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Immortal Beloved (Book One) Hardcover – 6 January 2011
'Tiernan gives Nastasya a strong, distinctive voice and wonderfully realized perspective on the joys and horrors of history.' (Publisher's Weekly)
- Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton (6 January 2011)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1444706993
- ISBN-13 : 978-1444706994
- Dimensions : 13 x 3.5 x 20.5 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Barely anything actually happens in this book but weirdly I absolutely loved it. I loved finding out about Nasty's past and journeying with her as she explores and accepts who she is. I was captivated, despite there being very little action. It was also lovely to read all the little details about the places and cultures and environment.
Nasty was a great main character. She wasn't irritatingly perfect. I found her genuine and flawed and full of wit and caring, despite her best efforts to pretend otherwise. Her development throughout the book was well paced so as to feel realistic without being boring and I as a reader am completely on her side.
This book has the feel of setting up for a series that will have action, so I'm interested to see where it goes in book 2 and if the author captures the next stage in Nasty's journey as delicately captivating as in this book.
At first it was really hard to find something to make me stick with this. I am so used to books being very action-filled, where something big is at stake all the time, either in the characters life or in the world (or both). Which made “Immortal Beloved” feel very very slow. It’s like this really slow creature that walks in front of you and even if you poke it with a stick, urging it to go faster, it just looks at you, but keeps going at the same pace. At first you walk behind it slowly and mumble to yourself, but after that gets boring you start staring the slow plot in front of you and realize it has a nice behind. And if you could just see the rest of it, then all of it might be nice. Which is my way of saying that after I got used to the slow plot I realized it is actually a very good book.
Despite the slow pace of this story, it has quite an important message. I like how it did not overly glorify immortality. How, even if immortal, you live through poverty, famine and even though you do not die, those dear to you still might. Also, after a long time things start to blur together and you stop finding joy in everyday things and how important it is to get that feeling back. In the end I had to salute Cate Tiernan once again, because she obviously knows how to make you think but ease you into it, as to not scare you away.
Okay, so the story is about a girl named Nastasya who, after a freak occurrence, realizes that the path she is on only leads to destruction and she has to run from her old life and try and piece herself together. I think the blurb makes this story sound a lot more dramatic than it is. It still has all these elements, but the word rehab is really not the best thing to call where she is going. And the story with Reyn is a lot more complicated. My advice: Read it, it will be different than it sounds, but in a good way.
Nastasya was an interesting lead. At first I did not like how she seemed to pity herself and even she did not know why she is doing it. But she really grew into herself. She was obviously one of these characters for whom a life-changing experience was long overdue. And with a little nudging she went with it nicely.
Reyn was one of those brooding characters that usually tends to annoy me but he had such a good back story (actually this book was filled with great characters with great back stories) that in the end I kind of had to like him. I also liked how the romance was very unhurried here.
There were many characters in Rivers Edge. River herself, the people who were there to get the same so-called treatment as Nasty did. All of them great to read. Nelly might have been a little oversimplified, but it did not bother me much.
There were also Nastasya’s friends from before. They were over the top and loud and a complete contrast. By themselves they would have fallen flat but in this book they gave the story that little extra it needed.
“Immortal Beloved” might take a little while to get into, but the overall journey is definitely worth the slow start. It gets 4 well-earned stars from me.
This review is also on my blog:
Anyway, it was a rainy weekend and after having just finished a "heavy" book I was in the mood for something light. It IS light but oddly alluring.
A bit too New Age for my liking but the question: "How would you cope with not only the mistakes of a (normal) life time but the mistakes you made in centuries" kept coming up. Enough to make me purchase the Second and Third part.
Teenage Angst feels funny if that teenager lived already 450 years and starts to grow up. Tries to find her "who am I" with the experience of centuries. Especially if you are surrounded by just annoying nice and grounded "adults". But then Natasya learns slowly that these adults had and have their own demons and still battle this.
Would I have bought the book without my mistake? No. But I still enjoyed it.
If you like that genre, buy it. If you want to explore something light and new, buy it. If you expect great literature buy something else.