Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan


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.


The Short Version:
Interesting in premise, Immortal Beloved held quite a bit of promise but admittedly fell short for me. With a five hundred year old character who mostly just hasn’t matured, the feeling, in my opinion, of one long tantrum, and little overall explanation, I had a hard time staying focused despite the addictive nature of this book. The characters, on a whole, were intriguing, each with their own fallacies and quirks, and the rehab aspect of Nastasya’s escape adds a nice element. Bits of intrest and development are scattered throughout, and in a way, I couldn’t put the book down, but in the end, I had a hard time overall with this one.

The Extended Version:
Nastasya is difficult to like, selfish in substantial ways and naïve in others. Admittedly, I had a hard time understanding why the single event that triggered her flight was so significant, but it made for a good starting point of the book and was wrenching for a reader. Her emotions were wild throughout the book, particularly after she began to remember more of her past that she had blocked out. Her story is well built, particularly the parts she has fought to forget, and the revealing of them holds a large portion of this book. The nuances about her are explained, and that aspect of the story was very well done and enjoyable.

Reyn starts off as a jerk but holds quite a bit of intrigue because of it. Potentially falling into the jerky romantic interest cliché, his past intertwines with Nastasya’s in unexpected ways, though I did feel the actual nature of this ended up being anticlimactic given the build up and reactions. He is “god’s gift to women” and seems to both know it and be oblivious to it, and he has a surprising intensity about him in everything he does. He most definitely gives off creeper vibes, but has his own motivations and reasons.

The interactions between Reyn and Nastasya are comical and frustrating, as well as intriguing. I did enjoy many of their interactions, and part of me cheered for them as a couple while the other was determined to find out the truth lurking behind their seemingly instantly distaste for each other. I appreciate this aspect of the story, but it wasn't the most compelling angle for me.

Many parts of the book were repetitive and lacking in excitement, and I hard a very hard time connecting to Nastasya in any substantial way. Mostly, I found her to be petty and selfish, and immature despite her age. It wasn’t that immortals stayed in a teenage mindset, but that this specific immature simply acted like a bratty kid rather than an adult. Though she did go through a great amount of personal development, that was about all that was achieved in this book. Though there were a few lingering, intriguing questions at the close of this book, I didn’t feel it was enough for me, personally.

Though this book fell short for me for several reasons, I would still encourage others to read it, especially those who really like the different takes on immortality. The world building for that aspect was well done, and the truth about Nastasya herself is fantastic. The writing, while not striking, didn’t detract from the book and did add a certain element to Nastasya.

Source: ARC received for review from publisher
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 7, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316035920
ISBN-13: 978-0316035927


  1. Sorry to hear you didn't really like the book.I really want to read this one still though. Great Review

  2. I won this one in a contest, so I'll be reading it eventually, but I'm kind of glad I didn't spend my own money on it. Sorry you didn't like it, but thanks for giving us your honest opinion!

  3. Wow great review. I have heard mixed thing about this one, and am venturing away from the paranormal lately. I really do not whiney or bratty characters so I will not be getting this one. Thanks

  4. nice review. i absolutely loved this book though. i found it completely refreshing, loved the idea of immortal rehab, and really, if i was an immortal i would probably be a bit of a sulky trashbag also. it's not like there isn't plenty of time to grow up...