Title: Immortal Beloved
Author: Cate Tiernan
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Immortal Beloved (Book 1)
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 407 Pages
ISBN-10: 0316035920 (Little, Brown Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0316035927 (Little, Brown Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
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.
Quick & Dirty: Loved this book, mostly because of the narrator, who managed to carry the story even when the plot felt stagnant.
Opening Sentence: Last night my whole world came tumbling down.
The novel starts out with Nastasya and her friends in a cab, in the middle of another night of club hopping. To be totally honest, books about hard partiers usually aren’t for me, but Nasty (That’s actually her nickname, by the way. Super weird.) was so funny and casual that I kept reading. Then, suddenly, almost out of the blue, her best friend Innocencio snaps the spine of their angry cab driver. And none of her friends are phased. Nasty is horrified, physically ill, and you know what she does? She walks away. Oh, there are a few token protests and lingering horrors, but Nasty is drunk enough that all she wants to do is forget it ever happened.
But as she says in the novel, immortals can’t drink themselves to death, so she wakes up the next morning with a violent hangover and a newspaper that says the cabbie’s paralyzed from the shoulders down for life. She’s horrified — but not just with Incy. The self-hatred that rose from the incident is so raw that I fell completely in love with her character. It’s like she finally sees her life for the first time, her expensive, wastrel world is appalling to her — and she remembers a woman who told her she could have more. So she runs to River’s Edge, part-hippie commune, part-rehab, part-school, and her life gets hard, fast. There’s no quick fix to four hundred years of hideous living, and Nasty has done some truly repulsive things. If she were a real person, and not just a character, I’d never forgive her.
Her life at River’s Edge brings stability, structure, and work. Not things Nasty has had in her life for a century or so. The teachers at River’s Edge, her fellow students, all have their own dark stories, but she can’t trust them. Not even the Golden Viking God Reyn, who is hands down the most gorgeous, stunning guy she has ever had the displeasure of knowing. He’s rude, abrasive, and far too familiar for comfort. Of course, they have an almost romance — but it is a SUBplot, that then feeds the main(ish) plot, while the real/big/important plotline seems to be over-arching between books. Their relationship is complicated, to be overly simplistic, and crowded with a past neither one of them wants to really remember. At least, Nasty doesn’t. She’s made a point of avoiding her less-than-pleasant memories for about 459 years now.
I absolutely loved the world-building around the immortals. People who never die, all around relatively human, but with the ability to use magic. Most immortals pull their power from the earth, killing whatever they draw from and feeding the darkness that’s born inside them. River teaches Nasty a new kind of magick, called Tähti, that draws from oneself and an immortal’s inherent magick. Immortals are everywhere and always have been. They mix with humans, recognizing other immortals when they see them, but honestly, it’s so simple that Tiernan’s world is completely believable.
The plot is almost sedate in Immortal Beloved, while there’s always an undercurrent of dark tension as the reader remembers what Nasty’s hiding from. Honestly, she’s such an entertaining narrator that I almost didn’t notice the plot was slow until the novel ended. The writing is fiercely casual and totally unique to this narrator. There were so many parts where I laughed out loud, or realized that was totally something I’d say or think. It’s a fun, fast book that definitely gets my recommendation.
I let out a theatrical sigh. “So I bet him that I could disappear, successfully, so he couldn’t find me. It’s stupid, I know. I have to stay lost for at least two months.”
Beatrice laughed. “That sounds like Incy. But two months! What did you bet?”
I grimaced. “If he finds me, I have to get his name tattooed on my ass.”
Beatrice roared with laughter, throwing her head back. She smacked the bar lightly with one hand. She positively whooped. Yep, Incy was a scamp, all right.
“Oh, my God!” She wheezed, trying to catch her breath. “And does he have to get yours tattooed on his if he can’t find you?”
I nodded. “Inside a heart. You know how long tattoos last on us.”
Beatrice laughed again. “Oh, God, too funny! You guys are crazy! So I guess you want me to keep seeing you a secret?”
I tried to make puppy eyes at her and probably ended up with more of a rabid squirrel vibe. “Unless you want his name on my ass on your conscience.”
Beatrice whooped again. “Oh, God, no! I can’t have that! I won’t say a word!”
Immortal Beloved Series:
FTC Advisory: Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Immortal Beloved. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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