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 safeuntil the night she learns that someone wants her dead.
Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.
About the Author
Cate Tiernan was born and raised in New Orleans. She is also the author of Penguin Speak's vastly successful (and recently reissued) Sweep series. She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband and children. Her website is www.catetiernan.org.
Read an Excerpt
By Tiernan, Cate
Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersCopyright © 2010 Tiernan, Cate
All right reserved.
Last night my whole world came tumbling down. Now I’m running scared.
Have you ever been going along, living your life, living in your reality, and then suddenly something happens that rips your world right in two? You see something or hear something, and suddenly everything you are, everything you’re doing, shatters into a thousand shards of sharp, bitter realization.
It happened to me last night.
I was in London. With friends, as usual. We were going out, as usual.
“No, no, turn here!” Boz leaned forward and jabbed the cabbie on the shoulder. “Here!”
The cabbie, his huge, broad shoulders barely encased in a sweatshirt and plaid vest, turned around and gave Boz a look that would have made a normal person sit back and be very quiet.
But Boz was by no means a normal person: He was prettier than most, louder than most, funner than most, and, God knew, dumber than most. We’d just come from a dance club where a knife fight had suddenly broken out. These two crazy girls had been pulling hair and screaming like fishwives, and then one of them had pulled out a knife. My gang had wanted to stay and watch—they loved stuff like that—but, you know, if you’ve seen one knife fight, you’ve seen them all. I’d dragged them all away, and we’d stumbled out into the night, luckily grabbing a cab before the cold made us sober up.
“Here! Right here in the middle of the block, my good man!” Boz said, earning himself a murderous look that made me feel grateful all over again for gun control in Merrie Olde England.
“My good man?” Cicely snickered next to me. The six of us were packed into the back of this big black cab. There could have been more, but we’d found that six wasted immortals were all the back of a London cab could hold, and that was only if no one puked.
“Yes, Jeeves,” Cicely went on brightly. “Stop here.”
The cabbie slammed his foot on the brakes, and we all shot forward. Boz and Katy hit their heads on the glass partition between us and the driver. Stratton, Innocencio, and I all catapulted off our seats, landing in an ungraceful, giggling heap on the dirty cab floor.
“Hey!” Boz said, rubbing his forehead.
Innocencio found me under the tangle of arms and legs. “You okay, Nas?”
I nodded, still laughing.
“Get t’ hell outta my cab!” our driver spat. He lurched out of the front seat, came around, and yanked our door open. My back was against the door, and I immediately fell out into the gutter, hitting my head on the stone curb.
“Ow! Ow!” The gutter was wet—it’d been raining, of course. The pain, the cold, and the wet barely penetrated my consciousness—knife fight aside, the evening of heavy festivities had wrapped me in a warm cocoon of hazy well-being.
“Out!” the cabbie said again, grabbing my shoulders and hauling me out of the way. He dumped me on the sidewalk and reached in for Incy.
Okay, hello, anger and a trickle of consciousness. I frowned, rubbing my shoulders, sitting up. We were a block away from the Dungeon, yet another horribly seedy underground bar where we hung out. And only this short block away, the street was dark and deserted, empty lots alternating with burned-out crack houses, giving the street a missing-tooth appearance.
“All right, hands off!” Innocencio said, landing on the sidewalk next to me. His face was cold with fury, and he looked more awake than I’d thought.
“You lot!” the cabbie snarled. “I don’t want your kind in my cab! Rich kids, think you’re better than everyone else!” He leaned into the cab, grabbing Katy’s coat collar while Boz scrambled out on his own.
“Uh—gonna be sick,” Katy said, half in, half out of the cab. Boz jumped out of the way just as Katy’s system purged itself of an evening’s worth of Jameson whiskey—right on the cabbie’s shoes.
“Goddamn it!” the cabbie roared, shaking his feet in disgust.
Boz and I giggled—we couldn’t help it. Mean Mr. Taxi Driver.
The cabbie grabbed Katy’s arms, intending to haul her to the sidewalk, and suddenly Incy muttered something and snapped his hand open.
I had a split second to think, Huh, and then the cab driver staggered as if struck with an axe. Katy went slack in his hands and he crumpled, his spine curving almost in half. He pitched backward, landing heavily on the sidewalk, his face white, eyes wide open.
A wave of nausea and fatigue overcame me—maybe I’d had more to drink than I thought. “Incy, what’d you do?” I asked, bemused, as I got to my feet. “Did you use magick on him?” I gave a little laugh—the idea was kind of ridiculous. I leaned against the lamppost, holding my face up to the chilly mist. A few deep breaths and I felt better.
Katy blinked blearily, and Boz chuckled.
Innocencio stood up, frowning at his new D & G boots, now flecked with rain.
Stratton and Cicely got out of the other side of the cab and joined us. They looked down at the cabbie, lying frozen on the wet pavement, and shook their heads.
“Very nice,” Stratton said to Incy. “Very impressive, Mr. Magician. You can let the poor sod up now.”
We were all looking at each other and at the cabbie. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen anyone use magick like this. Yeah, maybe to get a good table at a restaurant or to catch that last train in the Underground…
“I don’t think so, Strat,” said Innocencio, his face still tight. “I don’t think he’s a very nice man.”
