity for him. I don't know what it says about me when I start to hope that he gets a happily ever after even after he has raped, murdered, and tortured people.Oh, Ms. Katsu, what you do to me!! I can't wait to read the last book!!