Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Tags: YA, paranormal, immortality, evil


For the past 100 years, Nastasya has gallivanted around the world with her other party-happy immortal friends, enjoying life and not thinking of anything besides entertainment and distraction. But when her best friend does something that horrifies her and shakes the foundations of her belief about her existence, Nastasya runs away from her old life and joins up with a group of immortals who try to live to be good.

However, it isn’t easy for Nastasya to adjust to her new life. She doesn’t know what to make of her new acquaintances, particularly Reyn, a cold but inexplicably alluring golden-haired guy, and Nell, a preppy British girl who seems to have it in for her. And the more Nastasya learns about the history of immortals and her own, long dormant magickal abilities, the more she begins to understand the truth about her past…and how it may endanger her.


Is it weird that I’m wavering whether to give this book 3 or 5 stars, and not something in between? (4-star books are my babies and not given out lightly. *hugs*) IMMORTAL BELOVED really did something for me. I lament the repetition in paranormal literature nowadays, but while immortality is not news, the careful way in which Cate Tiernan layered this story is something to take note of.

Tiernan incorporates flashbacks into the narrative in a way that doesn’t feel forced. At first we think we know what the smart-mouthed Nastasya is about: oh, just another poor little tortured soul of an immortal being who’s lost sight of her humanity until she meets the right person, or people. But the more time I spent with Nastasya, the more compelling I found her. Yes, she’s fallen into some despicable times and habits, but her flashbacks reveal her behavior to be a perfectly justifiable defense mechanism against some horrible memories. The flashbacks serve not only to illuminate her character, but also to add a sliver of suspense and investment with every page we read, so that while in the foreground nothing truly remarkable happens—Nastasya runs around a farm for reformed immortals and struggles to adjust to their ways—we can’t help but be sucked in.

Nastasya reminds me of some of my favorite paranormal/urban fantasy female characters: strong, a wiseass, independent enough not to obsess over Reyn, despite his sullen bad-boy hotness. She’s attractive because she refuses to play the “docile, hurt female” role expected of her, and so I can see why Reyn is attracted to her (thank God for the absence of inexplicable paranormal romantic attraction!).

IMMORTAL BELOVED is admittedly slow, especially if you feel like flashbacks are a cop-out from true plot. However, the characters have convinced me of their interestingness, and Nastasya has secured my empathy and respect, so I will be really interested to see where Cate Tiernan takes us next. IMMORTAL BELOVED just might remind us paranormal lit cynics (yes, that’s me) that good writing and strong, well-developed characters can still take us all the way.

Similar Authors
Stephenie Meyer
Jeri Smith-Ready
Alison Goodman

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cover discussion: 3 out of 5 - I suppose some people consider the vagueness of this type of cover pretty, but... eh.

Little, Brown / Sept. 7, 2010 / Hardcover / 407pp. / $16.99

ARC received from Around the World Tours.


  1. I really cant wait to read this book - I loved Cate's other series and this looks soo good, awesome review!

  2. Interesting insight on the book. I can see why you're torn between 3 and 5. I find it interesting that this book is about an immortal this time, not human.

    Anyway, great review!

  3. I just finished this one today! I really liked it, but I can also see where you're coming from. It's not perfect but it is still pretty good.

    I actually went through it pretty fast so it wasn't that slow for me. I spent a lot of time turning the pages, lol.

    Anyway, great review! :) Mine will be up Thursday.

  4. yeah I dont care for the cover but I was surprised at how much I liked the book. only thing was the anticliamtic ending that ruined it for me so I'd give it a 3 too.

  5. Yikes, I don't like hearing that it's slow. I'm a slow readier already, knowing that the book is as well makes it harder for me to pick up. I'm sure I will eventually though.

  6. Loved the review. :) Cate Tiernan is...addictive. Like LJ Smith. Though Cate is leagues above LJ, IMO. I love her Sweep series, especially because the books are quick reads. Her Balefire series didn't start out as strong, but I'm hoping they get better.

    I'll definitely check out Immortal Beloved now!

  7. Great review! I'm glad to hear that you liked it, as I'm a paranormal romance skeptic myself.

  8. If done well, a slow plot can be rather poetic and interesting, so that part doesn't scare me. I'll have to check this series out!

  9. It sounds like something I might read, after all. Your review make it sound a bit different from what I expected. Great review!

  10. I love Cate and have this book... still have to read it. Can't wait!


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