Stratton and I met eyes. I tapped Innocencio on the shoulder. He and I had been partners in crime for almost a century, and we knew each other very, very well, but this cold rage was something I hadn’t seen too much of. “Right, leave him, then. He’ll be fine in a few minutes, yeah? Let’s go—I’m thirsty. And I guess Katy is now, too.”
Katy made a face. “Ugh.”
“Yeah, let’s go,” said Cicely. “They have a band tonight, and I want to dance.”
“By the time he comes to, we’ll be long gone.” I tugged on Incy’s sleeve.
“Hang on,” said Incy.
“Leave him,” I repeated. I felt a little bad about just leaving the cabbie in the chilly, sprinkling rain, but he’d be okay once the spell wore off.
Innocencio shrugged off my hand, surprising me. As I watched, he snapped both of his hands open at the cabbie, his lips moving. I didn’t hear what he said.
With a loud, horrible cracking sound, the cabbie bucked upward, once, his mouth opening in a scream he was unable to voice.
Again I felt a wave of nausea, saw a gray film pass over my eyes. I blinked several times, reaching out for Cicely’s arm. She chuckled as I staggered, obviously blaming drink. A few moments later my vision cleared, and I straightened up, staring at Incy, at the cabbie. “Now what? What’d you do?”
“Oh, Incy,” Stratton said, shaking his head. “Tsk, tsk. Bit unnecessary, surely? Well, let’s get going, then.” He set off down the sidewalk toward the Dungeon, closing his warm coat against the chill.
“Incy—what’d you do?” I repeated.
Incy shrugged. “Sod deserved it.”
Katy, still a little green around the gills, stared dully at the cab driver, then at Innocencio. She coughed and shook her head, then headed off with Stratton. I let go of Cicely and she shrugged, taking Boz’s arm. They followed the others, and soon their footsteps faded into the darkness.
“Incy,” I said, taken aback that the others were just leaving. “Incy—did you—break his back, with magick? Where’d you learn how to do something like that? No—you didn’t. Right?”
Incy looked at me then, a half-amused expression on his unearthly, darkly handsome face. His black curls were flecked with tiny diamonds of rain, glittering in the lamplight.
“Darling. You saw what he was like,” he said.
I looked at him, then at the cabbie, still motionless, his face a rictus of pain and terror. “You broke his back?” I repeated, suddenly quite sober and horribly present. My brain skittered around the thought as if it were a hot spark to avoid. “You used magick to—good lord. Okay, well, go ahead and fix him, then,” I said. “I want a drink, but I’ll wait.” I couldn’t help the cabbie myself. I had no idea where Incy had learned a spell like that, and no idea how to counteract it, undo it, whatever. For the most part, I shied away from magick, the magick immortals are born with, that comes naturally to us. It was too much trouble, and it usually made me physically ill. The last time I’d dabbled in it, I’d at most made someone walk into a door or spill coffee on herself. And that had been ages ago. Nothing like this.
Innocencio ignored me and looked down at the cab driver. “Right, mate,” he said in a low voice. The cab driver’s eyes, now wild with shock and pain, focused on his with difficulty.
“That’s what happens when you’re rude to my friends, see? I hope you’ve learned your lesson.”
The cab driver couldn’t even grunt, and I realized he was under a nul-vox spell. An actual nul-vox spell—I’d only maybe seen that just once or twice before, in hundreds of years. Much less—
“Come on, undo it,” I said impatiently. I’d never seen Incy like this, do something like this. “You taught him a lesson. The others are waiting for us. Just undo it so we can go.”
Incy rolled his shoulders, shrugged, and took my hand in a hard, painful grip. “Can’t undo it, my love,” he said, and raised my hand to his lips to kiss. He pulled me with him toward the Dungeon, and I looked back at the cabbie over my shoulder.
“Can’t undo it? You broke his back for good?” I stared at Incy, my best friend for the past century. He grinned down at me, his beautiful angel’s face haloed by the streetlamp.
“In for a penny, in for a pound,” he said gaily.
I gaped. “What next, putting Stratton through a wood chipper?” My voice was rising as the increasing mist wet my face. Incy laughed, kissed my hair, and marched me forward. In those moments I’d seen something different in his eyes—more than just uncaring indifference, more than a casual need for revenge. Incy had enjoyed breaking that man’s back, had enjoyed seeing someone writhing in pain and fear. It had been exciting for him.
My brain whirled. Should I call 999? Was it already too late for that cabbie? Was he going to die, already dying? I leaned away from Incy, turning back, but within seconds I felt the vibrations of the deep bass drums of some band, throbbing up through the ground, through my shoes. The Dungeon seemed like another world, another reality, beckoning me to it, lulling me with its noise, letting me leave the appalling shock of the paralyzed cabbie outside. I wanted so badly just to succumb to it.
“Incy—but—you have to—”
Incy just shot me an amused look, and a minute later we were going down a steep flight of stairs slick with rain. I was split by indecision as Incy raised his fist and pounded on the red-painted door. I suddenly felt as though we’d gone down the steps to hell and were waiting for admittance. A small slit in the door opened, and Guvnor, the bouncer, nodded at us. The door opened and an enormous swell of music throbbed out at us and drew us in, into the darkness lit by burning cigarette tips, the hundreds of voices competing with the screaming band, the smell of liquor coiling sweetly into every breath I took.
