Author: Kirsten Miller | Pages: 411 | Series: Eternal Ones Duology, #1 | Rating: 2 stars
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 really, really wanted to like this book. The idea of reincarnation is one that intrigues me, and despite the mixed reviews it’s gotten I decided to give it a try. Form my own opinions.
I would like to take this time to state that I do believe this is a book that certain people might enjoy, depending on their tastes. Unfortunately, there were just too many things that bothered me personally to make it a book for me.
Mild spoilers ahead, but nothing that will give away anything important.
The Romance: I’m pretty sure that Miller wrote this under the impression that Iain Morrow was some spectacularly romantic love interest, but the romance fell very flat for me. Despite the fact that the reincarnation factor meant that it wasn’t technically insta-love, it felt very much like it. These two had supposedly been finding each other over and over again in different lifetimes, but we never got any indication of why they kept falling in love. We really didn’t get to know Iain at all.
The Characters: This is where I really had the most of my issues with this book. I found it incredibly hard to connect to either of the main characters, and the majority of the book I either wanted to strangle them or punch them in the face. Haven I found to be a weak-willed heroine who changed her mind every time she spoke to someone else, and never really seemed to form any opinions of her own. One minute she was convinced Iain was a horrible murderer, and the next she was all apologetic and believed he truly loved her and was innocent. Make up your mind, girl!
And then there was Iain himself. He was the very stereotypical tall, dark, and handsome boy who was super rich and had secrets the heroine couldn’t know about in order to protect her. I really just wanted to punch him in the face for most of the book. What I believe the reader was supposed to find romantic, I found controlling. And despite the fact that Haven would occasionally pretend like she wasn’t going to put up with it, she always went along with him in the end.
Another thing that really bothered me is that it felt as if the author believed that the girl should give in to sex because the boy can’t wait. While Iain technically stopped when asked, it still felt like there was some pressure there. Haven actually mentioned once that “She could tell from the way Iain stared at her that he wasn’t going to wait much longer.” Excuse me? What exactly is he going to do about it? If he forces you into it, it’s rape, and you send his ass to jail. If he leaves and or pouts about it, he’s not worth sticking with in the first place. If he is not saying no, he doesn’t get a say in when it happens. The boy is not going to die if he doesn’t get sex, no matter what he says. It’s not your responsibility to have sex if you’re not comfortable with it just to satisfy him.
The Plot: The plot I found to be the book’s strongest point. While there were still a number of plot points that I guessed chapters before the characters, there was enough mystery and intrigue to keep me reading, mostly interested, and wondering what would happen next. As I mentioned before, the idea of reincarnation is one that I find interesting and for the most part I enjoyed the roles it played in the story.
Overall Impression: I found this book interesting enough for the plot and a few other minor elements, but as I am very much a character-driven reader the story itself just didn’t really come together for me.