Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads: 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.
My take: I think that Immortals are the new Vampires and, frankly, few people can do them well. I've already read a number of Immortal books and I just can't see them ever ending. They're immortal. Their story will go on forever. Unless someone cuts off their head or something.
That said, I think it's obvious that I had some preconceived prejudices (redundant, I know) when I started this book. I read #1 and #2. I read the book description and gave a little yawn then started in. Then I stopped yawning and started laughing. Cate Tiernan is well versed in how a girl talks to herself inside her head. By "girl," I mean, a really funny one who is not an angsty teenager even though she looks like one.
The premise is that Nastasya is 459 years old. Her parents were Immortals and they had 5 children. They are all dead. They were killed by very bad people 450 years ago. Nastasya wandered around for a few centuries then finds her group of friends where they live a thoughtless, self-centered existence until one night (at the beginning of the book), her best friend, Innocencio performs dark magick and scares Nastasya to begin a change.
The thing about Immortals is that they all possess at least a little bit of Magick. Nastasya doesn't practice it and those around her rarely do, either. It's just some old black Magick that she doesn't want to tap. Then one night in the 1920's, she meets River, another Immortal that seems different and tells Nastasya that when she's ready to change her ways, find her in a podunk town in Massachusetts. And so she does.
Now I can go on and tell about the conflict and stuff about the book, but that's not really the best part. It's the protagonist. She's hilarious. She grows in ways she didn't know she would or could, she taps into her power without getting into the dark stuff, and she loves/hates this Viking like god named Reyn who looks familiar and just might have a connection to her past somewhere. But he's offish and socially awkward, serious, and seriously hot. And there is sexual tension. Lots of that.
Nastasya is not innocent. The author doesn't write her as innocent or perfect. She is flawed with a lot of mistakes in her past. Although she looks to be in her late teens, Nastasya has the experiences that would curl anybody's hair and toes. Although she is experienced in chemically induced highs, sexual prowess, etc., the story doesn't go there. It's indicated but not dwelt upon.
Above all, Tiernan writes a strong protagonist who is steeped in her own habits and crud and has been for centuries. She can't change, can she? She doesn't get all philosophical but she's pretty sure that Immortals are dark beings and are incapable of being anything else. River, the woman who runs the rehab, tells her something else.
The book is full of nuggets of hope. Not cheesy by any stretch, a little racy but not dirty, Tiernan's characters have strong personalities that can be used for good instead of evil.
Sex - mild/moderate
Violence - moderate
swearing/dialogue - "f" words used in one scene.
Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads: Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite some drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave.
She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?
My take: I can't imagine reading this book without having read the first book. Not that the reader can't catch up because the story of the first book is reiterated in this one. I just so enjoyed the development of the relationships and revealing of Nastasya's past and connection with other characters (Reyn) which sets the stage so very well.
Once again, Nastasya's strong personality is the selling point. Her internal dialogue makes me laugh out loud. If you've read it, shout out if you remember 'Rock and a hard place' or the metaphor about the Titanic and blowing a whistle in the dark. I just laughed. That's all there is to it.
This book is darker than the first. It picks up where the first left off where Nastasya is still hiding from Innocencio and being snarky with Reyn when she really is drawn to him and me to him, too. I mean, and him to her.
This flawed, funny, snarky girl, against her better judgment, does return to her old ways so Innocencio can show the reader and the protagonist what his intents are and who he really is. Again, the overall theme is the power to choose and to choose over and over again.
Sex - mild
Swearing and dialogue - mild/moderate
Violence - Severe