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Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved) - Cate Tiernan

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Genre: Fiction / Romance

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      05.10.2011 14:56
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      A must read, pick up book one today...

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

      Still immortal.


      - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      ** This is the second book of the Immortal Beloved trilogy **

      If you want to start reading the series then don't read this review, as it does contain some spoilers from the first book - it's impossible to write an informative review that dances around all of the spoilers.


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      Straight to the point
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      Nastasya, our 459 year old heroine, has now been staying at River's Edge - a rehabilitation center for immortals who need to relearn how to appreciate their very long lives - for two months now and has learnt a few startling home truths. Namely that her family line is a powerful magick [all immortals have magick in varying degrees] wielding one and was one of the world's eight most powerful houses.

      When Nastasya was ten her whole family was slaughtered in front of her by a family of fearless Immortal viking warriors, whilst she hid under her mother's body [otherwise immortal or not, if you lose your head you're still dead]. In other words she knows nothing about her power, other then the fact that it seems to be dark. The teachers at River's Edge have been teaching her to use the magick in the 'light' way [without draining energy from other living things], but she just doesn't understand it all and keeps getting it wrong.

      Plus, it turns out that fellow boarder Reyn is actually the only surviving member of the viking family, who killed her family. Not only that, but a few years after the slaughter Nastasya was married in Norway and had a son, when vikings came and razed her village to the ground. She herself was almost raped by their leader, known by the snazzy moniker 'The Butcher Of Winter'. Three guesses as to Reyn used to be.


      Whilst everything else has been going on, Nastasya has also been trying to relearn how to interact with humans by getting a minimum wage job in a pharmacy and reaching out to a local teen outcast, who reminds Nastasya of herself. But DARKNESS FALL sees her getting fired and the troubled teen is once again going of the rails and doesn't want anything to do with her.

      So Nastasya is lonely, so when her best friend of 100 years catches up with her, she gets sucked back into her own life. She suspects that Innocencio has been feeding of her power over the century they've known each over, but she is at such a low point that she doesn't care.

      But has Incy become addicted to the buzz that her strong power gives him and is that the only reason that he is desperate to have her back?


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      Is it worth a read?
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      DARKNESS FALLS focuses on Nastasya's fears and how she chooses to deal with this emotion; she has strong magick powers, but doesn't know anything about them, her belief that she is too tainted by her colourful and long past to save, her attraction to Reyn feels wrong considering their shared history and scares her and how when she tries to help others she always seems to end up hurting them.


      I really enjoyed how we get to learn more about the other people at River's Edge and we also learn more about why a few of them needed guidance and support to escape their own dark beginnings. Leader River always came of as whiter then white in the previous book, so it was really nice to learn something about her past here. It makes her character seem realistic to have her halo removed.

      We also get a deeper look into Nastasya's past, which doesn't sound exciting but actually gives a fascinating insight into her often abrupt attitude and questionable decisions. A standout for me are the parts of the story that deal with her [mortal] son - very moving. I really enjoyed the first book but never found Nastasya likable in it, but now I can fully see where she's coming from and has lived though, so my opinion of her has completely changed. If you didn't wholly like Nastasya last time either, you will too after reading this.


      Despite getting to explore the backgrounds of several characters, there is also more action in this book, compared to the first one. Another improvement in this book is that the ending is stronger then that of the first book and is less predictable.

      The story gives hints as to what the final book will be about, but the main plot-line both solidifies and is resolved in this one book, so we're not being left hanging for a year whilst we wait for the final part.

      Finally; the writing style has subtly changed. Book one was obviously geared towards the young adult crowd, but DARKNESS FALLS seems to be casting a larger net. Nastasya looks like a teenager, but she doesn't talk and act like one so much now. There is also some moderate swearing and a bit of blood and gore - we're not talking Hellraiser here, but it makes the sense of tension, confusion, stress and danger seem real.


      I have one niggle; I loved how the first book in the trilogy (Immortal Beloved) portrayed the immortals in a realistic light; they were shown as regular people who just happen to heal quickly and age extremely slowly once they reach puberty, not as mystical beings with extra speed, strength etc. So I was a bit disappointed by how often the subject of their magick is brought up. And - naturally - Nastasya is special and has stronger abilities then normal.

      Also - Nastasya doesn't know much about her magick, so therefore we don't either, so it's a bit confusing now that we're meant to have a understanding of how it works. In short I find myself glossing over mentions of magick in the book.


      Despite these niggles, I thoroughly enjoyed DARKNESS FALLS and can't wait to get the final book [no title or realise date yet]. Fingers crossed we don't have to wait as long as we did between books one and two.



      ** DARKNESS FALLS will be released in hardback on the 5th January 2012 **

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