Friday, September 3, 2010

Review: The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller

The Eternal Ones
by Kirsten Miller
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 10, 2010 by Razorbill
ISBN: 1595143084 (ISBN13: 9781595143082)

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 grandmother’s 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.

Haven Moore comes from a small town in Tennessee where being different isn't complimented - in fact, the town pretty much thinks you've got a demon in you. I'm sure you can take a guess at what they think of Haven - who faints when she has visions from a past life - and her best friend Beau - who is gay. That's right, it's small town closed-mindedness at its best! One fateful day, Haven just so happens to see Iain Morrow on the TV and is instantly drawn, knowing in her heart that he is her beloved Ethan. With the help of her friend Beau, Haven takes off to New York in hopes of finding her one true love. What follows is a story of a girl not only trying to figure out who she was, but also finding out if her love is truly the man she thought he was - or if he's the murderer he is accused of being, in both this life and the past.

I have to say, I have a love-hate relationship with this book. There was definitely moments when I wanted to toss the book against the wall.. but the story was intriguing enough to keep me reading until the very end. I'd have to say that I could have done without about a third of the first part of the book. Yes, we get that Haven's grandmother is not a nice person. Yes, her mother is a spineless lump that doesn't really act as her mother - though she does start to step up, though not much. Yes, Haven is treated as an outcast because she has visions and faints where ever she may be when the vision comes. Oh, and did I mention that all the Christians are closed-minded. I live in a small town and I can say that I'm honestly sick of the whole portrayal of small towns being so judgmental and unforgiving. Gossip? Yes. But, in real life, I've never experienced something like this.

I digress. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Past that: Once Haven gets the box of notes written by her father from her mother, things start to pick up. You get even more insight into Haven's visions - and proof is from Haven's father, who started chronicling all of her visions as a child. Part Two starts out with Haven arriving in New York, and she quickly finds Iain. It's obvious that they're drawn to one another and Iain seems to be just as in love with Haven as he was when he was Ethan and she was Constance.. and it may help that he's able to recall ALL of his past lives. Haven, however, has this whole hot-cold relationship with Iain. Between not recalling all of her memories from her life as Constance and believing every single word out of every single person's mouth, she's very bi-polar when it comes to Iain. One moment she'll be all over him and completely trust him, the next she'll take the word of someone and believe Iain is a killer, and within the next few moments she'll be back in his arms all lovey-dovey. I'm sure Iain's ability to withhold truths and tell white lies doesn't help any, but I don't think that would merit Haven's inability to decide something and stick with it. Yes, she's only seventeen so you have to account for some immaturity ... but, Haven's behavior was a little too much for me.

I know it sounds like I hated the book, but it was actually a good read. Like I said, it kept my attention and kept me reading until the very end. I like the history of the Ouroboros Society. The other characters were also well fleshed out. The villian was good, but the villian's big reveal was a little bit of an "oh, come on!" moment for me - it could go both ways though because I didn't see that one coming. The history, the flashbacks to the previous life, the Society, and all of the twists definitely hooks you into the story and keeps you until the very end. The writing was well-constructed. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal reads.

The Verdict?

I'm leaning more toward 3.5, but the story is too good for 3 stars.


Missie, The Unread Reader said...

OMG! I loved/hated this book, too! The small town stuff was just absurd! Truly! I'm from a small town, too, and I was like, where are these people living, in the 1900's?

And the back and forth with Iain was hilarious! It was hard for me to believe that these two where so young, she 17 and him 19, because of all the jetting off they did and all the money they had. I had to remember they were actually 'old souls' for it to be a believable thing for me.

But you are right, as much as the book irritated me, something keep me reading!

Midnight Bloom said...

Great great review! I agreed with so many things you just said. The first part of the novel was slow and just made me think I wouldn't enjoy the novel, but then it picked up and everything was okay again.... even if I did have a love/hate relationship with some of the characters.

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