Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Immortal Beloved

Title: Immortal Beloved
Author: Cate Tiernan
Location: YA Tiernan
Reading Level: Young Adult

Nastaysa (Nasty for short), an immortal human, has been content with drowning her past and memories in parties, drugs and alcohol for hundreds of years. She has never cared about those she hurts by her actions, even when her choices lead to the death of innocent people. Until one night, she watches as her best friend Incy, another immortal, mercilessly breaks the spine of a London cabbie, causing Nasty to reevaluate her own actions. Nasty flees London and her current friends for America and a rehab house for disillusioned immortals. At first Nasty has a tough time adjusting to their organic farm, green way of living, and endless chores. It doesn't help that the gorgeous "viking god," Reyn, inexplicably treats her with barely veiled contempt every time he interacts with her. But as she begins to adapt to her situation, memories that were seemingly crushed forever start coming to the surface forcing her to deal with her painful past. Will Nasty be able to confront her issues and become a functioning member of the house? Can she discover the cause of Reyn's disdain for her?

I think this was a great first book with an engaging main character to start out a new trilogy. Nasty's authentic voice with its sarcastic wit and jaded sensibility is perfect for an indifferent immortal who has lived through too many lifetimes of pain and disappointment. The multiple flashbacks to her past kept the story from dragging and added interest to Nasty as a character. She is certainly not perfect but is still a very sympathetic, relatable female character so I was cheering for her the whole time. My only complaint with this novel was the romance aspect. Reyn is quite mean to her and treats her pretty badly throughout much of the book. The only thing that made her attraction to him bearable, in my mind, is that she acknowledges the inexplicable nature of her feelings for him. However, I do feel that the author will explore their relationship in future installments so I think the romance will really improve. Other than his actions toward Nasty, Reyn has potential to be an intriguing character so I'm hoping the author will do a little more with him in the next book. I also thought the magick aspect of the immortals was imaginative and well done. Even though we did not get to see much of it in this first book, I feel like it will take center stage in the next two books.

The Bottom Line: Immortal Beloved was a great first book in the Cloth trilogy. Nastaysa is an awesome character. Even though some aspects of this book, like the romance, and magick could have been fleshed out more, it was still an interesting story. Bonus... it doesn't end on a cliffhanger! If you enjoy fantasy, fantasy/romance or historical fantasy, you should like this book.