The cabbie, outside—this felt like my last chance. My last chance to take action, to act like a person who gave a crap, like a normal person.
“Nasty!” I was enveloped in a huge, slightly unbalanced hug. “I love your hair!” my friend Mal shouted as loud as she could into my ear. “Come dance!” She put her arm around my shoulders and pulled me into the dark, low-ceilinged room.
I hesitated only a second.
And just like that, I let myself leave the outside world behind, let myself disappear into the noise and the smoke. I was horrified, and if you knew the usual high jinks I myself was often up to, those words would have more weight for you. I split away from Incy, not sure what to think. He’d just done what I thought was probably the very worst thing I’d ever seen him do. Worse than that incident with that mayor’s horse, back in the forties. Worse than that poor girl who’d actually wanted to marry him, in the 1970s. That had been such a disaster. I’d managed to explain away those situations to myself, made them make sense. This one I was having a harder time with.
With a last, beautiful grin at me, Incy headed off to prowl the crowd that was already sending out tendrils of interest, from both males and females. Incy was irresistible, a seductive magnet, and most people, human and immortal alike, were helpless under the charm that hid a side that was, suddenly, so much darker than I’d realized.
Twenty minutes later, I was making out heavily on a sticky couch with Mal’s friend Jase, who was cheerful and drunk and adorable. I wanted to sink into him, be someone else, be the person Jase was seeing on the outside. He wasn’t immortal, didn’t know I was, but he was a welcome distraction that I threw myself into with nervous urgency. People talked and smoked and drank all around us while I ran my hands under his shirt and he wound his legs around me. His fingers pushed into my short black hair, and with a sudden shock I felt an unexpected warm breeze on my neck.
I was already reeling back, grabbing for my scarf, quickly rewinding it around me when I heard Incy say, “Nas? What’s that on the back of your neck?”
I looked over my shoulder at Incy standing by the end of the couch, a drink in one hand, a long cigarette glowing in the other. His eyes were black holes, glittering at me in the darkness.
My heart was beating hard. Don’t overreact, Nasty. “Nothing.” I shrugged and collapsed on Jase, and he reached up for me again.
“Nas?” Incy’s voice was quiet but determined. “You know, I don’t remember ever seeing the back of your neck, come to think of it.”
I forced a small laugh and looked up even as Jase tried to kiss me again. “Don’t be daft, of course you have. Now clear off. Busy here.”
“Is it a tattoo?”
I tugged my scarf tighter around my neck. “Yes. It says, If you can read this sign, you’re too bloody close. Now clear off!”
Incy laughed, to my relief, and moved away. The last I saw of him, a beautiful, slinky girl in satin was coiling around him like a snake.
And I just didn’t let myself think about the cab driver again. When the thought, the vision, intruded, I squeezed my eyes shut and had another drink. But the next morning it all came back to me: the cabbie’s face, the agony written there. He would never walk, never drive again, because Innocencio had snapped his spine and left him on a rainy London street, worse than dead.
And I had done nothing, nothing. I had walked away.
The good thing about being immortal is that you can’t literally drink yourself to death, as frat boys can. The bad thing about being immortal is that you can’t literally drink yourself to death, so you wake up the next morning, or maybe the day after that, and you feel everything you would be spared feeling if only you’d been lucky enough to die.
It was sort of light outside when I finally pried my eyes open for more than a few seconds. I blearily scanned the room and saw a window. The light coming in was pale and pink-tinged, which meant dusk or dawn. One or the other. Or perhaps the neighborhood was on fire. Always a possibility.
I knew it would be bad, trying to sit up, so I took it slowly, moving one small part of me at a time. Last was my head, which I raised cautiously a few inches off the mattress. The washed-out yellow roses of the bare mattress slowly clarified and resolved. Mattress, no sheet. Window with light. Dark painted brick walls, like a factory or something.
I turned my head slowly to see another sleeping body, a guy with spiky green hair, a thick silver chain around his neck, a writhing dragon tattoo covering most of his back. Um, Jeff? Jason? Jack? Something with a J, I was almost certain.
I achieved a semi-upright state several minutes later, then immediately hurled my guts up as my body attempted to rid itself of the toxins I’d ingested the night before.
I didn’t make it to the toilet. Sorry, Jeff.
Feeling hollow and shaky and wishing immortality wasn’t so incredibly literal, I saw I was still wearing all my clothes, which meant either the J-man or I, or both, had been too wasted to further our… acquaintance last night. Just as well. Reflexively I felt for my scarf and found it still knotted tight around my throat. I relaxed a bit, then remembered Incy standing over me, asking me about the mark on the back of my neck. I couldn’t believe that had happened on the same night as the cabbie. I swallowed, grimacing, and decided to think about that later.
My leather jacket and one of my beautiful green lizard-skin ankle boots were inexplicably missing, so I took the boot I could find and crept out, not that an earthquake would have woken Jay up then. I was pretty sure he was still alive—his chest seemed to be going up and down. I vaguely remembered having two drinks to each one of his.
