Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Immortal Beloved: review

Title: Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved #1)
Author: Cate Tiernan
Genres: magical. fantasy.
Summary: Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

(Note on cover: I've never seen someone sideways before, on a book cover. Have you? It's sort of weird, but I like it. There are at least three different covers for this book. This isn't the edition I read, but it's the one that made me click on the book. Yes, I do judge books by their covers...lots of people do! I might post a cover comparison on this one though, they're all very different.)

Immortal Beloved starts out a little rough, honestly. And the reason I stuck through the first...35 pages or so? is because I read another review saying it's worth trying past that first part. Yes, it totally is. And after a certain point, (after she leaves her friends) I found myself enjoying it a whole lot more than I expected I would. Then I culdn't put it down.

Nastasya's voice is really strong, and distinct. I immediately liked her. She's annoying, unfeeling, and I would almost say witty...but it's more of a snarky kind of humor. Attitude. She has lots of attitude. It's absolutely hilarious, so my kind of book. The way she is described, physically and personality--it leaves an impression. I found myself laughing or smiling at almost every page.

Every now and then, while at her stay (rehabilitation) at River's Edge, Nasty backflashes to her old lives (life?), over the past 450 years she's lived. She isn't some silly teenager like in most YA, though she may act stupid sometimes. Over the ages, she has married and had kids and lived through famine and wars and everything in between. Nasty has experience, and that makes her a more valid character, I think. It's cool following her in her path to become a better person though, (as in not constant partying for the past few decades and remembering how to care again) because she seriously needs it.

A few things I hope gets addressed later in the trilogy are Reyn, and the Immortality:

Reyn: is the totally awesome but amazingly subtle love interest. Aka, the Viking God, as Nasty likes to call him. This story isn't much about him, but Nasty's actual bildungsroman...with him on the side.
(My internal dialogue)
Wait, you mean her whole world doesn't slow to sparkling skin and stupid adjectives about the hot dude's amazing amazingness?
Such a nice break.
I know.
Unfortunately, he is slightly underdeveloped.
Yes, but I'm sure that will be expanded in the second one.
I have no doubt. Because with that last third of the book, he needs more words.
*eyebrow wiggle*

What a cool concept, and the way she creates her twist on it, and history (my favorite part!) is very neat. Instead of showing the light side of Immortality (you get to be with your spouse FOREVER and EVER), you see what it actually does to you centuries later. Human lovers don't last more than a few decades, and children that don't end up immortal die too. If you marry another Immortal, imagine living for them forever...yeah that takes a LOT of commitment. I agree with Nasty's opinions on that completely. Bella, you might need a back-up plan if you ever get tired of Edward for a few decades in never-freaking-ending bliss. It's unnatural.
Haha. :P
Anyway, the only thing that just wasn't as explained out as I wanted it to be, was how they DIE. Yes, apparently they do. These "immortals"...
...but that's all that's really said. I think at one point, she says "yeah we do die, but it's really hard and rare, but it is possible." Huh? Please explain more? I'd like to understand it better.

The genre confused me a little bit at first, because it's paranormal, I mean she is immortal but it's really off the beaten-paranormal-path. Almost "magic" but not "witches" No magical creatures besides them though. And they are just lucky humans that live forever. I just happened to stumble upon this while browsing Goodreads, so I ordered it from the library, but I'll definitely be buying it and the sequels. Paperback. I am so happy to find this indie-like series, and I really look forward to reading more of Cate Tiernan's books, maybe the Balefire series next. Immortal Beloved didn't have a cliffy, but all the same I can't wait to get my hands on the next one, Darkness Falls.

One of the best books I've read this year so far! 5 stars, but as for as recommending it, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. It's an odd book. For someone who's looking for something out of the norm, you'll love this.

You might also like: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus.


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