Monday, August 22, 2011

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Title: The Eternal Ones
Author: Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Penguin/Razorbill
Release Date: August 10, 2010
Pages: 411 pages (hardback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it

Haven Moore has always lived in the tiny town of Snope City, Tennessee. But for as long as she can remember, Haven has experienced visions of a past life as a girl named Constance, whose love for a boy called Ethan ended in a fiery tragedy.

One day, the sight of notorious playboy Iain Morrow on television brings Haven to her knees. Haven flees to New York City to find Iain and there, she is swept up in an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Is Iain her beloved Ethan? Or is he her murderer in a past life? Haven asks the members of the powerful and mysterious Ouroboros Society to help her unlock the mysteries of reincarnation and discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves, before all is lost and the cycle begins again. But what is the Ouroboros Society? And how can Haven know who to trust?


So... The Eternal Ones. My feelings about it are complicated and I'm probably the last person you should be listening to about it. Too bad I'm going to babble about it anyways. The first part of this review is going to be all about me, me, me because the circumstances have a lot to do with my opinion of the book.

It was August 14, 2010, a Saturday. All four of my wisdom teeth had been removed a few days before and between rounds of eating vanilla pudding and downing disgusting pain medicine, I read. My schedule for the day was to go get my hair dyed (which took 2-3 hours) and visit Dad while he and his co-workers loaded furniture into their new office building (due to theft and construction workers who worked slower than dead slugs move, construction was completed a year behind schedule), then go home to down more disgusting pain medicine before the pain made me want to scream obscenities. The book I took to entertain me while my hair went auburn and we watched everyone load furniture into the new office? The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller.

The writing style was unclear and often confusing, but I excused this because Haven was so confused about her memories coming back to her and everything; I assumed the writing was purposely being made to mirror her confusion. Your mileage may vary. As little pieces of Haven's past were revealed to me and a mystery came together, I couldn't. Stop. Reading it. I started the book while getting my hair dyed and finished it later that night. I even suffered carsickness so I could read the book while The Lovely Mother drove!

While the book kept me interested, I was not blind to its flaws and still see them clearly. The characters are flat like the notebook paper I drafted this review on. Haven spent so much time in the revolving door of "I love Iain! He's good! I trust him!" "No, I don't trust Iain! He killed me once and wants to kill me again!" that it made me nauseous (or maybe that was because of the carsickness due to reading in a moving vehicle) and it surprised me she wasn't feeling sick too from all the back-and-forth. Iain? It suffices to say I wanted to put his penis and testicles through a wood chipper, right?

Haven and Iain's relationship was the worst point of the book without a doubt. Being in love in past lives does not mean you're in love in the present life. Personalities change and one doesn't know who the other is or what they're like in this life; what made them connect before might not be here this time. Their love was too instant by any standards and Iain didn't seem to care about Haven or trust her the way he should have if he really loved her. If he really trusted her, he would have told her everything. She could then have time to think it over and decide whether or not to trust him. There is no communication between them and this does not bode well.

Honestly, I think Haven pairs better with Beau than Iain or Adam. Sure, Beau is the token gay friend and will never be romantically or sexually attracted to Haven, but he seems to respect her, care about her, treat her well, and their interactions were some of the more decent parts of the book. You know what would have been a great twist to have in the book? If she had spent some of the lifetimes she didn't spend with Iain were spent married to or in love with Beau. He just happened to be gay in their newest lifetime and were friends instead of lovers.

So why am I giving this book four stars when it objectively deserves one or two? Nostalgia, my ducklings, nostalgia! (I'm not quite sure why I'm calling you readers ducklings. I think it has to do with the army of baby ducklings at the local pond. They're so adorable and fuzzy and I wish I could get a picture.) I know it will properly go down if I try to reread it. A lot of books aren't as good when reread and The Eternal Ones falls in there because knowing all the twists makes a book's flaws more obvious to me.

But here's the real fool in this situation: me. I bought the sequel All You Desire and I'll be reading it shortly. If I don't enjoy it, some unlucky reader gets my copies of The Eternal Ones and All You Desire. Want two pieces of free snarkbait? Start praying I hate the sequel (which I will probably do anyways, but I demand you waste your time if I have to waste mine).

4 stars!

What am I reading next?: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard