Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan (second in the trilogy)

Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan starts off two months into Nastasya's stay at Rivers Edge, a sort of rehabilitation home for wayward immortals.  Nas has overcome some major obstacles and she is starting to allow herself to get close to all of those around her when things start to go horribly wrong.

The more Nas discovers about herself at Rivers Edge, the more she starts fearing that she is a child of dark magick and that she is the cause of everything that is going wrong.  Nas starts pulling away from everyone and after one horrific evening she ultimately runs away from Rivers Edge. 

While in the middle of the woods surrounding the farm, who should come upon Nas but her old friend Incy, the immortal she came to Rivers Edge to get away from in the first place.  Not only that, she has been having recurring nightmares about him recently, but Incy is being so sweet and kind, she begins to second guess her reasoning for running away from him in the first place and leaves with him.

Nastasya is happy to be living a luxurious life full of fun, fabulous clothes and gourmet food with Incy, especially after spending months at the farm doing menial tasks and only eating what they harvested.  Underlying all of this though is her nagging suspicion that maybe she should have stayed at Rivers Edge.  Her thoughts keep going back to River and Reyn, but she brushes it all aside talking herself into believing in Incy.

Big mistake!  I couldn't put this book down - I kept thinking Run Girl!!  I am telling you - read Immortal Beloved and pre-order Darkness Falls, which I give a rating of five out of five!

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

I read Immortal Beloved last year, and fell in love with Nastasya and the wonderful way in which Cate Tiernan wrote her, piece by piece, allowing you to learn about Nastasya as she was learning about herself.

Nastasya, Nas to her friends, is an immortal born in 1551 who realizes that the friends she has spent the last hundred years or so with aren't healthy for her anymore.  She knows she needs to get away from them when she remembers River, another immortal she met 80 years ago who had invited her to come to Rivers Edge, her home in Massachusettes.   Nas knew she couldn't just tell her friend Innocencio (Incy) that she was leaving, so she sneaks away to Rivers Edge, which ends up being a rehabilitation farm for immortals.

Nas really doesn't want to be there, but her life was tumbling out of control and she really does want help.  The first person she meets when she gets to Rivers Edge is Reyn, and I love her first impression of him, "A Viking god had tapped on my window, was looking at me with concern—or suspicion. His golden handsomeness was breathtaking, as if a mythical figure had come to life, had warm blood flowing through his veins." (Yikes - we all should be so lucky to have someone that gorgeous tapping on our windows!)

While at Rivers Edge Nas takes lessons in magick and learns more about herself than she probably ever wanted to.  She also discovers that she and Reyn have a connection that goes back to her childhood before she ever knew she was an immortal.  Needless to say that connection isn't cause for a joyful reunion.

Immortal Beloved is a book filled with suspense and you never know what might befall Nas and whether the catastrophies that await her are coming from within her or from an outside force.  Nas is flawed, but you root for her nontheless.  Definitely give this book a four out of five ranking!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I actually bought The Magicians by Lev Grossman after reading a review of the second book in the series, The Magician King, which received a lot of praise.  First let me say, I hate it when book reviewers compare one authors work with another, so I was almost turned off by reviews that compared Mr. Grossman's books to Harry Potter.  I understand what they are trying to get across to readers when they say that The Magicians and The Magician King are Harry Potter for adults, but hey - most adults who enjoy the genre loved the Harry Potter series.  I guess what I am trying to say is, comparing Mr. Grossman's books to J.K. Rowling's books doesn't do him any justice because, so far, The Magicians stands on it's own.

Mr. Grossman has created a very interesting world for Quentin Coldwater, a young man who never really felt like he fit in anywhere, even in his parents' home.  His one escape from his mundane life are the books about the enchanted world of Fillory that he grew up reading.

As Quentin is trying to transition himself from high school to college, he unexpectedly gets accepted into Brakebills Academy, where he will be educated in magic.  For the first time in his life he feels as if he might fit in, making friends and falling in love.  Unfortunately, over the course of his five years at Brakebills, Quentin continues to feel as if he doesn't belong anywhere and when he and his friends find out that Fillory actually exists.. things change forever.

I don't want to give too much away.  Just trust that The Magicians stands on it's own.  Mr. Grossman doesn't try to write like J.K. Rowling (a question my sister asked me) and the world he has created is new and exciting.  I can't wait to read The Magician King.  If I were to give a rating to this book - I'd give it a four out of Five!