I stepped over a couple more sleeping bodies on my way out. This was a big, bare warehouselike building, probably on the outskirts of town. My shoulder and butt felt bruised, and all of my muscles were sore as I limped down the industrial brick steps. Outside it was really cold, the wind whipping bits of trash up the deserted street.
At least it wasn’t raining, I thought, and then it all flowed back into my brain, against my will: the night before, everything we’d done, the rain, the knife fight, falling on the sidewalk, Incy breaking that cabbie’s spine, me almost losing my scarf in that club, in front of everyone. My stomach roiled again and I stopped for a moment, sucking in a cold breath as I ran through the details, dismay creeping over me anew. Where had Innocencio learned that magick? As far as I knew, he hadn’t made a point of knowing any, and in the last century of our hanging out, I’d never seen him do much, certainly not anything that big, that dark. No friends in our immediate circle had honed their skills with magick. I leaned against the graffitied cinder-block wall of the warehouse while I pushed my bare foot into my one boot.
The cold air filled my nose and made it start running, and suddenly the morning was horribly bright, horribly clear. Incy had done something awful last night with powerful magick, out of the blue. And I had done something just as awful, though not with magick. I’d watched Incy break that guy’s spine, and then I had just… walked away. I’d walked away and gone dancing in a club. What was wrong with me? How could I have done that? Had someone found the cabbie during the night? Someone had, surely. Even though that neighborhood was mostly deserted. Even though it had been very late. And raining. Still, someone must have happened on him, taken him to the hospital. Right?
And on top of that, Incy had actually seen the mark on the back of my neck. And might well remember it. How ironic. I’d been obsessive about keeping my neck covered at all times for the last 449 years, and all at once, one night, that effort had been shot. Would Incy know the significance of what he’d seen? How could he? No one did. No one who was still alive. So why did I feel so afraid?
And all of these horrible, fevered thoughts bring us back to the beginning:
Last night my whole world came tumbling down. Now I’m running scared.
Excerpted from Immortal Beloved by Tiernan, Cate Copyright © 2010 by Tiernan, Cate. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read the Sweep series when I was in middle school and I really enjoyed them. Although I must admit that I pretend that Night's Child does not exist. Ick. So I really liked those books and then I heard about this book. I got really excited. The moment I started to read it I was interested. Then I found out it was a trilogy and I was ecstatic. Finally I saw the publication date for the second book and my world crumbled. It is going to be out in September. This year sure but in September. Do you realise that it is January right now? I do. I have so many ideas about what the next book could be about but I am not sure which one it will be. The book follows an immortal named Nastasya who realises that her friends are not what she thought that they were. She becomes afraid when she sees her friend do something that horrifies her. She remembers a woman that offered her the chance to stay with her anytime she wanted. She does not know why but she feels as if she will not be safe unless she stays there. At River's Ending she finds out that not everyone wants here there. She finds herself being threatened by someone as she tries to get through what needs to be done. I really liked Nastasya. She was immature at times but I feel as if that really sold her for me. I would have been really disappointed if she was this worldly immortal that sprouted these philosophical sayings. It becomes apparent very quickly in the story that her drinking and partying are ways in order to pretend that she can hide from her past. There are more reasons why I really like her but I am better at describing them right after I read or a few days after. Just know that she is an interesting character that kept me from wanting to put down the book. I had a love/hate relationship with Reyn. There were places where I saw what other reviewers saw: That Nastasya would make a good couple but then there were points where I felt that Reyn just needed a little smack over the head. Sometimes a big one. What I really disliked about the book was that it was not long enough. I want to know what happens next. The ending is not a cliffhanger, if anything it happens just after they tie up a plot line. I just really wish that the trilogy could have been finished before I found it. Can't but must wait for the next installment
The story is very well written. It keeps you guessing and you're pleasently surprised at each turn. I would defintely reccommend this book to anyone who loves reading. I can't wait to read the next book in this wonderfull series.
Cate Tiernan's books tend to be the type I can't put down. Easy reads that can still make you contemplate your personal boundaries between right and wrong, good and evil. She's excellent at making you wonder what happens later. and thinking about the book for months. Not all of her characters are likable all the time but they're very human and easy to see yourself in some of them. The Romances are not over as over-the-top or insane as many teen fantasy relationships can be, but at the same time, they feel more realistic and emotional because of it. Overall a very interesting and fun read, leaving the reader counting the day to the next book.
After reading the sweep series many years ago (sometimes over and over again)..I thought it would be hard to get into another Cate Tiernan book. Initially, I thought it was right. Even though the synopsis of the book sounded great, I was skeptical because I started thinking I wasn't going to like it. After a while, I was proved wrong. The book really picks up and makes you want to read more. I enjoyed immortal beloved and can't wait till the 2nd book comes out!
Another great Cate Tiernan novel! The first in a new trilogy, Immortal Beloved is just awesome. I've read almost all of Cate's book, and this is, by far, the best one yet! I absolutely loved the concept of this book...Okay. It wasn't an 'original' idea, but it has a definite twist that other Immortal books lack...I'm not sure what it is, but it makes the book great! Nastasya (cool name, right?) was cool. I liked how she thought, and how her dry humor kept me smiling. She'd relate to things that aren't even being spoken of, and those 'thoughts' made each page interesting! I liked Reyn (rain, reign, rein?) he was...different. It was so weird to find out who is was (not till late in the book) and I was literally thinking, "Ohmygod, no way!' in a totally teenager-like way that deeply disappointed me. If you've read the Sweep series, then you should be familiar with all the magick that takes place in the book. I kept thinking about previous characters, the circles, and all that Wiccan stuff, so it was pretty interesting to realize that Cate kept this book a little bit in her previously made world. All in all, this book is sure to captivate. It may not look all too exciting (such a dull cover...) but it really is! I'm definitely awaiting the sequel; I hope it comes out soon!
I am a huge fan of Cate Tiernan's Sweep series so when I found out that she had a brand new trilogy coming out, I was so excited! Even though it took me awhile to finally get to reading Immortal Beloved, when I started I was immediately entranced with this fantastic new world. The plot is refreshing and I adored the group of immortals at River's Edge who took Nastasya in during her time of need. I am eager for the next installment in this bewitching story.Nastasya is a very conflicted 400 plus year old immortal who is in need of a change in her life. She has lived hundreds of years without feeling emotions and she was fine with that way of living until her best friend critically injures an innocent man. Nastasya is disgusted and flees her dangerous friends for refuge in an immortal rehab. There Nastasya finds out much about herself and her heritage. She learns that magick can be used for good and that she doesn't have to have the terrible side-effects when using it. Nastasya makes new friends, immortal and human alike, who give her a new meaning in life. Nastasya also makes an enemy during her stay that makes life anything but easy for her. Nastasya grows tremendously in Immortal Beloved and am excited to see where the sequel will take her.Reyn aka Viking god, is an enigma. He is a very tortured, brooding man whom Nastasya can't seem to figure out. He is a total jerk to Nastasya yet she can't help but want this gorgeous, tortured hunk of a man. I never got any good insight into Reyn until the end of the book and I wish there would have been more of him in here. I can see why the author didn't do much with Reyn at first though, in order for the reader to get a better understanding of Nastasya. Tiernan doesn't rely on the romance to carry the story and I applaud her for that. I do love romance in my books and while it was very subtle in Immortal Beloved, there was just enough to whet my appetite! I expect that Reyn will be a much more prominent part of the sequel and I can't wait to get more insight into him! He has some very surprising secrets revealed in the book!Immortal Beloved was a dark and conflicting story about a dark immortal who wants to change. I adored this book and I am very excited for the sequel. Immortal Beloved ends at the perfect point and I can't wait to find out more about Nastasya and Reyn. Definitely pick up this book if you can!
This book was okay, although I found it to drag on in a few spots. I'm hoping the next book is better than this one.
Whoa, y'all. I got so much more out of this book than I was expecting. Of course, I'd never have picked it up if I didn't think I'd be intrigued by it, but I didn't expect it to strike me as anything above average.Well, turns out...it did. Average is somewhere down here and this book is way up here.Nastasya and Reyn are great characters: both with captivating personalities and backgrounds. I can't wait to see where their story goes next. I love the sparks they throw off each other: the love/hate thing they have going is very realistic and believable, the chemistry Tiernan projects of them is amazing!I also loved the flashbacks: which is rare. Normally I hate them and either skim them, skip them or go back and read them later. In my opinion, they stick out like a sore thumb a large majority of the time.The immortals are pretty original I think...they aren't exactly like anything else I've read anyway. I love the concept of them...they're like vampires minus the creep factor. The fact that they are largely a party-loving immature group is fantastic I think, it makes them more believable because if you lived that long, do you really think you could survive taking yourself too seriously? Sure they were a little annoying, but always very real.Anyway - pick this book up and read it. It is fascinating and you'll be left waiting for the next one just like I am! I originally just borrowed it from the library and have since gotten a copy to keep for myself!
Natasya or as her friends call her Nasty is an Immortal and a party girl since she looks barely 18 she has pretty much been partying for decades maybe even centuries. However, when her so called friends draw down some dark magick Natasya decides to go find the Immortals of Light, which is kind of a commune where everyone has to work the land and animals. She is trying to detox from her old life but things are odd and she is having memories from long ago and they seem to have to do with the gorgeous Reyn and why does she get sick every time she is in a circle or someone does magick around her.It took me a little while to warm up to Natasya but once she started getting into more of her background/memories and her magick it really grabbed me and I am so curious to see where this story goes and to see where her and Reyn end up. There were times when it was hard to believe that Nasty is 400+ years old because she doesn¿t seem that mature but when she talks about her life it does seem like she was the ultimate perpetual party-girl and that was all she cared about. It was interesting to be along with her on her self-realization of how she had been living and the people she had called friends who are now hunting her and she doesn¿t really know why. She is also making enemies at the ashram/commune that I think will come back and bite her in later books.I love Cate Tiernan her Sweep Series is one of my favorites, this one took a little for me to get into but, now I am hooked. I sure hope the next book in this series comes out soon because I really want to know what happens next!! There wasn¿t a huge cliffhanger at the end just kind of a knowing that the story is not done.I listened to this on audio with narrator Kelly Lintz she was a new narrator for me and I thought she did a really good job and I hope she continues to narrate this series.4 Stars
This is a super fun book. I loved it! It read like a young adult, but Nastasya is over 400 years old so a lot of her flashbacks to previous centuries are very gritty and show how Nastasya isn't a teen. She may be a body that looks 17, but her experiences show otherwise. The writing was funny and witty and the characters were great. I love seeing how characters grow throughout a book, and Nasty's a good one to watch. And I got my kissing scenes. I [heart] romantic kissing scenes.Tiernan shows how hard it would be to be immortal, to live so long and go through so much. It explained a lot about Nasty's behavior in the present. And Reyn (rain) is really cool. I like him! I CANNOT wait until the next book. Which will sadly be a while.
For some reason, possibly because I watched a movie with the same title, I thought that this book was going to involve Beethoven. Perhaps that is why I took so long to read it. I am a fan, but not so much that I was moved to read a book about him. Alas, I was wrong. This book had nothing to do with Beethoven and everything to do with utter awesomeness.The immortals in this book are not vampires, not some crazy creatures. They are born like anyone, and are just exceptionally hard to kill. This does not mean that they make great decisions and choices after having lied hundreds of years. Lots are old, yes, but few seem truly wise.Nastasya is one such immortal. In this first book of the planned triology, she's 449 years old. Old enough to have lost loved ones, to have lived through plagues and dictators, to have pushed back tragic memories from her early years. You see, only two immortals can have an immortal child. So, Nastasya's parents and siblings should still be with her. But they're not. Because they were killed when she was just a little girl. And, try as she might with alcohol and meaningless excess, Nastasya cannot escape the pain and fear of that dark night. The night she lost everyone she truly cared about.Now, Nastasya has left behind her reckless (and potentially evil) best friend and has checked into a sort of rehab for immortals. Here, she'll be expected to practice being "in the now" by doing lots of farming-related chores. Not this city girl's idea of a fun time. But, she'll also have a chance to learn more about her powers--the magick that affects her more than anyone else. She thinks she's just no good at it, but might surprise herself once she hones her skills.As Nastasya opens herself to understanding more about her power and her potential, she starts to remember the details of the worst nights of her life. And, just because Nastasya doesn't understand her powers and her value does not mean that others don't. They might come looking for her.* * *I could not put this book down. It's one of those reads that I wanted to last forever. I kinda felt cheated that it was only a little more than 400 pages--Why couldn't it have gone on and on? I've never read any of Cate Tiernan's work, but am now a huge fan. She has this ease of narration and dialogue that sounds like actual people talking and thinking. Her characters are great, and this plot is absolutely engaging and riveting.Moreover, I could completely picture everything that was happening in this book. Even the scenes where magick was used were crystal clear to me. This is not always the case for me. I cannot wait to continue this story and find out what happens--There are so very many possibilities! Alas, the next book does not come out until September of 2011. At least the New Year has started and I'm that much closer...Not really comforting, but it'll have to do.
Ultimately this book is about one woman's inner growth. While over 400 years old, Nastasya is actually quite juvenile at the beginning of the story. She is self-medicating and unwilling to face her pain. There is very little external action in this book. The action is all inside Nastasya's heart and ming -- and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some aspects of the book were even inspiring with such themes as focusing on the present, looking at life as a journey rather than a destination, etc... As for the romantic element of the story, there wasn't romance but a very complicated relationship (actually more of a history rather than relationship). I think the best is yet to come for them in future books, we only got the tip of the iceberg with these two in this first book.
So dragging. Goes on and on and on and on.
What first caught my eye about this book was that Nastasya, the main character, had to make the epic choice between light and darkness. I've always been intrigued by this choice. It's one that all people, both fictional and real of course, end up facing at some point. When it comes right down to it one wrong choice can send you skittering off towards disaster. Since my life seems to be at that point right now, I thought I might find some connection with Nastasya and her journey.As a character, Nastasya was dynamic and vivid. I loved the multiple facets of her personality. She felt pain, regret, anger, lust, and all the other emotions that so often get ignored in favor of more the more pleasurable ones. I also appreciated how much Cate Tiernan focused on the Nastasya's inner thoughts. It was easy to get to know her as a character, and to become invested in her struggle. Truth be told I ended up rooting for her half way through the story and I wouldn't give up on her. The more she struggled, the more I felt connected to her. It isn't often a long book like this can fly by, but this one did, and all too soon it was over.To those you haven't yet read this book, you desperately need to pick up a copy! Everything about Nastasya and her fellow characters is real. Everything about them makes you feel as though you're right there, walking among them. Although they're immortal, they tackle very human emotions and problems. I appreciated the tense relationships between some of the characters so much. I think a lot of times relationships in books are too easily forged. In this book Nastasya has to fight her inner self to do what is good for her. She shows a great amount of perseverance and gives the reader a glimpse into the reality of making a life altering decision.I could go on and on about how passionate I felt about this book, but I won't. I'll leave you with the fact that it was a refreshing change from so many other angst-driven and romance fueled young adult novels that I've read recently. What Nastasya goes through felt real to me, and her journey spoke to me in a way that I haven't felt in a long time. I'm in love with this book friends, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. Thank goodness this is only book one!
