Immortal Beloved review)
Tags: YA, paranormal
At River’s Edge, a sort of rehabilitative haven for wayward immortals, Nastasya is struggling. She’s only just beginning to realize the full extent of the horror that she and her friends inflicted on innocent mortals over the years. There’s also the pesky problem of her continued attraction to the dangerous immortal and her fellow River’s Edge inhabitant Reyn, a former Viking “god” known as the Butcher of Winter, whose family killed hers many centuries ago.
But Nastasya’s biggest challenge yet will come from her self-doubt: her fear that there is an incurable, inescapable darkness within her. When she crosses paths again with her old friends, Nastasya must figure out where she belongs, and what she is capable of.
These days I usually stay away from YA paranormal romance as if they have contagious diseases. But this series snagged my cynical YA PNR affections from the first book, Immortal Beloved, and dug its hook in deeper with this worthy sequel, DARKNESS FALLS.
There’s something about Nastasya’s voice. There really is. There’s probably no other explanation for why I enjoy this series so very much. Nastasya is sardonic and witty without being dramatic. Her commentary is very much 21st-century, which sometimes takes away from the authenticity of her past identities, but is nevertheless appealing to readers.
Nastasya’s narration carries her past some subjectively large bumps in the story, such as the slooow plot, the sputtering romance, and the melodramatic climax.
For there is not much plot: the majority of DARKNESS FALLS involves Nastasya reflecting on her previous actions and wondering whether or not she is incurably dark. The romantic development with Reyn is put to the wayside as Nastasya grows as a person, which can be frustrating for Nastasya-Reyn shippers. And the melodramatic climax is exactly that.
However, there really is something special about the character of Nastasya, because I never got bored, or rolled my eyes (too much), or felt apathetic. I enjoyed snorting at Nastasya’s commentary and silently cheered her on as she learned and suffered and remembered and grew.
In the end, then, I guess I can say that the Immortal Beloved series is one I would recommend to those who think they are seriously tired of YA paranormal romance, and those who love snarky protagonists. I can’t wait to read the third and final book!
Cover discussion: Forget the cover. (Forgotten.) Has anyone noticed that this book and Immortal Beloved are both copyrighted Gabrielle Charbonnet? Does that mean Cate Tiernan doesn't exist, or that Gabrielle Charbonnet is once again ghostwriting for previously successful authors?
Poppy / Jan. 2, 2012 / Hardcover / 400pp. / $17.99
e-galley received from publisher and NetGalley. Thank you!