Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan




IMMORTAL BELOVED by Cate Tiernan

Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Released:  October 2010
Review Format:  ARC from UK Book Tours (with thanks to Lynsey)
Pages:  407

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.  But now, after centuries of feeding from the lives of the innocents around her, of living with little care for others, Nastasya is ready to turn towards the light.  'After some of the events I've witnessed I felt like I was a shell with nothing alive left in me.  I hadn't been going around killing people, but people were hurt -- the memories just kept trickling in like rivulets of fresh acid dripping into my brain until I wanted to scream.  It was in my blood, I knew.  A darkness.  The darkness.  I had inherited it, along with my immortality and my black eyes.'  Captivating, intense and with an incredible and original voice, EVERLASTING LIFE is a haunting story of friendship, love and secrets, tragedy and loss.  Sometimes life is eternal...


Nastasya is a wild party animal when we first meet her in Immortal Beloved.  All she seemed to want to do was be with her ‘not so nice’ gang of friends, go partying and clubbing and drink herself into oblivion.  I didn’t like her.  Her friends were awful too and I wondered what I was letting myself in for reading this book.

By the second chapter though our protagonist was having similar thoughts to me about her friends and her situation, and that became the turning point in her life, the story and my enjoyment of it.  It didn’t take me long after that to start loving Nastasya and thoroughly losing myself in this book.  Once she arrived at the commune, (a kind of rehab for Immortals who’d lost their way in life,) Nastasya became an immensely interesting main character.  She was funny, snarky, desperate to overcome her fears and learn, but also reluctant to change at the same time.  Spending time with her at the commune was great fun.  I loved her attitude to the jobs she was required to do.  Some of her thoughts and comments were hilarious, some snarky, some scary and I enjoyed laughing and holding my breath in anticipation alongside her.  I also loved reading about her past and watching how she slowly came to terms with the horrors she’d encountered.  I had lots of questions and slowly they were getting answered. really enjoyed the present and her time at the commune.

There were many other characters in this book - way too many to mention them all, so I’ll just run through a couple of the more ‘main’ ones.  Once we reach the commune we meet Reyn, who Nastasya called 'The Viking' because of his golden locks and stunning looks and Nell, an English Immortal who wants Reyn all to herself and is intensely jealous of Nastasya’s arrival.  Then there’s River, the commune leader and one of the teachers.  She was such a beautiful character.  I loved her to bits and would have really liked to know more about her history as well.

The writing flowed beautifully and at times I was just so engrossed I didn’t realise I was actually reading words (do you have that happen when you’re enjoying a book?).  The plot was exciting and interesting and there is a lot more going on than just Nastasya working at the commune.  I can’t say much more about the plot without giving out spoilers.  What I can say though is that I am so glad this is not the end of Nastasya.  The story continues in Darkness Falls which is due to be released this year.

I would most definitely recommend this book to all lovers of YA literature.

My rating:  4 stars




12 comments:

Jenny said...

Lovely review, I enjoyed this one as well! I adored all the secondary characters, primarily Reyn, and thought they added a lot to the story. Looking forward to the next book in the series!

Gina @ My Precious said...

What a thoughtful review. I've never heard of this. I'd love to read it now. Put it on my TBR list on Goodreads. Thanks!

Vivienne said...

Yay! So glad to read it is as good as is looks. I am on the Uk book tour as well, so can't wait to read it.

BooksforCompany said...

Thank you for this review! =) l can't wait to get it from UK book tours now l have seen you enjoyed it =)

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

I thought I'd enjoy this one much more than I did. I know people who loved it, but it was too slow to get going for me, and I couldn't connect to the MC. Could have had something to do with that 'nasty' nickname!

Aleeza said...

i keep hearing good stuff about cate tiernan's books but i haven't gotten around to reading them. this one sounds like a good one to begin with :)

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I loved Cate Tiernan's Sweep series when I was younger and have been meaning to pick up some of her new stuff. I passed this one up because I didn't really like the US cover (bad reason, I know) but I've officially added it to my wishlist thanks to your review.

Amber Griffiths said...

This sounds very good! I've read a few books in the Sweep series, but they got a bit boring for me after a while so I stopped reading. I think I'll pick this one up though :)
Thank you for the review!

YA Book Queen said...

Great review! This sounds wonderful! Just put it on my TBR list :)

Small Review said...

Wonderful and helpful review.

"The writing flowed beautifully and at times I was just so engrossed I didn’t realise I was actually reading words"

I LOVE when that happens! I'm not completely drawn to this particular story, but after such a ringing endorsement for her writing I'm even more intrigued by her other books. I'm thinking maybe the Sweep series.

Clover said...

Oh it does make me happy to see great reviews of this one as I loved it so. I really loved Nastasya's character, her snarky voice was fantastic and I loved the different layers of the story, from her present, her past and her distant past. Cannot wait for more in this series!

Amy said...

I haven't read anything by Cate Tiernan since the Wicca series. I was obsessed with those back in the day. Will definitely have to give this a whirl, sounds amazing.

Amy@adumbrations