Thursday, November 3, 2011

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Absolutely not another vampire book. Really! (Just immortals - they're not vampires. :))

Nastasya (Nasty to her reprobate friends) is about 400 years old. She's seen and been everywhere, so by now she's desperately looking any kind of a thrill: alcohol, drugs, sex - the usual kinds of debauchery. But then something happens, and Nasty begins to wonder if there's more to life.

So she goes into hiding, finding a commune-of-sorts especially for immortals like herself. Reluctantly she begins mucking the barn, growing spinach, scrubbing floors, meditating and studying crystals - in short, trying to learn to be a better human (who lives forever).

It makes perfect sense to me that if you are forced into immortality, at some point you could lose your morality. Nasty's quest for a better self is agonizing, and she spends a lot of time sabotaging her own journey. That makes it a story that will resonate for many people. And while I understand the marketing of a supernatural novel is easier in the teen market, I really think a lot of "mature" readers will find this book engaging.

The writing is captivating, and the story also encompasses ancient flashbacks, modern-day romance and family drama, and hints of a much bigger storm brewing on the horizon for Nastasya. This is the first book in a trilogy, but I didn't feel like the story was incomplete. While the end certainly doesn't wrap everything up in a neat bow, I was satisfied and still curious about the next book's release date (pushed back to Jan 2012).

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