The Reckoning is the second book in Alma Katsu's Immortal Trilogy and continues the story just three months after the end of The Taker. I liked that the story picked straight back up and I loved that the action started straight away as Adair, the man who is responsible for Lanny's immortal status and who she imprisoned two hundred years ago, is freed. Lanny immediately feels his influence again and knows that he's coming for her. As beginnings to books go, it doesn't get much more dramatic than this!
Whilst The Taker was for me very much an historical paranormal novel, The Reckoning is set predominantly in the present and offers an absorbing view on the contemporary as Adair flees his prison and seeks to resume his life after two hundred years. He effectively has to learn to live again and Katsu's descriptions of modern life through Adair's time-weary eyes had me fascinated as the smallest thing like a clothes shopping trip becomes a steep learning curve. Despite my dislike of Adair I found myself with (a small) amount of sympathy for him as he struggled to process the sheer amount of information available to him and the speed at which transactions take place.
The novel is split into two parts with chapters that alternate between Lanny's search for Adair's other `companions' in her bid to find a way to protect herself or stop him once and for all and Adair's re-integration into life and his search for Lanny. As a reader I enjoyed watching the two sides of the story evolve and by the end of the book I felt like I knew both Adair and Lanny better - particularly Lanny, whose story is told in the first person. Through flashbacks that visit destinations as far flung as Morocco, Venice and Romania we learn what happened to Lanny during the two-hundred years of Adair's imprisonment and in the present we meet characters that Lanny hasn't seen for the same period in new guises which gives the plot excellent variety and pace.
The Reckoning is as dark, if not darker than The Taker and certainly pushed my limit for horror toleration at a couple of points (it's probably worth noting that my limits aren't very high!) and Adair's actions in particular continued to have the shock factor which made the twist in the tale at the end of part one all the more intriguing! Part two is fast paced and includes some very clever and surprising twists as the net closes and an encounter between Adair and Lanny becomes inevitable. I loved the way the tension built and although I was expecting the worst, I was shocked when it actually happened and again surprised by the direction that the final chapters took. With a hint of another story, yet to be told, the scene is set for a fantastic finale to the trilogy and I can't wait!