Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Title: The Eternal Ones
Author: Kirsten Miller
Publication Date: 19 Aug 2010
Source: UK Book Tours - Thank you
Synopsis: From Amazon
Haven Moore has always known she's different: there are the talents that can't be explained; the knowledge of places she's never been; and then there are the visions that overwhelm her - terrifying visions of a life that ended tragically two decades earlier and more than a thousand miles away in New York City. The citizens of Haven's rural, highly religious community, believe that she's been possessed by a demon. But this is no demon: it's reincarnation. Haven journeys all the way to Manhattan in search of clues about her past life and a decades-old murder. One wrong move could lead her into the clutches of the sinister villain at the center of a conspiracy much larger than she could have ever imagined. But if she makes the right choices, Haven will find the answers she's been seeking her entire life. This is an epic and thrilling romance set in the snake-handling churches of Appalachia, the dusty ruins of ancient Rome, and the grand mansions of Manhattan. The Eternal Ones tells the story of the first battle in a war between undying love and eternal evil.
Before I start my review I have to tell you that I completely adore the whole premise of reincarnation and soul-mates; so for me I was swayed by the synopsis before I started reading it.
Written in 3rd person narrative but mainly focalized from Haven's perspective. The narrator is a subtle presence guiding the reader through the intricacies of the plot and keeping control over the weaving of past and present action together.
Haven is an outsider even in her own home. Her defences are high and understandably so. At first I had difficulty picturing her as her current self as there were so many images of her previous incarnations taking precedence within my imagination. At times Haven's pessimism can be very annoying especially with regards to Iain/Ethan; I wanted to literally shake her for causing more problems due to her lack of faith in him.
The way in which different religious points of view were shown within the narrative was ingenious giving a well rounded plot. The vast contrast between the description of the churches within Haven's home town reflecting its parishioners and their true beliefs or lack there of. The portrayal of the church services showed how religion can be manipulated in order to control or isolate individuals. Especially the use of 'everyone is a sinner' preaching, it makes me want to get on my soapbox and rant. The bible quotes really reinforced the storyline. The description of Haven's condemnation by her local community and more importantly her Grandmother for her visions was brutal and haunting in the imagination. Connections within different religions proved a nice comparison with how the world actually is and how it should be.
The storyline and plot were so compelling I literally had to force myself to put the book down in order to get some sleep.
Plot teasers are placed throughout like puzzle pieces to be slotted together. Suspicions given validity as the story developed. Some aspects of Haven's vision were a bit confusing to begin with until they were put into context later in the action. The paranormal/supernatural woven together with religion was fascinating; I particularly liked the reference to the Devil being on earth based in NYC, swaying the balance of good and evil using temptation to tip the scales. Confirmation of this reference becomes apparent later in the book. The imagery depicted via the paintings was amazing; the dark figure symbolising the devil watching as the evil he has orchestrated comes into fruition; strengthening the plot.
Iain/Ethan balanced Haven's personality perfectly and I could definitely picture them as soul-mates, 2 sides of the same coin if you will. Were as Haven is impulsive and pessimistic, Iain/Ethan was calm, optimistic and logical. The narrative showed that it does not matter what you look like on the outside but what you have on the inside is what makes a person beautiful or ugly.
I have to say that I completely adored Beau as Haven's best friend and was unbelievably disappointed that he was gay. I adored how self assured and comfortable he was with himself. Yet his inability to move on with his life provided an additional sub-plot within the story. The bond of friendship he had with Haven was amazing and awe inspiring. I think Beau is a major player in this series and am looking forward to seeing a lot more of him in future books.
The writing style throughout is so wonderfully descriptive and sensory with everything from the sensual feel of fabric to the sights and sounds of Rome. Pieces of history woven into the description added depth to the imagery.
How can I sum up: For me this book had everything and more: action, adventure, romance, friendship, reincarnation, soul-mates plus a battle of good versus evil. What more could I ask for. I only have one complaint.......why is it sooooo long before the next installment is published??????