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411 pages, Hardcover
First published August 1, 2010
All the most powerful emotions come from chaos —fear, anger, love— especially love. Love is chaos itself. Think about it! Love makes no sense. It shakes you up and spins you around. And then, eventually, it falls apart. - Adam Rosier
The basic idea behind The Eternal Ones is what would you do for your soul mate? What would you sacrifice? How much would you be willing to believe? It is a romance/ murder mystery mixed with reincarnation. The story runs in two-time frames. Haven Moore and Iian Morrow's arc is set in contemporary Tennessee and New York City. This contrasts with the arc of Constance Whitman and Ethan Evans, set in the 1920s. The story is told entirely through Haven and Constance's perspectives, with Constance's being told through italicised flashback. It follows Haven as she unravelled what transpired in the 1920s, why she died so young, who killed who and who Iain/Ethan is. All while stumbling into other people from their past and being entirely unsure of how much trust to put in her heart, mind and memories.
From the time 17-year-old Haven Moore was a small child she has been getting flashes of memories not her own. Memories of the life of a young woman living in New York City called Constance, her strongest sensations in these memories surround Constance's lover Ethan. These memories come both as dreams and during fainting spells. Living in a small town in Tennessee this has seen her ostracised as possessed by the devil, not least of all by her own grandmother. While Haven is only getting snatches of her life as Constance, Iain remembers not only his life as Ethan but virtually every life he has lived for the last couple of thousand years. All of them involve Haven/Constance, theirs is a great love, an addiction. In order to get Haven's attention in this life, Iain is living life in the fast lane. Fast cars, fast women you know the shtick. Now he's under suspicion for murder after an acquaintance died. They are an opposites attract couple where the disparity is not really an issue or noted due to the uniqueness of their situation.
My opinion of this book is that it could have been better. There were some twists that I didn't predict. But knowing that Iain remembers basically their whole histories some more stories of their pasts would have been appreciated. We are left with some unanswered questions at the end largely about one character. Some of the support cast are just sort of ignored at the end, as YA as it sounds I wanted to see what happened to some of the good guys (because I am almost certain this book was intended as a once off). That isn't to say I didn't enjoy it, I did or I wouldn't be giving it 4 stars. I just feel like there were marked places for improvement. I did like the way the story unfolded, revealing the stories of Haven, Constance, Iain and Ethan throughout the book rather than in chunks. With 67 chapters over 411 pages, the chapters are really short too. It's possibly a great book for travel reading able to be picked up and put down with ease (but it does also lend itself to just one more a lot too).
This is not a book to read if you do not believe at all in reincarnation, the theory is integral to the story. There is no discernible theological reasoning attached to Miller's lore, she runs with what she says. Due to the reincarnation, this is not a book I can see myself recommending people. Reincarnation is antithetical to multiple religions and divisive among atheists and agnostics.
My reading experience in a gif: