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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved (Cloth - Trilogy))
REVIEW: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Release Date: September 7, 2010
Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group)
Provided by Publisher - Thank You!
ARC Received 9/3/2010, Read 9/3 - 9/7
4 out of 5 Stars

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.
Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled party girl, numbing herself to forget the violent and fatal tragedy that robbed her of her birthright -- and her entire family. She feels nothing and truly cares for no one, until one night, when she witnesses her best friend, a dark immortal, torture a human. And her world is ripped apart.
She flees her "friends" and seeks refuge at River's Edge, where wayward immortals are rehabilitated. There she meets a gorgeous, undeniably sexy immortal (AKA Viking God), who seems inexplicably linked to her past. Nastasya finally begins to deal, to actually care about life, and to feel safe. But when she discovers the dark immortals are after her, she suspects that danger may be closer than she ever imagined.

I enjoyed Immortal Beloved. It was a bit slower paced in the first half, which is why it received a four-star rating, but once things started to pick up, I couldn't put it down.

Most of the first couple of chapters is spent weaving in and out of what's happening in the story and explaining Tiernan's immortal mythos. The best way I came up with to summarize the immortal universe is that it's like The Highlander, minus the whole "there can be only one" thing. Tiernan's immortals are mostly rich, like to party, and full of innate darkness. They can do magic, but it sucks the life out of something nearby, like plants and animals. There are the dark immortals, which are pretty much all of them, and the good immortals, who can do magic without hurting anything and a few and far between. Immortals can have babies and stuff, but only make new immortals if they have a baby with another immortal. They can regrow limbs, tattoos wear off after about a century, scars fade and disappear, and the only way to kill an immortal is to take their head off and move it far away from their body. I love when books explore the background of a type of character like this.

The rest of the first half of the book is pretty sluggish, but I think it was intended. Nastasya is in the immortal rehab camp, learning to farm and "appreciate every moment," which requires her to be bored. There are funny moments with Mr. Viking God, who's name is Reyn, and another rehab student. There's some foreshadowing that lets you know the action and drama is coming, so it keeps you going. There are a lot of flashbacks to Nastasya's childhood, and I'm not sure if they add to the story or take away from the flow.

Once the drama and action pick up, the book gets pretty addictive. The surprise twists (which I won't give away..no spoilers today!) really threw me for a loop. And let me say, throwing me for a loop is not easy. Tiernan left plenty of unanswered questions to make me want another book, but didn't end it with a cheesy, mustache-twirling cliff-hanger (thank God). I'm really looking forward to this series continuing.

Immortal Beloved is the first book in a new trilogy by Cate Tiernan, who wrote the popular Sweep and Balefire series.

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