Author: Cate Tiernan
Release date: UK 6th Jan 2011 Hodder and Stoughton
US 7th September 2010 Little, Brown
Genre: Supernatural, Paranormal, Fantasy
Target audience: 12+
Brilliant, engaging, original paranormal titles are hard to find right now because the market is so saturated. It was wonderful to read Immortal Beloved and be swept away on a tide of beautiful writing and explore the nature of immortality, the question of what makes us human and ultimately read a spell-binding story. There are not enough adjectives to describe how passionate I am about this book.
Nastasya is 449 years old and her life is a blur of late drunken nights, shallow relationships and toxic friendships with five others like her. She is one of the immortals. Her best friend is Inncencio. Nastasya calls him Incy for short. The novel opens with Incy breaking a mortal man’s back. What had the man done to deserve such a barbaric punishment? He was impolite, rude at worst. Nastasya has never seen Incy do something so cruel with magic before and it scares her. But what scares her more is her own decision to walk away from the dying man, to follow Incy into the night and drink herself senseless in an attempt to forget about it. Nastasya has never liked magic and Incy’s actions only serve to reinforce her belief that it is wrong. Magic makes her sick, see visions and lose control of her body.
There are two types of immortals: Tähti and the Tervävä. Nastasya has heard rumours of the Tähti but she has never met one. She like Incy and her friends are Tervävä. They despise the Tähti. Yet after Incy kills the mortal, Nastasya begins to feel afraid. She doesn’t understand why but a deep feeling tells her to leave her apartment in London and not tell anyone where she is going. She goes into hiding in order to find a part of herself that she thinks may be lost forever.
Immortal Beloved is all about Nastasya’s journey. The story is told through her very witty and sarcastic voice. She says what she thinks, she doesn’t pussy-foot around people and this novel works because her voice rings true for every single word. Memories she has long closed off begin to come to the surface and what she finds hidden there scares her even more the Incy’s cruel magic.
Some people will read this novel and think that not that much happens. I am not one of them. This is the beginning of Nastasya’s journey. So much happens within her, the whole way through the novel I was rooting for her to keep choosing right over wrong, others over self, good over evil. She is now one of my favourite female characters ever in a Young Adult novel. She isn’t politically correct, she says some really crazy things when she is trying to find her humanity but that is what makes her such a believable and adorable character.
I really didn’t want this book to end. In a way it pauses, rather than ends, you know there is so much more to follow but what I did get to read I adored. I haven’t felt so utterly besotted about a paranormal book in a long, long time. My copy is going to get the favourite book shelf treatment. I’m going to read this book again and again because I just know the more I read it, the more I’ll get out of it. Immortal Beloved is a book to treasure for life even if you are pushing five hundred. It is just so captivating.