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Immortal Beloved

Immortal Beloved is a YA paranormal fantasy novel in modern times and the first in a trilogy of the same name by Cate Tiernan.

Nastasya is immortal.

No, really. She’s over four-hundred-years-old. There’s a bunch of immortals out there.

The good part of that? She still looks about seventeen-years-old and has all the time in the world to party and see the world.

The bad part of it? Eventually it all gets old. Too much pain, too much horror, too many memories to try and forget.

But it’s when she sees her best friend for a century commit an atrocious act on a human without blinking an eye and see her other so-called friends either laugh or shrug it off that she realizes she can’t deal with this life anymore.

Remembering a moment back in the 1920s when an immortal named River told her to come to her place if she ever wanted to leave her way of life behind, Nastasya finds herself in small town Massachusetts at a safe haven for messed up immortals called River’s Edge.

It’s a huge adjustment. Jeans and flannel shirts. Gardening and chores. Not exactly what she’s consider “fun”.

But every time Nastasya thinks about returning to her old life, to her friends… she just can’t. So she stays. Or she tries to.

She’s not the only one that isn’t so sure she belong at River’s Edge. A strangely familiar, simply gorgeous specimen of an immortal man that lives at River’s Edge named Reyn tells her she should leave. He doesn’t say it too friendly either.

Unfortunately, her attraction seems unrequited.

Everything about River’s Edge is in stark contrast to what Nastasya is used to – and though it scares her, that’s why she knows she has to stay. She needs the aching to go away. She wants so desperately to be happy.

Yet she doesn’t seem to be the only one with dark secrets – and Nastasya’s healing may be being interrupted by someone who has other intentions for her – fatal intentions.

Is that even possible for an immortal? Well, with Nastasya’s luck it probably is.

Immortal Beloved is an oddly unique paranormal novel that focuses on the darker aspects of living forever. There’s a disturbing, effective slow burn in the beginning that really allows the reader to see the degeneration of emotion and caring that takes hold of immortals over time. You start to see how you might need to rehabilitate, in a way, the depraved, harmful changes that have been wrought on the psyche over the centuries – and how so many might have no interest in that rehabilitation.

I’ll be honest here. Though I had nothing against it, it took me a while to really get into Immortal Beloved. The glimpses into Nasty’s wounded, vulnerable, buried humanity were painful to see and there was an interesting tone. But it wasn’t until about halfway through the book that I became fully fascinated with the increase in emotion, suspense, mystery, and plot.

Immortal Beloved is a truly original mix of a lyrical contemporary novel about a broken soul seeking healing (think of Sarah Dessen, Sara Zarr) and the magick, mystical, supernatural vibe of immortality. There was a sense of magnitude and meaning to the story that created a depth and character development that was astounding and unexpected.

I became more and more invested in Nastasya with each page. The seriousness combined with the sarcasm and humor of our main character make for an excellent tone that, in the end, created an exhilarating, satisfying novel!

Immortal Beloved was a bit slow to start (for me) but left me absolutely giddy that I already had the second book in the trilogy (Darkness Falls, which I’ll have a review of on Monday) to jump right into.

I applaud Cate Tiernan for creating something really different and really cool!

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