04 January 2011

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller–2/5

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.

  • I’ve been excited to read this book for forever and that’s why it was even more disappointing when I couldn’t get into it—and was sorely tempted to throw it across the room as I got farther and farther into it.  I know a lot of people have really enjoyed this book, but I am not one of them.  I got nearly 200 pages in, cut somewhere in the back and basically got the whole story.
  • There were two things that really ate at me.  The writing and the characters.
  • The writing:
    • One of the first things that struck out at me were the poor scene changes.  There would be a break in the story when there was no need for it.  It was if it were meant to show transition when really, no time had passed.  It was distracting and reflected poorly on the story.
    • Then, as I continued reading, I started getting frustrated by the poor execution of “show, don’t tell”.  I could go through and point out several sentences/passages that could have been presented much more effectively by merely changing it so it came straight from the character and not as if it were a retelling.  Due to this, there was a complete lack of personality in the style.  It was plain and didn’t pull any emotion out of me, except frustration.
  • The characters:
    • Most of my enjoyment comes from characters.  If the characters flop, most of the story does as well.  Which makes sense, since the characters are the ones who carry out the story.  No characters, no story.
    • There was, once again, the archetype god-like hero and the plain heroine.  Please, God, give us something else.  I am just downright sick and tired of reading through the same character over and over again.  Also, the social rival was far too cliché.  There are nasty people out there, but I don’t want the Disney channel mean girls.  (They make me laugh…kinda counterproductive, yes?)
    • Haven might have turned out to be a decent character if she’d just stayed consistent.  She had some good lines, but they flopped afterwards because she didn’t have the personality to make her reaction credible.  She was also very selfish and her lack of perception just made me want to scream!  Half of her actions just defied common sense.  She also seemed a bit dim-witted.  Most of the time I was going, “No, really?!”
    • I think Beau was the realest.  He showed the most personality and I really took a liking to his character.  Though, I wasn’t really taken with Beau and Haven’s friendship.  It didn’t seem real, credible, convincing…whichever word you want to use.
    • Iain was pathetic.  Not taken with him in the slightest.  He was too cardstock without any flair or personality at all.  I went about four chapters with his character and just started rolling my eyes.
  • The plot:
    • As I said before, I got 200 pages in, skipped around in the back and not only felt as if I’d gotten the whole story in a pinch, but I was uninspired to continue.  I like it when, in series, you can pick up any book without having to start with book 1 but not in a book itself.  I shouldn’t be able to cut in midway and know everything that’s going on.
  • Overall, I was sorely disappointed. 

(I have an ARC of this book which is subject to change.  As I do not have a finished copy, this small passage might have changed.)

This was the one line that actually made me laugh.

ARC Edition, page 92:
At last, Imogene appeared convinced.  “And what exactly were you two doing outside on the lawn at nine P.M.?” 
“Oh, hell, Imogene, you might as well know.  We were out there summoning Satan.” 
The old lady’s eyes bulged as if she were being strangled.  “That is not funny, Haven Moore.” 
“Who said I was joking?”
Book Info:
  • pages – hardcover, 416
  • published – August 2010
  • publisher – Razorbill
  • genre – urban fantasy
  • received via – awesome blogger friend ;)