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REVIEW: Eternal by V.K. Forrest

Dear Ms. Forrest,

Book CoverI don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that there are a lot of vampire series to be found in the paranormal subgenre. While there seems to be growing weariness about their prevalence, vampires have many loyal readers and as long as that continues, vampire books will continue getting published. But I also think that makes it more difficult for a new writer to stand out.

Fia Kahill is an FBI agent who happens to be a vampire. Fia comes from a vampire clan that fled Ireland a few centuries ago and founded the small American coastal town of Clare Point. When one of her relatives is killed, she’s called back to her hometown to find the murderer and learn if it’s a random act of violence or if vampire slayers have found them again. Fia’s task is further complicated by the arrival of another FBI agent, Glen Duncan, who’s also been assigned to the case. Because not only does Fia have to keep the existence of the Kahill vampires a secret from Glen, he’s the spitting image of her long-dead lover, Ian–the man who betrayed her, led a group of vampire slayers to slaughter the Kahills, and caused her clan to flee Ireland.

One thing I found different about your vampire mythos was that you introduced the cycle of death and rebirth. The Kahills age, grow old, and die. But their deaths are brief; after three days they are reborn and the cycle continues again, only broken by beheading or burning. It must be a reality check to relive childhood and puberty again and again, when the vampires neither have their memories or their powers. What wasn’t so clear to me was how the entire Kahills ended up vampires in the first place. Was it really just because God damned them for turning their backs on Him? I get the feeling there’s more to this story, because the Kahills can’t possibly have been the only clan who rejected God.

I feel conflicted about Fia. I think she’s an interesting character between her guilt over Ian and the way she tries to make amends for her mistake but always comes up short in the eyes of her relatives, but I also found it annoying the way she said she would stop hunting humans one minute and then go barhopping for prey the next. Her desire to hunt humans is likened to an addiction, but frankly she didn’t seem like she was trying very hard to break it. The book does best when it shows Fia interacting with her relatives in her hometown. I think anyone who’s ever moved to the city and then gone home again can empathize with Fia’s struggle to move into the future when your family remembers your past.

I will also be the first person to admit I am not a dedicated romance reader. I come at books from the fantasy and paranormal angle, so I might not be the best judge of whether a romantic storyline is believable or not. Still, I couldn’t help but feel that the romance between Fia and Glen was underdeveloped and rushed. When they meet, there’s an obvious attraction but because for much of the book, Glen is engaged to another woman and Fia barhops for prey, has a shapechanging friend with benefits, and deals with an ex-boyfriend, we see very little development between them as a couple until the last third.

And speaking of Fia’s ex-boyfriend Joseph, I felt that storyline was extraneous. In the beginning I thought his character brought good conflict to the story, but the resolution to that subplot was a letdown and felt like a cheat. Now I can’t help but think Joseph was just introduced here so that we, as readers, would be familiar with his backstory when he’d get his own book somewhere down the line.

In addition to a unresolved storyline regarding the murdered woman found in the alleyway at the beginning, this feels very much like a first book in a series. While there is no cliffhanger ending to disappoint readers expecting an HEA, I’m not sure the rest of it will be enough to keep them coming back for more. C+

My regards,
Jia

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

Jia is an avid reader who loves fantasy and young adult novels. She's also currently dipping her toes in the new adult genre but remains unconvinced by the prevalent need for traumatic pasts. Her favorite authors are Michelle West and Jacqueline Carey. YA authors whose works she's enjoyed include Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Ally Carter, and Megan Miranda. Jia's on a neverending quest for novels with diverse casts and multicultural settings. Feel free to email her with recommendations at [email protected]!

10 Comments

  1. Barbara B.
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 16:35:20

    Another vampire series in the making?

  2. Jia
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 17:26:50

    They just keep popping up, don’t they?

    To be fair, I think Forrest’s Clare Point series isn’t structured like Ward’s BDB and Adrian’s Breed series in that a different couple is the focus of each book. I could be wrong but I got the impression we’d be seeing more of Fia and Glen for another book or two and then we’d switch to another couple. At this point, it could go either way.

  3. Sylvia
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 22:18:17

    Hmmmm, the main character sound like one I’d hate. Oh, please don’t tell me it’s the cursed by God Vampire… I hate those. I always feel like I’m being preached too… God is punishing you yadda, yadda, ya.

  4. Jia
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 08:40:56

    Oh, please don't tell me it's the cursed by God Vampire…

    They touch on it in the beginning and at the end but otherwise, it’s just glossed over. And the Cursed by God Vampires can also make other people into vampires via the usual method. I thought that aspect of the worldbuilding was inconsistent and uninteresting myself.

  5. Judy
    Dec 06, 2007 @ 11:00:58

    I loved Eternal. It’s a cross between a thriller and a paranormal. I think Fia is a fantastic character. It’s true, this isn’t your average vampire novel. I think it goes beyond what readers expect. It’s very contemporary, and the author has done her research. I enjoyed every page, and I’m waiting for the next release. Judy

  6. Jia
    Dec 06, 2007 @ 11:38:24

    To be fair, I did think the thriller aspects were among the stronger aspects of the book and this is perhaps where genre expectations come into play. I suspect if I’d picked this up as a thriller rather than a paranormal romance, I would have had less complaints to make with regards to the romantic aspect. I probably still would have found that part rushed but I’d be more likely to let it slide. Something to think about, I suppose, what with the current discussion about romance and expecting quality.

  7. Christy Winegarden
    Feb 08, 2009 @ 01:18:34

    Dear Mrs. Forrest
    I was wondering if you are going to make another book of the clair point series. I really enjoyed the two books you wrote so far. As I read them I totally got into the story. I have to know what happens next. Please write more. Thank you
    your devoted reader Christy

  8. September 2009 Book Releases! « Book Obsessed – All Books All the Time
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 12:11:59

    […] not totally unheard of for the beginning of a series. Here is one review of this book from the blog Dear Author. Other reviews of both the first and second book in the series can be found at […]

  9. BeagreeAporia
    Nov 23, 2009 @ 14:58:47

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  10. LINDA B
    Aug 07, 2012 @ 13:55:56

    oh my what wonderful BOOKS!

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