Read The Taker Online

Authors: Alma Katsu

Tags: #Literary, #Physicians, #General, #Romance, #Immortality, #Supernatural, #Historical, #Alchemists, #Fiction, #Love Stories

The Taker

BOOK: The Taker


Gallery Books
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2011 by Alma Katsu
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information, address Gallery Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
First Gallery Books hardcover edition September 2011
GALLERY BOOKS and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Designed by Jill Putorti
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Katsu, Alma.

The taker / Alma Katsu.—1st Gallery Books hardcover ed.

p. cm.

1. Physicians—Fiction. 2. Supernatural—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3611.A7886T35 2011



ISBN 978-1-4391-9705-9
ISBN 978-1-4391-9707-3 (ebook)


Author’s Note

Part I

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Part II

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Part III

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Part IV

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty



The Taker
is a work of fantasy, I don’t imagine readers come to it expecting historical authenticity, but there is one liberty I’ve taken with history that must be pointed out. While there is no town of St. Andrew in the state of Maine, if the reader attempts to triangulate the fictional village’s location based on clues in the text, you’ll see that if it were to exist, it would fall about where the town of Allagash stands today. Truth be told, this exact area of Maine wasn’t settled until the 1860s. However, the Acadian town of Madawaska, not far away, was settled in 1785, and so in my mind it didn’t seem too much of a stretch to have Charles St. Andrew found his outpost around this time.



oddamned freezing cold. Luke Findley’s breath hangs in the air, nearly a solid thing shaped like a frozen wasp’s nest, wrung of all its oxygen. His hands are heavy on the steering wheel; he is groggy, having woken just in time to make the drive to the hospital for the night shift. The snow-covered fields to either side of the road are ghostly sweeps of blue in the moonlight, the blue of lips about to go numb from hypothermia. The snow is so deep it covers all traces of the stumps of stalks and brambles that normally choke the fields, and gives the land a deceptively calm appearance. He often wonders why his neighbors remain in this northernmost corner of Maine. It’s lonely and frigid, a tough place to farm. Winter reigns half the year, snow piles to the windowsills, and a serious biting cold whips over the empty potato fields.

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