Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown
After living for hundreds of years, would you begin to lose the ability to feel and to appreciate the little things? After all, what's one moment to you, than the merest blink of an eye? You'll have many more moments to come--an infinite amount of moments, in fact. So what would you do? Jet off to see the world? Donate some time to help worldly causes? Mindlessly drift from party to party, just trying to pass time and have fun?
The latter is what immortal Nastasya--Nasty to her friends--picks. Nasty indulges in fancy parties, excessive drinking, and her friends' carefree (and careless) attitudes. What's one more night spent with exciting company and good drink? It's not like she has to worry about her liver or a possible car accident afterwards--immortals are a pretty hardy bunch with plenty of time for their antics.
Boz, Incy, and a few other immortals from Nasty's close group of friends are living it large--expensive parties, trips to the other end of the world on a whim, and fast cars and designer clothes are the norm for them. Reckless behavior is second nature, since they hardly have to worry about the repercussions. Car crash? No problem; immortals will likely escape with just a few scrapes and bruises.
Incy and Nasty have floated from party to party together for years, leading to a close friendship between the two. Incy parties hard because he doesn't have anything better to do with his time, but Nasty parties to forget her past--and this party lifestyle definitely suits her needs. That is, until one night Incy goes too far and uses his magick to snap a man's back.
Shaken that her close friend could use his magick for bad and could just harm an innocent man without any remorse, Nasty flees her group of friends. And for the first time in decades, Nasty has feelings of guilt and cowardice. but after centuries of stamping out true emotions and feelings, Nasty does not know who to turn to, except for a woman named River whom she had only met once--and decades ago at that. Traveling from London to Massachusetts to find River and her place if she's still there, Nasty pins her last hope of possibly having something different than a life filled with nothing but debauchery on someone and some place she did not truly know, let alone understand. But Nasty may get more than what she's bargained for when she reaches River's End. The lifestyle of those there are very different from the one Nasty's gotten used to over the past few decades--and there's someone there who may have something to do with the past Nasty's buried deep for years.
Nasty definitely grew and matured a bit during the progression of the novel. Although she maintains some of the childishness and immaturity she displayed rather prominently during the beginning of the novel. She's also got a vulnerable side that surfaces as sarcasm and attitude, which puts her at odds with some of the others at River's End.
I would have thought that having lived over 400 years, and having seen what Nasty had, would have given her some perspective and made her mature at least a bit more than she had. I mean, she really didn't have it easy at points in her life--death, pain, famine, and loss--but she still sounded like a teenager most of the time. While I agree that some of those events could be traumatizing enough to make her repress them, the general hardships she had to go through before her wild party days should have still made her more mature than she sounded in Immortal Beloved.
The beginning of the book was okay. It was the second half that drew me in more and it was with greater reluctance that I set the book down when I had to as I got further along. The beginning had almost a Gossip Girl-esque feeling to it; parties! Rumors! Glamor! Flamboyant friends! But then things mellowed out and Nasty began her journey towards self-discovery.
I guess you could also say that certain times during Nasty's time at River's End (almost like a rehab for immortals) were slow as well. Things did not progress very quickly (I'm sure Nasty felt that way too!) but this could have also been to showcase Nasty's own journey at River's End. Her chores were described maybe once too often (there are only so many ways you can write about washing kale) but the flashbacks and other events kept it interesting enough that I wanted to keep going.
All in all, I enjoyed reading Immortal Beloved. However, I also felt that this novel was holding back, especially during the last third or so, to set up for a sequel. Although that part was not quite that enjoyable, I am looking forward to continuing Nasty's journey in the sequel, Darkness Falls which hits bookstores this month! I would like to add that I do hope that Nasty will grow and mature even more in book two as the immature voice that told the first part of this story was not exactly my cup of tea.
Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 3.75 stars
Cover: 3 stars