Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Eternal Ones ~ Kirsten Miller review

The Eternal Ones
August 10, 2010
416 pages
Buy @ Amazon.com

For as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Haven Moore has had 'visions' of the past. During her fainting spells she not only loses consciousness, but also sees events from the past, of her being girl named Constance and with a boy named Ethan.

In elementary school, Haven made the mistake of telling someone about Ethan and since then she's been the outcast of little Snope City, Tennessee. A senior in high school now, Haven, still plagued by her visions, has made it through by creating a dress making business with her gay best friend, the hunky football player Beau.

She's kept her visions a secret, though, as her uber religious grandmother (Haven's guardian) thinks they're demonic.

When Haven's grandmother takes away the promise of Haven leaving Snope City for college in a few short months and really brings on the hellfire and brimstone, Haven knows she has to act. After seeing a young man named Iain Morrow on television and in numerous gossip magazines, making an immediate connection and reading about the Ouroboros Society, both in New York--and them connecting some of her statements and drawings when she was younger, Haven knows she has to get away from Snope City. And to New York City.

What awaits her there is just about anybodies guess.

The Eternal Ones is so much more than a tale of love at first sight or reincarnation or just another paranormal love story; it's a mystery, a thriller, and a romance all rolled together.

The mixture of the Southern, fire and brimstone religion that works its way into the story is really well done. It's not just some random bit of church thrown in to counteract the 'other' of the paranormal but a part of the characters and an integral part of the story that also makes it markedly more interesting without ever actually mocking anyone.

The Ouroboros Society was also much more well developed that I had thought it was going to be. I will admit that I went into reading this book thinking it was going to be something like "Haven discovers she's been reincarnated, finds out who her love is in this life, finds him voila." Obviously with some trouble mixed in there somewhere, but nothing like the book I read. There was much more to this on all fronts and I loved it for that. The Ouroboros Society played into that 'much more' very well. The closest thing I can thing to describe it to is probably Scientology for the Reincarnated. It's the organization, housed in NYC, where people that believe they've had past lives go. Much, much more about it is unveiled as the story progresses.

Beau and Haven were great characters to start the story. Having a gay best friend for the Southern girl could have been cliched, but it wasn't because Beau was a very well developed character. He was his own part of the story and unique as well as very important to the plot. I loved the interaction between Beau and Haven and almost wished there would have been more between the two of them.

Haven was a great main character. She wasn't wimpy or passive, but she also wasn't Miss Super Tough Girl who didn't need anyone at all and could figure everything out on her own. Kirsten Miller reached a nice middle ground with her that made Haven real and the reading about her very enjoyable.

As crazy as her family was, they were also realistic. I felt bad for Haven having to deal with them, but they provided a very believable motivation and background for her.

The rest of the characters were ambiguous enough to leave things confusing when they needed to be confusing, but believable when they needed to be believed and accepted.

With Haven leaving her grandmother's good versus evil behind, she finds herself faced with a whole new battle over what (and who) is good and who, just might be, evil. And whether she'll ever be able to tell the difference.

10/10 (big, bold, shiny, balloon decorated '10's)

(thank you to Penguin for this ARC)

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