Monday, August 9, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

As a child, Haven Moore used to talk about a boy named Ethan. She once packed up all her dolls in the middle of the night to run away to New York. Haven's father knew something was different about his daughter, so he contacted the Ouroboros Society. They are an organization that deals with individuals who have memories and talents left over from previous lives. Deja vu, love at first sight, even special skills, all of this can be explained by reincarnation. Because of this contact, the plot of the book actually starts.

At the beginning of the book, 17-year-old Haven Moore has a pretty sucky life, even for a teenager from a small Southern town. She is under the guardianship of her super-religious grandmother, Imogene. Her father died several years earlier in a devastating car accident. Her mother, Mae, relinquished custody after a brief stay at a mental institution following her husband's death.

Haven plans to leave their small town of Snope City for New York to go to the Fashion Institute. Then her visions come back, visions of herself in a different life with a boy named Ethan. Because of the visions, Imogene decides to keep Haven at home. Haven also has to take up counseling with Dr. Tidmore, the town's reverend. After a particularly bad vision and violent reaction, Dr. Tidmore stops his sessions. Then things get even worse. During a sermon, Tidmore invites Haven and her gay best friend Beau and calls them both the Devil. Practically the entire town turns on Haven.

One day, Haven sees a picture of Iain Morrow. Iain inherited a lot of money from his parents and is being hounded by paparazzi for his alleged involvement in the disappearance and suspected murder of rock star Jeremy Johns. Haven immediately realizes that Iain Morrow is the current incarnation of Ethan Evans. After the town turns against her, Haven finally takes the initiative and runs away to New York. She plans to contact the Ouroboros Society once she gets there and use them to help her meet Ethan/Iain. Once there, however, she encounters Iain, he recognizes her, and before you know it, they are off to Rome. Still, can Haven trust Iain? He may have killed Jeremy Johns, and as Ethan, may have once killed Haven.

In their past life, Haven was named Constance Whitman. In Rome, she fell in love with a boy named Ethan. He was poor and unsuitable, but she was determined to marry him anyways. They both belonged to the Ouroboros Society, which was led by Dr. August Strickland at the time. Strickland died and surprisingly left a good deal of money to Ethan. Because of that, Ethan was suspected of killing Strickland. Constance also worried that he was cheating on her with another Society member named Rebecca. The pair later died together in a fire at Constance's house, one that Haven thinks might have been set by Ethan.

Honestly, the back and forth Haven does gets tiresome. (Can I trust him? I can't trust him! Oh, that explains it, now I trust him again! Wait, can I trust him?!? Lather, rinse, repeat.) In the end, The Eternal Ones was incredibly addictive. There was a lot of romance, but also suspense from the intrigue of a secret society and its creepy gray men lackeys. It was predictable, but teen literature is hardly Shakespeare. It's pretty good for what it is.

P.S. Thank you to Razorbill and Penguin Group for sending the advanced reader copy of The Eternal Ones to my Barnes & Noble store. Also thank you to my coworkers for being to slow in getting this and the other books I managed to grab for my Cannonball Read blog.

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