Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Title: Immortal Beloved
Author: Cate Tiernan
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance
Perfect for: older YA readers
Star Rating: 5/5 star

Taken from Goodreads, "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."

I've never read the 'Sweep' novels by Cate Tiernan, so I didn't know what to expect from this title.  We've had 'Immortal Beloved' sitting around the house for a while, but I ignored it. Why did I ignore it? Two reasons, really-- one, the cover and two, the title. Both the title and cover just had no appeal for me. Without reading the back blurb, you'll instantly take this as your run of the mill supernatural romance, possibly starring vampires.

Low and behold, however, that this novel has nothing to do with vampires, just regular people who live really, really long lives called 'immortals'. And also, I should add, it is a *fantastic* read! Don't let the the mellow dramatic title or the bland cover discourage you from reading 'Immortal Beloved', this book is a winner!

First off-- the characters... They make this novel, especially Nastasya and Reyn. Most YA readers will be happily surprised with the characters in 'Immortal Beloved' because, while they look young due to their slow aging process, they don't act young (because some are well over hundreds of years old). Think of it this way-- an Immortal is essentially human. They can marry, have kids, take jobs, they just don't age like a traditional human being. For the characters in this novel who are hundreds of years old, they definitely have grown up already and have had many experiences that you don't see in your typical YA novels.

Reyn, the male love interest, isn't ignored in characterization. As well as coming off, well, hot, his back story is just as interesting as Nastasya's. If I had to choose my top five YA male leads, Reyn has now jumped up to the top of that list! He just rocks.

The plot moves quickly and includes many flashbacks into Nastasya's 'other' lives. It's very easy to screw up flashbacks in fiction, but Tiernan did them perfectly in this novel. They always added to the story and weren't ever boring in a 'let me skim passed them' sort of way. That equals a good flashback to me!

Who is this novel for? I mention that older YA readers will enjoy it, but younger one's could read it, as well. I made a point to mention the older readers because this is a novel that could cross the generational gap, like 'Hunger Games' and 'Twilight' did.

It is the first in a trilogy, so be warned that not everything will be answered. Unlike the common 'cut right in the middle of the action/non-ending' we're seeing in YA, this does have an ending. There is a stand-alone(ish) story in 'Immortal Beloved'. The ending feels right, but leaves just enough unanswered questions so that you're clamoring for the next novel!

My recommendation? Read this novel. Don't judge it by its cover or title. Add it to your 'to read' list. It's just that good. 'Immortal Beloved' gets 5 out of 5 stars from this little blog!

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