Taking a break from my Cybils reading for the final installment in the Immortal Beloved series!
If you're already a fan of the Immortal Beloved books, you'll be happy to know that Eternally Yours is a satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy. The last third of the book feels a bit rushed, but other than that, it all works. Questions are answered, smoochies (and more!) are had, promises are made, ends are tied up, and—unlike some books that promise a battle and then totally renege on said promise *cough* Breaking Dawn *cough*—there is an actual, honest-to-god Big Battle Complete with Swords and Decapitations.
Anyway, if you're not familiar with the series, here's a (very) brief overview: There are immortals living amongst us. Our heroine, Nastasya, is approximately 450 years old, and after a very difficult first couple of centuries, she hit the party train. Hard. Clothes, booze, drugs, money, clubbing and parties, night after night after night after night. Whenever anything in her life got uncomfortable or worrisome, she'd just up and move to another city.
As I know I've said before, Tiernan's vision of Nastasya as an immature immortal—as opposed to the idea of a centuries-old vampire buying into high school drama—works for me because since she's never forced to face the consequences of her actions, she never learns anything, and thus, doesn't mature. Until, of course, she goes to River's Edge, a sort-of rehab for immortals in rural Massachusetts. Lots of self-discovery ensues. And also romance.
It isn't the storyline that makes it, though. It's Nastasya herself, who is crabby, snarky, imperfect, self-deprecating, honest about making mistakes, and above all, funny:
After I'd gotten back from Boston, Reyn and I had almost come to theoretical terms with how we may or may not feel about each other. Okay, maybe not exactly how we feel about each other, but more like we agreed that we would attempt to stand each other. Like, enemies with benefits. Enemies is too strong a word. Maybe benefits is too strong a word.
She's a narrator you could easily imagine gossiping with over a cheeseburger and a beer.
Like I said, it's a nice finish to a hugely entertaining series. Some of the goings-on at River's Edge are a little bit New-Age-Woo-Woo for me, but they're a little bit New-Age-Woo-Woo for Nastasya, too, so it works. What I like the best, though, is that taken as a whole, the series is more about Nastasya's coming of age than anything else. And it portrays personal growth—not to mention swordplay and control over magic—as requiring a heck of a lot of hard work, rather than Undiscovered Innate Talent That Reveals Itself At The Exact Right Minute.
Which, fantasy elements aside, makes it more grounded in reality than some of the supposedly 'realistic' fiction I've read recently.
Book source: Review copy from the publisher.