Sunday, July 31, 2011

Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

Natasya has been at River's Edge, a rehabilitation farm for gods and goddesses gone bad, for two months now. Natasya wants to leave behind her over four hundred years of darkness, but she's afraid she can't. What if her darkness is just part of her, and no matter how hard she tries she can never be rid of it? She's also confused about her feelings for Reyn. Reyn's family is the reason that Natasya has no family, and her family is the reason Reyn has no family, so why do they feel so drawn to each other? When Natasya runs away from River's Edge and is back living the high life with her immortal friends, she at first thinks she made a mistake ever leaving. They're not so bad at all! But something is going on with her best friend Incy, and it could mean Natasya's life is in danger.

So much to my surprise, I really liked this! Despite the fact it was another book about gods and goddesses living amongst us and a romance where they're drawn together for seemingly no particular reason, Cate Tiernan created a really interesting world and a very endearing character voice in Natasya.

This is actually second in a series (I think it's going to be a trilogy), and the first one was called Immortal Beloved. I actually didn't feel like I missed a whole lot by coming in on the second book. I felt like this one could stand by itself quite nicely. There were some things that were left up in the air, which I assume will be fleshed out in the third book, for the most part it was fairly self-contained.

I really liked the world of immortals and the way magick was explained. The immortals have lots of power, but most of them have no idea how to use it. So Natasya and her non River's Edge friends have spent an eternity partying and drinking and taking advantage of people and trying it figure out ways to get money so they can keep partying and drinking and buying fancy clothes. They don't know how to use their potential power. That was a really interesting twist. At River's Edge, Natasya is learning how to use her power, but she's kind of scared of it because she's afraid she's inherently dark, like her family was.

It is possible to steal another immortal's power by killing them, which is why a lot of immortals currently don't have any family because back in the day it was common place to kill others and take their power. The reason that Natasya is at River's Edge is because she became afraid of her old friends, especially her best friend Innocencio and his cruelty. When she ends up back with him, she's confused because he seems so much better. Maybe she was wrong to run away. Then Natasya realizes that Incy has learned how to use his powers and is planning on stealing their other immortal friend's powers, and possibly her own.

There was also the romance aspect between Natasya and Reyn, who have feelings for each other but Natasya is scared. She's scared, first of all, of getting close to anyone, and she can't forget the Reyn's family killed her family four hundred years ago (and her family killed his). Despite the fact that Reyn has changed, Natasya can't forget and pushes him away. So that added some interest to the romance. The romance also wasn't the main focus of this book. It sounds like the first book in the series was more focused on that.

So over all, this was a different spin on a supernatural romance. It was much more thought out, with a really interesting world and history for the characters, and Natasya was a very amusing narrator, despite all the bad stuff that's happening to her.

Darkness Falls will be available September 15.

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