After witnessing her best friend, Innocencio, breaking the back of a cab driver for no significant reason, Nastasya quickly realizes that she needs to leave. She no longer feels comfortable and has the strong urge to hide herself from her once close friends. Recalling back a time when River, a stranger at that time, offered her `help¿ (help that she thought she didn¿t need at that time) located in a small town in Massachusetts, she finally takes that offer just a few centuries later. Well here she is now picking beets, grooming horses, and star-gazing. Wait, why? Apparently it is a rehabilitation process that also apparently works! Nastasya is feeling and looking better for the longest time after decades of partying, but someone seems to not like her new sense of contentment and wants her gone. But Natasya¿s tough, she¿s been through a lot, and may have more power than she first thought¿. And did I mention that she¿s immortal with magical powers? Really? Because almost all the characters in the novel are immortal: good and bad. We just need to find out who the good ones are and who the bad ones are, but here is to hoping that tall sexy Viking god Reyn will be good.In a very detailed first installment (yes this is trilogy), Cate Tiernan tells of a haunting dark past with a distinct narration. A style of writing that really ticked me off plenty of times if I dare say. I find the excessive commas, self-answering questions, and just the aloof disregard to time very, very angering. The constant flashbacks were abrupt, random, and forced half the time. The other half of the time I felt it was well placed with enough emotional angst and gory imagery that left me wanting to continue in Nastaya¿s past life.After finishing the last sentence I closed the book, looked up then back down and thought to myself: What the heck did I just read that took 400 pages to explain? Oh no, there were some excellent points brought up, effortless gut-wrenching scenes, and the occasional symbolic nature of life, but a chunk of the novel discussed the past of immortals¿how they came to be, the aging process, how they were hunted and whatnot. It was wonderful how Tiernan explained everything, scrutinizing even to the smallest details of the stars, but could it keep the reader enraptured long enough to finish the book (and possibly read the next two installments)?It required about 150 pages into the novel for me to become interested enough to continue reading the next 250 pages. Yes despite this I still crave more detail abut Reyn, about River and how she came to form the rehabilitation farm, about Nell and about the other residents in the farm. (I still also have trouble comprehending the deep connection/attraction between Natasya and Reyn aside from their past unless it becomes this emotional handicap that they develop and whatever did happen to Innocencio since he is hardly ever mentioned yet plays a large role in the novel?) Curse you first person limited view point for wrecking havoc on my mind as it tends to wander and consider possible scenarios.About midway through the novel, somewhere between the pages of 180 to 200, the action began to really pick up that left me slightly breathless and disorientated. And that, my friend, is a good thing. The garbled information finally began to make sense in my mind (yet my math does not seem to match the book¿s math when it concerns the age appearance of some of the characters), the various ties to other characters start to root and grow, and there is discussion of magic! Sprinkle every so often are humorous scenes, hot and heavy scenes that will appease the romantics at heart, and a scene that left a body skinless and hairless for those few gore fans; Immortal Beloved does cover almost everything that will leave readers happy at least with one chapter.As for the ending, it leaves plenty to be desired, but then again it is a trilogy.
Nastasya is immortal. She and her friends spend all their time partying--for Nastasya's part, it's to forget her past. (Because when you've lived for hundreds of years, you've probably been through some pretty awful things--and she has.) One night, her best friend tortures a human just for fun and because he could. The next morning, she runs.She remembers meeting someone 80 years ago, an immortal like her but one who seemed together and happy. So Nastasya goes on a quest to find her and try and get some of that peace for herself.While at River's Edge, she learns to live life differently. There are chores, for example, and she has to get a job. She should hate it, but it feels kind of right.This is the first book in a trilogy, and I really enjoyed it. I feel like a lot of people (myself included) know what it's like to carry our pasts around with us and to give those events more power than maybe we should. This is about the quest for redemption and how a lot of times, it's easier to get than we think.I feel like a lot of times, people may think that what they've done or been through is so dark and so horrible that it can never be overcome. But that's especially true if you never even try.Also, all those musings aside, this is a surprisingly fun and lighthearted book. Of course there are moments of angst but there are also moments of levity. (Nastasya has to gather eggs, for example, and one of the hens is a little bloodthirsty.)I cannot wait to see what happens next with Nastasya.
Selfish seems to go hand in hand with the Immortal¿s way of life, but suddenly Nastasya finds her conscience returning after her friends use magick to break a man¿s back. Nastasya has lived for years leaving behind a string of identities. Now she seeks refuge with a fellow immortal she met years prior. She hopes to flee, and stay hidden while she sorts out her feelings. Unfortunately, her long time friend has other thoughts, and sets out to find Nastasya even though she wishes to remain hidden. This novel is packed full of character growth. I really enjoyed Nastasya, and witnessing her journey of self discovery. Much is told with the use of flashbacks which I thoroughly enjoyed. I feel like I really knew so much about the main character by the end, and this helped me to really connect with her. The plot was slower paced which some readers might not like. I felt even with the slower pace the story moved quickly, at least for me. My only complaint is I didn¿t feel the dialogue ¿fit¿. At over 400 years old I would expect Nastasya to maintain at least a hint of her accent. She seemed too comfortable using modern American slang. I know she has spent years blending in with others, but for some reason it just didn¿t feel right. Still a good read, and a trilogy I plan to continue. I haven¿t read this author¿s other series so I can¿t compare the two. I do hope to read it in the future because I enjoyed the author¿s ability to create engaging characters, and a fascinating story. I¿d recommend it this for older teens (15+) because of language and situations.
