Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

17 Sep

Publisher: Penguin Canada
Release year: 2010
Genre: YA paranormal
One sentence summary: Love conquers all, including an overly religious family and secret society.
Rating:4.5 out of 5
Review copy from publisher

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.

From Penguin Canada website.

OMG how much did I love this book? I was surprised and knocked flat on my ass by just how much I loved it.

I have to admit, I was bit leery about this one. The tag line “What if love refused to die?”  had me prepared for an ooshy-gooshy epic over-the-top love story. Cripes, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sure, it’s a love story, but there was so much more going on in The Eternal Ones.

Haven’s family and community are beyond nasty and serious Bible thumpers. The worst one is her grandmother, who basically thinks that Haven’s possessed because of her visions. Everybody except for her best friend Beau and mountain girl Leah treat Haven like shit. I mean, the way they talk to her? I know I’d be throwing some punches. Then when she takes off for New York, her Mom is all like “Why’d you run away?” Seriously messed up.

When Haven gets to New York searching for the love of her past lives, she’s also introduced to the Ouroboros society, a group meant to help those who remember their past lives and also help others who can’t remember their past lives. There’s an unsolved mystery in Haven’s past life and an unsolved mystery in Haven’s present life and the two intertwine.

See what I mean about it being more than a love story? I was instantly drawn into this world of past lives and even though  it’s not something I believe in a whole heck of a lot, none of it seemed hokey or over the top to me. I flew through the first 200 pages in one sitting, eager to find out where the story was going.

And then it kinda starts to lag and Haven gets a wee bit whiny and easily lead astray. She starts remembering more of her past lives and starts to distrust just about everyone, which I guess is a wise thing to do. But she also starts hiding behind pillars, walls, plants to listen in on conversations that only confuse her more. And to tell the truth, the whole hiding behind something to eavesdrop thing should only be done once.

She also spends a lot of time on the phone with Beau, lamenting that she doesn’t know what to do, who to trust, etc. She’s also being followed by about a zillion people and spends a lot of time walking through alleys and leaving by back doors to escape. I started to get a bit bored with this part of the plot and all her back and forth who to trust stuff. I felt that it dragged on too long.

I also felt very, very let down by the ending. It seemed rather anti-climatic to me. I read the last line and was kinda like, “Meh.” If there’s a sequel in the works, then the ending makes a bit more sense, I guess. But if this is a stand alone book it was an epic fail, in my opinion.

Despite me not being over the moon in love with the last part of the book, I think The Eternal Ones is kick ass. I haven’t read anything about reincarnation before so it was a brand spanking new aspect of paranormal for me. I also think that the whole overly religious family added a nice dynamic to the story and to Haven.

If you’re a fan of paranormal YA, tales of reincarnation, mystery or love, then I think you should give The Eternal Ones a go.


9 Responses to “Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller”

  1. Kimberly Walsh September 17, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    Hello Colleen,

    It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week and I get the fun job of telling you that we’d like to send you a copy of My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares because of the lovely work that you do. Could you get in touch with me at the e-mail address I’ve included?

    Associate Producer, CBC Book Club

    • lavenderlines September 17, 2010 at 9:14 am #

      Ah, that’s so nice! I’ll email you my address. :0)

  2. amymckie September 17, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Hmm… yeah, I was meh about the book, and still am meh about the book. Maybe some day. For now, my tbr pile overfloweth with other gems 😉

    • lavenderlines September 17, 2010 at 9:38 am #

      Yeah, now that I’ve finished it I would still recommend it, but not as adamantly as I have others.

  3. Steph September 17, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Interesting review! You start off all hugely excited and then become deflated by the end. So I was all hugely excited, thinking, Shit! I put this book on prominent display at the store and we have only one copy and it will be gone by the time I get there on Monday…and then your tone changed. And there’s nothing at all bad about that; in fact, I loved it. I like hearing that a reader was disenchanted or bothered by something because reading raving all the time isn’t what I want. I loved this review in general because it seemed to flow out of you easily, naturally.

    Even though you still enjoyed the book, in the end, I *might* read it. I won’t go out and buy it right now (tons anyway to get through) but I won’t write it off completely. The subject matter totally interests me, but at the moment a book with such flaws as you detailed isn’t going to be a priority among such excellent other candidates!

    • lavenderlines September 17, 2010 at 9:38 am #

      Ah, thanks Steph! I know as I was reading I was twitting how freaking amazing it was. Then it kinda just fizzled out. Like I said in the review I’d still recommend it, but the ending let me down big time.

  4. Steph September 17, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Amy, ditto! 🙂

  5. Kirstin September 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    I’ve ordered it! Thanks for yet another good recommendation.

    • lavenderlines September 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

      My pleasure! That’s what I’m here for. 🙂

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