Friday, July 29, 2011

Review: Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2)

Author: Cate Tiernan
Release Date: September 13th 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Add it: Goodreads
I'm still here. Still immortal. The eagerly anticipated sequel to Immortal Beloved, the deeply alluring gothic romance.

Reyn: the thorn in my side, nightmare of my past, destroyer of my family, constant irritant of my now . . . and the one whose fevered kisses I had relived over and over as I lay exhausted and unable to sleep.

And yet night after night, he--who has kicked down hundreds of doors--had not brought himself to knock on mine.

Are you dizzy from being flung into my world like this? I feel the same way every morning when I open my eyes to find I'm still me, still here.

Just when you thought Nastasya might be on the road to recovery at the end of Immortal Beloved, there's suddenly a pot-hole in that road and she goes speeding straight into it. But the difference this time, is while she does make stupid mistakes and falls back into the destructive pattern of her old life, she's gone back in a changed woman. She has knowledge she never had before and, most annoyingly, she's acquired a few pesky morals. All thanks to her time at Rivers Edge, rehab for wayward immortals. And she's a little peeved off about that. River helped her grow a conscious and the pain of having one bites! But oh is this needed for her. I can understand what drew her back there. The doubts and uncertainty swirling through her mind, the dark cloud that seems to be settling over her, infecting everyone and everything around her. Can she truly escape the darkness that burns within her? She feels toxic and if she stays any longer, she's afraid what might to the people she's grown to care for

I was waiting, waiting, waiting for Incy to reappear in Immortal Beloved. We only got a quick glance at his character in the beginning and there was that running fear that he may catch up to Nas again - and boy did I want him to! Which made me happy to see him here, if not a little scared. But Nastasya isn't sure what to think because he's seems so very normal. Not the flash of the guy she saw emerge when he crippled the taxi driver back in London. But the Incy she knew and loved. Was she too rash in her judgement to leave? Was she wrong to abandon their century old friendship before she really gained all the facts?

The flashbacks to the past are again scattered throughout the novel, which I so enjoyed reading because that add that much more depth to the story. Nastasya begins to see many of her memories in an entirely new light because she's viewing them from the perspective of someone who's actually beginning to give a damn about the world around her and the people in it. She learns some painful truths about her family and also witnesses some shocking moments in River's past. Kind, wise, guiding River whose past is revealed to be a far cry from the woman we know today. Choice. That is a key theme in what Tiernan writes. Everyone has a choice. No matter what lay within you, no matter what you've done or how great the darkness you're capable of, what you do next lies solely within your hands.

The incredibly messed up relationship between Nastasya and Reyn is still warring on. It's not a focal point of the novel, but she is still battling the emotions churning within her. Never have I witnessed such a complicated relationship between two fictional characters. Their past together is brutal, tormenting and horrific. They're both changed people, but can she ever truly allow herself to be with this man?

What I love in particular about these books is the redemptive theme. Characters whose actions would ordinarily make them complete villains of the story, are in the leading roles and striving toward a better life. I'd like to see such hope for the person who exhibited the most.... well, psychotic displays of insanity throughout the book. They commit some gruesome crimes, but we do gain an understanding as to what drives them to do it. But when you think about it - is this person any different from River? Reyn? Nastasya? Anyone at River's Edge? They were all like that at one point. Immersed in the darkness. But if they can fight it, then I have hope for other 'bad guy' characters who come along.

Tiernan's writing is so addictively engaging and Nastasya never fails to create a reaction out of the reader. The witty voice I so loved in Immortal Beloved is still ever present. Whether you're laughing, sympathising or else just groaning at some of her choices, she makes you become invested in her story and that's what makes for such endearing characters. They demand your attention. Darkness Falls is a thoroughly satisfying sequel as we see Nastasya begin to face her past, but not without dire consequences. The road to recovery is far from easy!

4 comments:

  1. Great review! Unfortunately I didn't get pass the first book . . . even though I loved the author's Wicca series when I was younger!

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  2. I'm really looking forward to this! I really enjoyed the first book so can't wait to revisit Nastasya and the others :)

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  3. I haven't read the first book yet, but I've been wanting to read it for ages! The covers in this series are really pretty, I think I like this one even more than the first. Glad you enjoyed this - I seriously need to read the first one!

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  4. Like Liz, I haven't read the first book yet! But I've read your amazing reviews on both books. I've heard great things about the author as well. So I'm bumping this up a few notches in my want and TBR read. ;) Great review! I know I shouldn't be reading this one but I can't help myself.

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