THE ETERNAL ONES by Kirsten Miller [Review]
After reading My Name is Memory (which I LOVED), I was eager to read another book about reincarnation, so I picked up The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller. It’s about 17-year-old Haven, a girl in the mountains of Tennessee who has visions of a previous life in New York City. In the flashbacks, she is a woman named Constance. The visions always revolve around Ethan, and she’s pretty sure they were in love, though there is some evidence to the contrary. When Haven sees handsome playboy Iain Morrow on TV, she is certain that he’s Ethan and she must go to NYC to find him. The problem is that Haven’s grandmother, a mean, self-righteous old lady, wants to lock Haven in the house until she’s 18 in order to protect her virtue. Grandma and the rest of her small town think Haven’s visions are the work of the devil. They’ve ostracized poor Haven along with her gay BFF, Beau, for being different. But if Haven wants to unlock the secrets of her past, she’ll have to find a way to make it to NYC.
It’s funny, I think I would have liked The Eternal Ones a lot more if I hadn’t just read My Name is Memory. But coming off the best reincarnation novel I’ve ever read, I feel like The Eternal Ones just didn’t quite live up. I wanted the love story between Constance and Ethan to be epic, but it wasn’t at all. We only saw little snippets of their life immediately preceding this one (though their history goes back a lot longer), and for most of the book it’s unclear if Ethan/Iain can be trusted.
And that leads me to my biggest complaint…Haven’s non-stop waffling. When the book starts, Haven is really sympathetic as the victim of her grandmother and town’s small mindedness. She seemed like a really strong character, but as the story goes on she flip-flops so much I couldn’t keep up. She’d talk to someone and they would tell her one thing and then someone else would tell her the opposite and she’d change her mind, and on and on and on. It was annoying and hard to believe someone could be that gullible and clueless. It’s a shame too because I really like her character at the beginning of the book.
The Eternal Ones is a Young Adult book, so it’s aimed at a younger audience than My Name is Memory. That’s probably why it’s more focused on the theme of fitting in/being different. It delves into some religious aspects of reincarnation, but mostly this is just a way to show Haven is different from the rest of her small town. I liked the message Miller was sending—it’s okay to be different, the church doesn’t have all the answers—but I eventually I started to get a little bored with this storyline.
Clearly, I didn’t love The Eternal Ones. The thing is, it has all the makings of an awesome book—”immortal” characters, a love story with the potential to be epic, a secret society—and it did keep me up reading half the night. So it’s not all bad, and maybe the sequel will be better.
Quotes from The Eternal Ones:
My faith is big enough to accept all of God’s wonders.
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.
Check out the book trailer for The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Razorbill | Pages: 416 | Source: Library | Buy on Amazon
Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons