Monday, 10 January 2011

Book Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan.


Product details:
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton.
Hardcover, 400 pages.
Release date: January 6th 2010.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: Young Adult.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there's no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends ...when you're immortal. But now, after centuries of feeding from the lives of the innocents around her, of living with little care for others, Nastasya is ready to turn towards the light. 'After some of the events I've witnessed I felt like I was a shell with nothing alive left in me. I hadn't been going around killing people, but people were hurt -- the memories just kept trickling in like rivulets of fresh acid dripping into my brain until I wanted to scream. It was in my blood, I knew. A darkness. The darkness. I had inherited it, along with my immortality and my black eyes.' Captivating, intense and with an incredible and original voice, EVERLASTING LIFE is a haunting story of friendship, love and secrets, tragedy and loss. Sometimes life is eternal...

Immortal Beloved, the first instalment in a new paranormal trilogy from Cate Tiernan, introduces us to Nastasya, or Nasty, as she is known to friends, a girl with everlasting life, who has partied her way through the last four and a half centuries living an alcohol and drug-fuelled lifestyle full of debauchery and mayhem. The book opens with a disturbing scene which leads Nastasya to question, at first, the motives of her friends, and then her whole way of live. She decides to check out of her old life, and find a new beginning at a safe-house for wayward immortals, but she soon finds that her past is not all that easy to escape…

Immortal Beloved is essentially the story of Nastasya, and the book is very much a first in a series book with a heavy focus on characterisation, background and world building. For me, the storyline was a little slow in places, and much of the readers enjoyment of the book will hinge on how they react to Nastasya. I’m not sure that I am Nastasya’s biggest fan, but I will say that I warmed to her as the book progressed, and she is certainly an intriguing subject.

Nastasya’s story is told through the use of flashbacks, encompassing her whole life and many different identities, and we soon learn that she has many dark secrets in her past. This troubled past has led Nastasya to shut herself off emotionally, but with the help of River, an even older immortal than Nastasya, she begins to re-assess her life and learn to live with her past little by little. Nastasya slowly settles into life at the safe-house, but her friends from her old life are in constant pursuit of her and desperate to track her down. There is also a romantic interest in the book in the form of Reyn, an immortal who Nastasya is instantly attracted to despite the fact that he can’t stand being around her. He is strangely familiar to her, though, and she can’t figure out why.

There are a lot of storylines here that are developed but then never fully realised, and while I’m sure they will be explored further as the series progresses, I needed a little more action here to keep me completely engrossed in this one. As it was, I found the pacing too slow for my tastes, although Tiernan’s world building is rich and evocative, and the complex character of Nastasya is well drawn. As a character study, the book is a gem, although I am hoping for more action, more secrets uncovered, and maybe even a little more romance in the next book, Darkness Falls, out later this year.

17 comments :

  1. Terrific review. I have this on my TBR shelf from the lovely Clover. I am shuffling my pile as I type ;D

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  2. Though slow pacing bothers me at times, this book sounds amazing! Thanks for the awesome review! Did not know about the sequel.

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  3. Brilliant review Leanna, I agree with your thoughts on this one. I didn't quite like Nasty in the beginning, but she did start to grow on me:) I couldn't help but compare this one to Infinite Days, they have similar premises but I thought Infinite Days was better. Still looking forward to the next book in the series, I'm hoping now the world is introduced the action will pick up!

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  4. Awesome review, Leanna! If the pacing is off, and it lags a wee bit, I doubt this is for me. I need a book to move at a decent pace to string me a long, you know?

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  5. I love action, so I think I will wait for the second book to come out. Hope that the pace becomes more faster. :) Great review.

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  6. I've been interested in this one. Not sure how I'd feel reading the name Nasty though, I hope she's not called that the whole time. I really like the sound of all these different lives that were lived. I could wait to read this until the sequel comes out.

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  7. @Jenny - I totally agree with you on the Infinite Days comparison. This one has a similar feel.


    @Adriana - I felt the same way about the name Nasty! I hated that she was called that! She's not called Nasty much apart from at the beginning of the book (if I recall correctly).

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  8. Eeeh, not sure I like the sound of this one. I loved the cover, but I don't like the way Nasty sounds (how can I read a book with a MC called Nasty?!) and slow pacing kills me. Maybe I'll give it a try and see, but at least now I'll approach with caution. Thank you for your review.

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  9. I don't like when the first book of a series has all these story lines that don't seem to go anywhere in the first novel. I feel that each novel needs it's own plot but can have one or two continuing plot lines.

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  10. I really love the cover. It looks stunning and the story is quite interesting.

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  11. Funny--What made you not like it is what I loved. For me, the pacing was great. I liked that the character developed over time and I felt like I had lots of time to get to know her. I loved this book and can't wait to get to the second in this series!

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  12. Hmmm, this sounds interesting, but maybe not for me. I might check it out anyways. Great review :)

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  13. I feel the exact same way about this story and was a bit disappointed. It lacked that something special for me. I won't be checking out the sequel. Thanks for the honest review and I'm glad we agree. :)

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  14. lovely review - can;t wait to give this one a go - it think it is the case of a bit of cover love going on though

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  15. I really liked like book! And this is the first time I seeing this cover, it's pretty!

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  16. I'm actually really looking forward to reading this one. I wasn't at first, but then I read Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies's review of this, which swayed me. I do however get the feeling that the MC is not an easy character to like because she is so jaded! I normally tend to be wary of those, but for some or other reason, this one sounds like it could be an interesting read. Loved reading your thoughts about this book! Will definitely take it into consideration when I'm reading this book!

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  17. Great review! I enjoyed this one, but it definitely has its faults. I’m hopeful the next will be faster paced. Oh & I agree 100% with PP about the name Nasty. I wish she was called something else.

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