Genres: Young adult, fantasy, paranormal – immortals, romance.
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.
Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.
When I first heard that Cate Tiernan was releasing a new book, I was elated. It had been about eight years since I first picked up Book of Shadows and I have been a supporter of her ever since. However, I was apprehensive when I saw that it was described as “paranormal” and “urban fantasy”. Paranormal romance is hugely popular at the moment. Lets face it, it’s everywhere. The book also has the generic black and red cover design that is clearly marketed at a certain kind of readership – a readership that I felt I no longer belonged to, which is why it has taken me four months to pick up the book.
Secondly, Book of Shadows was published in 2001 – 10 years ago, and things have changed dramatically since then. I was therefore apprehensive about what her writing style and imagination would be like 10 years on. I had grown up, but had I outgrown her work?
Thankfully, Immortal Beloved did not disappoint. We’re immediately confronted with Nastasya aka “Nasty” – a confident, blunt, self-assured and at times, hilarious, young girl (although, I have to admit, I can’t stand her name), who runs away from the friends she has known for so long once they cause a man to be paralysed and leave him lying in the street. Nastasya heads for Immortal rehab where she aims to overcome her depression and sort out her life. She meets some interesting, mysterious characters with stories of their own, such as Reyn, a beautiful but hostile Dutch boy.
What I enjoyed about this book was that Cate Tiernan manages to create a current storyline whilst staying true to what she knows and what she is good at. She injects familiar notions into the storyline: circles, sigils, rules, spells, and scrying, whilst still managing to make it modern and relevant. Reading this book was like curling up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fire on a cold winter night – familiar and comforting. The historical flashbacks add intrigue to the story as we try to figure out how they all piece together; what do they mean?
Tiernan is also unafraid of being understated. Current fantasy novels tend to rely on action and cliffhangers to draw their audience in, such as City of Bones, whereas Tiernan mainly relies on a good storyline.
I was very happy with this book and will definitely carry on reading the trilogy. Cate Tiernan is back!
Thank you Hodder for sending me the book to review!
My Rating: ★★★★