For the past 100 years, Nastasya has gallivanted around the world with her other party-happy immortal friends, enjoying life and not thinking of anything besides entertainment and distraction. But when her best friend does something that horrifies her and shakes the foundations of her belief about her existence, Nastasya runs away from her old life and joins up with a group of immortals who try to live to be good.However, it isn¿t easy for Nastasya to adjust to her new life. She doesn¿t know what to make of her new acquaintances, particularly Reyn, a cold but inexplicably alluring golden-haired guy, and Nell, a preppy British girl who seems to have it in for her. And the more Nastasya learns about the history of immortals and her own, long dormant magickal abilities, the more she begins to understand the truth about her past¿and how it may endanger her.Is it weird that I¿m wavering whether to give this book 3 or 5 stars, and not something in between? (4-star books are my babies and not given out lightly. *hugs*) IMMORTAL BELOVED really did something for me. I lament the repetition in paranormal literature nowadays, but while immortality is not news, the careful way in which Cate Tiernan layered this story is something to take note of.Tiernan incorporates flashbacks into the narrative in a way that doesn¿t feel forced. At first we think we know what the smart-mouthed Nastasya is about: oh, just another poor little tortured soul of an immortal being who¿s lost sight of her humanity until she meets the right person, or people. But the more time I spent with Nastasya, the more compelling I found her. Yes, she¿s fallen into some despicable times and habits, but her flashbacks reveal her behavior to be a perfectly justifiable defense mechanism against some horrible memories. The flashbacks serve not only to illuminate her character, but also to add a sliver of suspense and investment with every page we read, so that while in the foreground nothing truly remarkable happens¿Nastasya runs around a farm for reformed immortals and struggles to adjust to their ways¿we can¿t help but be sucked in. Nastasya reminds me of some of my favorite paranormal/urban fantasy female characters: strong, a wiseass, independent enough not to obsess over Reyn, despite his sullen bad-boy hotness. She¿s attractive because she refuses to play the ¿docile, hurt female¿ role expected of her, and so I can see why Reyn is attracted to her (thank God for the absence of inexplicable paranormal romantic attraction!).IMMORTAL BELOVED is admittedly slow, especially if you feel like flashbacks are a cop-out from true plot. However, the characters have convinced me of their interestingness, and Nastasya has secured my empathy and respect, so I will be really interested to see where Cate Tiernan takes us next. IMMORTAL BELOVED just might remind us paranormal lit cynics (yes, that¿s me) that good writing and strong, well-developed characters can still take us all the way.
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan begins with a group of immortal friends painting the town and Nas questions everything about herself and her friends. Nas wants to improve her immortal life. She has several identities and passports, so she chooses one and leaves her friends behind to travel to Massachusetts, where River, another immortal, lives. I love the main character's snark and her reluctant humor. Nas learns a bit about her heritage and her knowledge continues to grow along with her abilities, thanks to River and the other immortals Nas is now living with. River runs a sort of rehabilitation center for immortals to help them heal and make good choices. The immortals have all lived long enough that each of them has suffered tragedy in one form or another and struggles to deal with the memories. The support helps Nas heal while she works on the farm and at her minimum wage job at a local pharmacy where she grows to care about and help regular people. Great book and I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series, Darkness Falls.
I finished Immortal Beloved in a day and loved every second of it. The minute I turned the last page I started having withdrawals. It's going to be a rough wait for book two to be delivered.
I have to say, this book has made it to my top. . . Five. This book is my third fav. That should tell you alot.
Nastasya is an immortal and has lived a long life in excess and ignorance. In the past hundreds of years she hasn't been the best version of herself. When one of her so-called dark friends harms a human, Nastasya decides to leave her gang of dangerous immortals and with them all destructiveness and misery behind her. IMMORTAL BELOVED discusses what it means to have a never-ending life ahead of you and what it is you should do with it. On her quest for change Nastasya meets an immortal who offers shelter to all the lost immortal souls looking for a new start. So she finds a home in River's mansion. It has a kind of boarding school feel about it because of all the avid students buzzing around. Immortals can take lessons and have to do chores. With the help of others Nastasya is now learning to master a normal life. And with that things start to fall into a monotone pattern without prospect of any serious action. Between complaining about chores and slowly discovering her heritage Nastasya develops a crush on fellow immortal Reyn. Theirs isn't a love story of the exciting but more of the repellent kind. So this romance didn't exactly fit my idea of sexy. 3,5/5 ***/* IMMORTAL BELOVED – A reform school presenting us with a new somber spin on immortality. IMMORTAL BELOVED was appealing in a way because of all the possibilities immortality had to offer. When I pick up a novel with immortals in it I'm mostly interested in hearing more about their pasts and Nastasya's visions of the past are one important part of her story now. Visit River's remote reform school for immortals with a dark atmospheric feel about it but don't expect all too much fun in the end.