Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan
So I read the first book, Immortal Beloved recently and finally managed to get my hands on Darkness Falls, the sequel. Sadly, if you have not read the first book and would like it to not be spoiled, I would strongly recommend not reading this post and reading Immortal Beloved. If you would like to read Darkness Falls, I'll let you know when I slip into spoiler land and to stop reading.
So in Immortal Beloved we kind of witnessed our main character Nastasya learning how to become a better immortal. To understand the value of her own life, to start dealing with the past up until now, and slowly begin to unravel the origins of herself (who her family was truly and what not). We witnessed her leave her group of immortal friends behind after Incy crippled a cabbie driver for life.
In Darkness Falls it starts with Nastasya living at River's Edge and working hard on dealing with her own emotions and the trauma that she has gone through for her entire life. All 459 years of it. We learn more about what she remembers of her family and also what she can deduce. We begin to see more of her memories, but in a different light. She begins to remember and draw greater truths. It's a little neat to see her gain perspective.
In the beginning of the book she struggles with her own self worth, and discovers more about the immortals that are her teachers and how they have come to cope with their own violent histories. She also tries her best at dabbling in the lives of the mortals she's come into contact with but seems to make the situations worse in the long run. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Nastasya gets to participate in the New Years celebration at River's Edge and participates in a big magic circle in which the immortals feel a sense of elation and completion while also making a magical new year's revolution to let something go. Nastasya struggles to find something to give up, but when it is her turn, she gives up her darkness. It's a big commitment on her part as she views almost all aspects of her life as atrocious. She has made a choice to begin to understand herself and become a better being, and yet she is very caught up in her own traumatic past to give the present too much thought.
We're going to SPOILER LAND. Stop reading if you do not wish for the book to be spoiled.
Now, Nastasya knows something truly WEIRD is going on with Incy and the friends that she left behind. She's had a lot of horrific visions of Incy being insane and murdering her friends. She also begins to have a lot of 'bad luck' which horrifies her as she has determined that she is bringing down bad luck upon River's Edge and basically runs for it. She becomes so caught up in her determination that she is evil, she forgets to look for good. She runs far into the woods, and would you believe it? Straight into Incy.
Sadly enough, Darkness Falls seems to have fallen into the inevitable 'I am a woman, what?' trap. The girl narrator becomes too wrapped up in her own problems, that she fails to understand what is transpiring in her world around and gets this horrible case of TOO DUMB TO LIVE. Nastasya fooled me for a long time since her attitude and commentary about her life scenario distracted me from noticing that she was too dumb to live. She managed to get me to believe that she was learning, and Nastasya probably was learning, but just not in the right environment. Nastasya seemed to have developed this streak of way too damn stubborn to listen as she was so adamant that was evil. It got a little annoying to read the book after Incy sweeps her away since I knew the other shoe was going to drop at any moment. She stated too much how she USED to be like that, how her past self COULD be best friends with Incy, but now she just couldn't. How River had gotten to see right and wrong, and now that she could, she couldn't ignore it.
In the end, the entire book seemed to scream at me WAH WAH WAH MY PROBLEMS without enough character growth to carry it through. I finished it and the entire time I wanted more of her interacting with more people at River's Edge. All of the wonderful characters we were hinted towards and introduced to in the first book, they just kind of fell away. Reyn was there, but he wasn't the presence he should have been. He distinctly became, 'Distracting must hate you but WANT YOU IN EVERY WAY' man.
I don't think I can recommend reading the sequel at this point, but as it is a trilogy, I am curious to see if she can redeem herself in the third book.
There was a bit more that touched on the magic of the Immortals, but it didn't go anywhere concrete. It was left as this ambiguous idea that only the immortal could make the magic that they wanted to and since Nastasya didn't have a clue and would only like to learn more, the reader also doesn't get to know AT ALL. I mean, there was an attitude that 'if all else fails, you can try to wing it' with the magic in the end. Or it could have been desperation. I don't know. I just wasn't impressed with the book.