Bertauski, Tony: Drayton (The Taker) (2010)

Cover art by Tony Bertauski

Tony Bertauski writes a poignant tale of loss and love with his novella Drayton. Drayton is The Taker of the last breath/spirit/soul that leaves a person when they die. Of some people that is. He has to get to them first.

Drayton is lost. He is older than he remembers and has no idea of what he is. All alone he wanders upon the Earth trying to mingle with people so he can feed. Bertauski writes Drayton’s loneliness so well. The long life he has lived has brought him around from a monster without control to someone who helps out when he can. I got a sense of quietness even in the scenes that were violent.

I loved the contrast between Young and Hal at the end of the novella. How perfectly it illustrates the complexity of Drayton’s character.

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