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Bibliophilic Monologues

Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved Series #1)

Immortal Beloved - Cate Tiernan Let me start off by saying that I loved Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series. I must have read them more than a dozen times. Okay, I loved them all except for the last book where the main character gets old. Afraid of my mortality? Who me? No, of course not. But anyway, point is, I like Cate Tiernan’s writing. I like her characterizations and, most of all, I like her plotting. Suffice it to say that she’s mostly brilliant in my opinion. So when I found out that there was a new book coming out by her, I was excited. Because, hello, awesome books will make for awesome reading. Okay, potentially awesome. I didn’t get to read it until some months after it was released but before that I read some reviews and they were mostly of the mixed variety. I was not really perturbed. Reading is so subjective. But I finally did read it and let me say this: It was awesome.I love, love, love flawed characters. I know they walk a thin line where they can easily become unlikeable but I felt Tiernan created Nastasya with just the right mix of spunk and irreverence. What she has been through, what she has experienced and seen does justify her attitudes. And she is irreverent, even caustic at times, very bratty but the reader senses early on that this attitude is a front she has nailed into place so that she is not vulnerable to the world and it’s many ways of hurting her. Is she annoying? I certainly didn’t think so. Her voice is fresh and compelling and her unwilling acceptance of her own imperfections are paired with just the right amount of disgruntlement that you can’t help but be won over.Tiernan has proved herself a master of weaving mythology through her narrative flawlessly. As she did with the Sweep series, she does so again with Immortal Beloved. The “immortals” are becoming a popular trope in both adult and YA paranormal novels and, like every other thing that is regurgitated endlessly, there is a potential for this theme to be overused. However, I like how Tiernan does not gloss over the negative side of what it means to live forever. She doesn’t romanticize the whole issue either. I won’t go so far as to say that it was wholly realistic, it is a YA paranormal novel after all, but I will say that it was tinged with a lot more realism than many books dealing with the same things. Nastasya has been married, she has been a mother, a widow – she has had multiple lifetimes and these things are bound to change a person’s perceptions of the world – I am not sure you can even call her a YA heroine. However, she does retain a sharp wit, an understanding of her own self and that vulnerability that is so reminiscent of the teenage years.On to the love interest. Reyn. There is no, “he is perfect, I want to knit him woolly scarves” kind of vibe here. There’s attraction, of course. Lots and lots of attraction. The kind that will have you fanning yourself or choking back a laugh at one of Nastasya’s wry remarks. But the attraction is tempered by many other issues which are remain important despite being historical. I like Reyn. Nastasya likes…well, I wouldn’t say she likes him but she does uh…like him. Yes. Anyway, he is an intriguing love interest.Other characters. Nastasya’s “friends” remain interesting though largely absent in the story. I am sort of glad about that because they seem like people beings I wouldn’t want to have contact with. Obviously Nastasya is going to need to confront them, perhaps in the next book but until then, they remain psychotic. Other characters at the “rehab” station that Nastasya ends up at are interesting. They are shadowy though and ambiguous but since the story is told in first person, I am not too concerned about it. Nastasya’s voice is loud enough.Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the idea of a rehab for immortal beings, being brought back to nature, trying to find value in time again when they have so much of it. I like Nastasya’s prickly composition and Reyn’s dense stoic self. The mythology is well constructed and the setting is detailed. I think you should give this book a chance if you haven’t done so already. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy a laugh or two or many. I know I can’t wait for the next one in the trilogy.