We were pleased to learn that Kel was returning and that he’s as stubborn and anguished as ever. To recap, Los Angeles is plagued by humanoid creatures called Takers, which are like vampires only many levels worse. These emotionless monsters suck souls as well as blood, and they can create half-human offspring which must feed on a smorgasbord of blood, souls and human food to stay alive.
The first installment of Takers introduced us to Kel, a good-cop who was half-turned against his will. As he strives to eradicate Takers and keep his old life together, he acquires a diverse human, Taker and half-turn ‘family’ who he grows responsible for protecting against the Taker threat. Gradually each family member provides Kel with a piece of the life-and-death game that he’s trying to win.
So as the third book opens, Kel has been dealing with difficult family relationships, and new revelations keep flowing thick and fast, not unlike a Lindeloff-scribed Lost episode. There’s some great new information revealed about Taker origins and powers along the way, but unfortunately it isn’t resolved to a truly satisfying conclusion. It soon gets a little too convenient that a character always turn up with a crucial crumb of explanation to move the story forward.
While the pace never lets up, we’re also trapped inside Kel’s point of view the whole way, and his analyses and guilt trips grew repetitive. The pace really improved when Kel spent some time simply talking with his powerful ‘family’ as they explored threats together in an exciting and very involving way.
Still, there’s a fourth (and probably final) part on the way as well, so the loose ends will find a home and we can learn if Kel ever breaks free from his curse, or even if he survives while making a difference. These vampiric monsters suck out our very souls, apparently they’re why there are so many crappy people in the world. It’s an interesting concept and continues to be well defined. We look forward to reading the conclusion and discovering if Kel achieves his ambition of a normal life, and the final end of the ruthless Takers.