Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

The Eternal OnesFrom the Back Cover:

     "So how does it work?" Haven asked. "How do people find each other again?"
     "All I know is that we're drawn to the people we've loved before."
     "And do we find each other in every life?"
     The sorrow on Iain's face gave her a sense of how little she knew. "I look for you in every life, but I don't always find you. And sometimes I find you too late."

Haven Moore is a high school senior in small-town Tennessee who has suffered most of her life from visions of a strange man named Ethan and an overwhelming sense of urgency to get to New York City. Her mother and grandmother have tried to suppress these visions, consulting doctors and clergymen in an effort to rid Haven of what some people think is a demonic possession. She's been shunned by most of the people in her small-minded town, with the notable exceptions of her best friend Beau, the town preacher, and a strange girl named Leah who's a member of a snake-wrangling church. Haven's managed to stave off the visions for a while but when she's watching a Hollywood gossip show on television and sees the face of wealthy young playboy Iain Morrow, the visions start again and with more intensity.

Haven's mother decides it's time she let Haven in on a little secret and gives her a box of notes and letters her late father made documenting Haven's insistence that a boy named Ethan was waiting for her in New York. Some of the incidents her father describes in these journals are really eerie and gave me goose bumps. She also discovers that he attempted to contact the Ourobouros Society, a mysterious organization that specializes in helping people who remember past lives, and this is where the real story begins.

The pace really picks up when Haven sneaks off to New York and meets Iain Morrow, who claims he is Ethan, the love of all of her lives. Haven remembers her life with Ethan, a life in which she herself was a woman named Constance. She remembers being deliriously happy, but she also remembers being suspicious of Ethan, and ultimately she remembers being murdered. Haven is torn as her memories battle with her instincts. Is Iain really Ethan? And if he is, is he her soulmate or her murderer? Add to that a few members of the Ourobouros Society who are determined to keep Constance and Ethan from reuniting, and Haven finds herself in the middle of a dangerous situation with no idea who she can really trust.

The story is intriguing and at times very suspenseful. I've always been interested in the idea of reincarnation and I think it could provide fodder for a great story. But this is the second one I've read this year and neither book has managed to pull it off. This one starts out kind of clunky then comes together and really grabs you and hurtles you along and then it kind of gets clunky again and when we finally find out who is behind the efforts to keep Haven and Iain apart, it just gets way too over the top without enough lead-up subplot and/or backstory to give that aspect of the plot the treatment it deserves. Thus it ends up coming across as unbelievable and over-dramatic. For me, anyway. I've seen quite a few rave reviews of this one, so it obviously works well for others! But not for me. I rate it this high only because there were about two hundred pages where it was very good and I couldn't put the book down, but in the end I was disappointed with the lack of depth and meaning.

Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

*Please note: This review references an advance copy received from the publisher, and therefore the final published copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.

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