Darkness Falls: Can’t wait to see what happens next

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Cate Tiernan Immortal Beloved 2. Darkness FallsDarkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

Darkness Falls is the second in Cate Tiernan’s IMMORTAL BELOVED trilogy. In Immortal Beloved, the first book, we met Nastasya, a burned-out immortal seeking enlightenment and redemption at the pastoral River’s Edge community. Darkness Falls continues her story, and book three will be titled Immortal Light.

Darkness Falls has the polar opposite of middle-book syndrome. Nastasya has a fantastic character arc here. She went through a huge amount of growth in Immortal Beloved, but all of that is tested in this book. Nastasya and River’s Edge suffer a spate of ill luck, and she begins to think she is inherently, irredeemably evil and has unwittingly corrupted River’s Edge with her darkness.

Just when she’s feeling lowest, temptation beckons. Her old friend Incy returns, and doesn’t seem quite so bad to Nastasya anymore. He offers a return to the life of mindless luxury and debauchery that she once enjoyed with him and their friends. Oblivion has its allure, when compared to painful psychological work. But she’s not quite the same as she was before River’s Edge, and something seems… off.

Through all her epiphanies and setbacks, Nastasya goes through a huge amount of character development in Darkness Falls, and the plot is scary and emotionally compelling. I liked the Nastasya/Reyn romance better this time too. By the end, Tiernan had me rooting for them as a couple. Reyn — terrible past and all — makes a great foil for Incy in that Reyn, unlike Incy, is trying to become a better man.

The focal point here isn’t really the romance, though, but Nastasya’s journey as she strives to shed her selfishness and find her own personal power. Then, near the book’s end, Tiernan gives us a tantalizing hint of a shadowy villain on the horizon, one that Nastasya has never even heard of before but who may be affecting the lives of all immortals. I can’t wait to see what happens in Immortal Light.


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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