Thursday, December 30, 2010

REVIEW: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

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.

Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.


I really, really loved this one. It completely took me by surprise and I just couldn't put it down once I'd started. There have been a few YA novels recently that took on the issue of immortality and love across generations and I wasn't quite sure I was up to it. But despite the title, this one isn't particularly focused on a love story (and it feels entirely different to anything else I've read recently). Instead, it's really layered with many different aspects to the story, each as fascinating as the rest. A big thank you to Hodder for sending me this one for review. Immortal Beloved is set to be published 6 Jan 2011!

Nastasya is 559 years old. She's been through a lot and she finds the best way to get through the neverending days and months and years is by drinking and partying with her friends. They go out together and do wild things and one night is very much like the rest. When they get bored, they up sticks and find the next happening place to be. For now, London. That is until Nastasya witnesses her best friend torture a human... just for fun, it seems. She really can't believe her eyes and as she's wondering how she got to this point in her life, Nastasya decides to run away.

She finds herself in a small town in America, with a woman she met briefly many years ago who now runs a home for wayward immortals. There she learns to how to value herself, those around her and the life around her. But Nastasya does it all with a bunch of sarcasm and self-doubt and I really felt for her the entire way though. At the start of the book, she's really washed-out and unhealthy, drowning in grief and self-loathing. She just seems to ooze all of this emotion. And when she first meets Reyn, this Viking god of an immortal, everything just sort of sizzles. I don't normally like the aloof love interest who's rude and stand-offish, but .. *fans self*

What I loved most about the book, besides Nastasya herself, was the amount that Tiernan threw at the story without it being over-complicated or confusing. Each new piece of information that we learned is incredibly interesting, from Nastasya's current situation at this Immortal-rehab centre, to her recent history with her gang of druggy Immortals. And piece by piece we found out some of the harder things that Nastasya has had to deal with, with her family and growing up. Things that make us realise just why a life of drinking and partying appealed to her for so long.

This one is more of a character-driven novel, I'd say. The pace can be slow at times but for me, I really enjoyed the gentle pace as we see the subtle transformation of Nastasya into someone who cares about nobody and nothing into someone with a history and a heart. I loved Nastasya's voice, she's quite funny and sarcastic. There's such vulnerability about her. I really loved how the story unfolds, almost like a mystery, giving us hints that there's something important about Nastasya.

It's been awhile since I've been THIS excited about a new series. But I really, really want to know what happens next! All of the characters, the history, the love story. Everything about it drew me in and now it feels as though the next books in the series will be explosive and epic. We shall see. I can't wait.

9 comments:

  1. Yay! I am so glad you loved it. I was kind of nervous reading this review because I love this book so much and I want other people to love it as much as I do. I'm so relieved, this is fab! I hope lots of other bloggers read it now. I cannot wait for the next book. I love Cate Tiernan.

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  2. Kirsty - I have a second copy of the book that I *think* I might giveaway. Stay tuned!

    Becky - I feel that way all the time too :) I need the next book. Now.

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  3. I've recently read this too, and it looks like we feel really similarly about it. To be honest I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it, but it surprised me in a big way. I'm not usually into that standoffish type of love interest either, but somehow this one just... works. I can't wait for the next one!

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  4. I thought this was really well done too!

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  5. Lauren - I really can't wait as well and this one was very surprising for me. I thought everything was done really well though. YAY.

    Zara - It IS really good :)

    Lenore - Hurrah for this book, thanks for commenting :)

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  6. Was feeling kind of meh about this book, but your review just changed my mind. It's as simple as that. I now can't wait to read this book!

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  7. Tammy - Now I'm feeling the pressure a little bit! I hope you like it.

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