Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller.

The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller.
Razorbill,  978-1595143082
Release Date: August 10, 2010

Haven Moore has lived her entire life in rural Tennessee.  Ever since she was young, Haven has had visions of a life that was not hers.  As Haven grew, she suppressed the memories of Constance and Ethan, a pair of doomed lovers from turn of the century New York.  When the visions return, Haven is compelled to leave Snopes City and seek out Ethan, who she believes has been reincarnated as a notorious playboy, Iain.  She also seeks the help of the Ouroboros Society, a group dedicated to helping those with memories of past lives.  However, neither Iain or the Society is what it seems, and Haven finds herself on her own, not knowing who to trust.

I am not the target reader for this book.  Star-crossed lovers, meeting across time, fated to relive old patterns -- the whole concept puts me off.  It’s to Miller’s credit that I found this book both engaging and suspenseful.  

The main reason I liked this book as much as I did is Haven, who is an incredibly appealing protagonist.  I liked her because she is a fairly typical teenage girl, who dreams of going to college, doesn’t like her hair and wants to be a fashion designer.   Yes, she has visions, but she doesn’t define herself by this.  It sets her apart from the pack of cookie cutter teen paranormal heroines.  You know the ones, whose only interesting personality traits are their lack of personality, ability to act as supernatural catnip, and unwillingness to to take any action?  Haven is most definitely the protagonist of this story; she makes things happen, calls people on their BS and doesn't always accept the explanations she’s given.  Since she’s not perfect, she makes mistakes, but she never stops and waits to be rescued.

Another aspect of the book that I liked was the small-town setting and family dynamic.  Haven’s grandmother has succeeded in making her granddaughter an outcast, convincing everyone in town that Haven is possessed by a demon.  So while Haven might not see herself through the lens of her visions, everybody else does.   It’s an interesting wrinkle.  Unfortunately, this tantalizing idea is quickly dropped, as Haven gets the hell out of Dodge, or Snopes City, to pursue her visions.   New York is where the action takes place, but I did feel the book got a little less interesting once Haven left Tennessee.

This is a challenging read, as characters switch allegiances, and there are mysteries within mysteries. The past lives of not just Iain and Haven, but almost every other character figure in the plot.  It difficult to figure out who everybody is, or was, and exactly what their goals are, or were.  This complex web of relationships and memories gets overly complicated, leaving me, like Haven, perplexed and frustrated.   However, the quickly moving story will carry readers through the murky associations and motives of the characters.  The ending felt a tiny bit contrived and rushed, but sets the book up nicely for the further adventures of Haven.  

Paranormal romance readers, tired of the endless deviations of vampire/angel/fairy will probably welcome reincarnation as another option for endless love.  Even readers who can’t get behind finding your soul mate before you’re out of high school will enjoy Miller’s quick plotting and engaging heroine.

Review copy provided by the publisher

No comments:

Post a Comment