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.
Immortal Beloved — (2010-2012) Young Adult. Publisher: Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something’s got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past. Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe — until the night she learns that someone wants her dead. Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy…