IMMORTAL BELOVED by Cate Tiernan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Released: October 2010
Review Format: ARC from UK Book Tours (with thanks to Lynsey)
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