Friday, October 29, 2010
First off, I want to address the title. Immortal Beloved is somewhat of a misnomer, because there is no one here being loved immortally (at least not in this installment of the purported series). I was expecting something along the lines of THE ETERNAL ONES (see my review) where two people love each other across time, but instead this is more of a learning to love yourself story.
Nastasya, or Nasty as her friends call her, is a train wreck at the start. It’s interesting that she’s considered a teen protag despite her immortal age, but of course, she certainly is stunted emotionally and has aged so little physically that she looks like a teen. Nasty has a lot of demons in her past, but finally decides she wants to better her existence – or at least escape the pressure for a little while.
Enter River’s idyllic farm. Nasty finds everything boring and beneath her at first (and her snide asides are infinitely amusing), but after a lot of back-breaking work and stargazing starts to let herself heal. Since this is more of an internal process, the vast majority of the novel is either following Nasty’s daily drudgery at the farm or flashbacks from her past which shed light on her emotional state. Surprisingly perhaps, this all worked for me, and I very much enjoyed seeing Nasty emerge from her shell and interact more with the other immortals at the farm (though I must confess, I had a hard time keeping some of them apart) as well as the mere humans around the town.
There’s also a fair amount of immortal mythology and magical powers woven in which I found quite fun. I am looking forward to Nasty’s further adventures.
IMMORTAL BELOVED is out in hardcover now. Find out more about it and read the first chapter at the author’s website.