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.
Because of my little vampire addition, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about immortality and how it might change a person’s humanity over the course of several lifetimes. How hard would it be to hold on to your moral compass if time stretched on forever? Not only does Immortal Beloved do an excellent job of exploring an answer to that very question, it also examines several others like it.
Nastasya is an immortal that knows very little about her past or her status as an indestructible human. Living a life of luxury, the only thing she concerns herself with is having a good time with her friends at the latest club. But when she witnesses her best friend use dark magic, her world shifts and she quickly realizes she needs to change her ways before she too becomes consumed by the darkness that surrounds her. Seeking refuge, she retreats to River’s Edge, which forces her to face her past with brutality honest. As tormented memories that she prefers to forget awaken, she confronts her pain, a new part of herself emerges.
In a beautifully hunting story that isn’t exactly a page turner, but still well worth a read, Nastasya’s tale unfolds as a slow and painful journey of self discovery. It didn’t take long for me to realize that underneath her superficial shell, Nastasya’s a rich character with an amazing amount of depth. I always feel embarassed for characters that don’t bother to learn anything about their own history, and Nastasya was no exception, but as she admitted and worked through her flaws, my perception of her changed and I really grew to like her.
I did have a few problems with the language Nastasya used, and not because it was ‘bad’ but because it was modern. I believe with age comes a certain amount of formality in one’s choice of vocabulary. I would think this would be especially true of someone who is, say, 450 years old. So it bothered me a bit that Nastasya’s speak was so juvenile, even for a wayward party girl. I mean, I enjoyed her sense of humor and her snark, but her “WTF” and “OMG”s seemed a bit out of place. Also, I didn’t find the entire immortality angle believable. If they have been around since the beginning of human existence and if they are basically human, why the secrecy? An explanation for that wasn’t really provided.
The conclusion of the plot part of the story was a bit anticlimactic and the villain ended up being the obvious choice, but that didn’t bother me because the story seemed to be more about character development. With that in mind, the title of the book, Immortal Beloved may throw you off. If you’re like me, you might believe it to be about an epic love affair, and in a way it is. But the love affair isn’t between a boy and a girl; it’s between a girl and herself as she tries to discover who she is and what she wants to be.
Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River’s Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River’s Edge, despite some drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won’t allow herself to have. But just as she’s getting comfortable, her family’s ties to dark magick force her to leave.
She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?
Have you been in the middle of reading a new book and thought, I’ve read this before?! Darkness Falls, as a continuation of Immortal Beloved, felt like the exact same story as its predecessor. Much to my disappointment, it was a filler book that focused on the inevitable relapse that I knew was coming for Nastasya.
Darkness Falls picks up right after the conclusion of Immortal Beloved. Nastasya has been at River’s Edge for two months and is still trying to make progress on becoming a better immortal. Understandably to everyone but herself, everyday is a struggle to choose good instead of evil. But when bad things start to happen, Nastasya begins to believes her darkness is overcoming her and she flees River’s Edge to return to her former party girl life. Once there, she finds that her old pals are still spending their time doing the same old things, all expect the one she trusted the most. The one that wants her power.
I get that it must be hard to erase 450 years of ignorance and that it probably can’t be done over one lifetime, but this book seemed to be more slow going than the first. After patiently sticking with Nastasya through her journey of self discovery, I was hoping the romance between her and Reyn would take center stage in Darkness Falls. Instead, Nastasya spends her time rehashing the strides she’d made in the first book, only to have her progress quickly deteriorate after a few incidents of self-doubt.
Perhaps reading the books back to back was a disservices to the series, but it was incredibly frustrating to see Nastasya repeat same mistakes. And though this installment has a bit more action towards the end than the first, once again, the plot was predictable. Still, as I did with Immortal Beloved, I really enjoyed the careful thought that was put into forming Nastasya’s history. Having lived for over 400 years, she’s been all over the world and lived through various time periods. The spinets into her past were fascinating and well developed.
I’ll definitely being reading the third book in this series because I’m still holding out hope that the romance will finally take the spotlight. But even without it, I liked how this series introduced me to a new breed of immortals and the struggles they face.