May 18, 2012

Review: The Eternal Ones

By: Kirsten Miller
Published: August 2010 by Razorbill
Format: Hardback, 411 pages
First Reviewed: March 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

What if love refused to die?

Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmotherÕs house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.
In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

Rating: 3/5

This was another impulse buy a few months ago. I'd fallen in love with the cover (it completely sticks out at the bookstore, no lie), and I really liked the premise. So, I got it, and once I looked up some reviews on it, I thought I wouldn't like it, but call me crazy, I actually liked it quite a bit.

I liked the contrast between the small town that Haven grew up in and NYC. The author depicted each one very well, including Rome, which the characters travel to for a limited time. My main complaint is that it's done a lot. What is it with NYC having to be the "big city" in every book? I mean, it worked for the story, but I think it would have given the author a lot more to play with if she had set it somewhere else besides NYC.

Don't ask me why, but I was convinced before I even cracked open the book that I wouldn't like them. It may have something to do with the premise and how normally books I read in this genre have characters that are pretty dull. But I actually liked these characters. Haven was a nice lead, I thought, and while she did have some traits and thoughts that annoyed me at times, she felt pretty real. My favorite character, though, was Beau. He was a very strong and well-developed supporting character. The rest of the characters were also good. Not great, but I liked them. Nothing to complain about too much, other than I wish I could have gotten more emotion from Iain. Overall, though, good characters.

Surprisingly, again, I really, really liked the writing in this. Another third person book that had me completely engaged in the story and the main character. Her prose flowed nicely and it was easy to read without being "dumbed down." A couple nitpicks--you know I always have to have them--would be that I thought she used too many dialogue tags at times and that I wish she would have given more twang to some of the characters. Some had it, but then a few miles down the road, there was no accent. One more thing I think could have been worked on was the placement of the visions. For the most part, I felt they were placed well, but in others, they felt rushed, out of place, or like Miller had to throw them in there. However, Miller is a very talented writer. I think her writing is one of the main things that kept me reading. Very refreshing to read.

A lot happens in this book. The beginning would be considered slow for a lot of people, but for me, I'm okay with slow openings as long as I like the characters and writing, which I did. And once the storyline really started to pick up, it was very engaging for me, but it wasn't what it was made out to be. I thought it was going to deal with a lot of love and all that. And while I'm not too much into romance, I expected the feeling for love to be there. But it wasn't. That's what's missing in this book. I never felt the love. This book was more of a suspenseful mystery. I was completely engaged in the mystery and in what was happening, who was really who, and even some of the creepiness factor. But the point of the book was supposed to be on eternal love, but I just never felt the love. I felt the mystery, which of course is more up my alley, just not what it was marketed about.

I didn't completely love this book, but it was a good read and Miller is a very good writer. As long as she learns to involve the characters emotions with relationships more, I think she's one to watch.

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