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Fans of the genre may well be disappointed
Eternal - Cynthia Leitich Smith
Member Name: BananaRhinoceros
Eternal - Cynthia Leitich Smith
Advantages: Interesting ending and easy read
Disadvantages: Terrible characteristation and bad representation of the genre
Having just finished this book, I have it fresh in my mind. Needless to say I didn't but it and instead borrowed it from my local library, this is probably what I would recommend anyone else to do if they have the opportunity. The back quote states "Watch out Twilight fans, you are gonna LOVE Eternal," and whilst this may in certain circumstances be the case I can foresee many Twilight fans being disappointed.
The plot is relatively uncomplicated; Guardian angel messes up, girl ends up a vampire, kills people, guardian angel tries to fix mess up. Okay well maybe it's a little more complex than that, but for a one line plot synopsis there you go. It's a bit forbidden love, but somehow not as much as you expect from the front cover, it doesn't quite give you Romeo and Juliet, or Edward and Bella for that matter, there's a little bit of action, some horror and some teen angst mixed amongst the attempts at romance too. Mostly though it doesn't quite achieve a stellar reading in any particular genre.
As urban fantasy is on the rise with the dawning of Twilight (excuse the pun), a lot of authors are trying to cash in on the vampire love fest and Smith is no different. The biggest problem though, I didn't feel the book was overall particularly entertaining, and here's why. Firstly character, it started well Miranda looked like she was going to be shy down to earth, and the sort of teen fellow teens could relate to. Unfortunately we get about ten pages of this Miranda before she becomes self confessed "vixen vampire-princess," the whole process is sort of glossed over, in favour of an attempt to get in Miranda's psyche, but this fails. Miranda isn't a particularly interesting character as far as I'm concerned, she was to begin with but vixen vampire-princesses just don't led themselves to three dimensional plots.
Now as far as her co-star Zachary is concerned, he has a similar problems. I don't understand him as a character, I don't really feel for him, I don't feel his emotions as he does, mostly I don't really care. He's sugary sweet for an angel, but not holier than thou, which is sort of nice, but still sort of dull. His apparent love for Miranda is backed up by the fact that he has known her forever, a clear founding for true love - or maybe not. As for Miranda's faux vampire...sorry 'eternal' father Radford, he's about as two dimensional as villains can be nowadays, and he's not even really scary enough to pull that off well.
Overall I felt characterisation was weak, and sacrificed to the supposed wonder of this angel vampire world. The plot was a little different in parts, having Miranda sometimes play the villain but she quickly devolved into the love sick I'll only drink pig's blood if that's what you want my love type of vampire.
The saving grace for me in this book was the ending. I wont ruin it, but whilst sort of predictable did set it apart from other books in a similar genre. Unfortunately even this somewhat predictable though enjoyable plot twist couldn't make up for the rather weak beginning, middle and characters.
If you're a fan of the genre you'll read it, you might even faintly enjoy it, but like me you'll take it back to the library with very little regret that you didn't buy it, and then promptly forget the character's names as you walk out the door.
Summary: You'll finish it, but you will not feel the need to read it again.
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