Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Haven Miller is a Tennessee girl, living in the town of Snope City. As far as she knows, she is nothing special, but one night on TV, she sees the Playboy Iain Morrow, and is suddenly struck with the knowledge that not only do they know each other, but that each of them have lived before and known each other before, and that they are meant to be together as lovers and loves.

For Haven, this is an entirely new feeling in her life. Or is it? For some reason, neither her mother nor her grandmother want to talk about these strange feelings she has been having. Her grandmother sees them as something from the Devil and is convinced that Haven must be cleansed of these strange new feelings and sensations if she is to be a Christian girl and go to heaven. Her mother, on the other hand, is convinced that Haven is going insane and sends for a Doctor, who also thinks that Haven is having some kind of psychotic break and prescribes medicines for her that Haven just doesn't want to take.

How can she convince them that what she feels is real and that she isn't going crazy? Haven isn't sure and starts to doubt it herself when she starts blacking out and nearly burns down her own house during a blackout. At school, the other kids start thinking she really is crazy and shun her, or tease her, because of it. The only one she can still talk to is Beau, her closest friend who has a secret of his own that could be deadly for him if it came out.

But then there are letters she finds that were written by her father that reveal that when she was young, he believed she had been reincarnated. That she remembered a life before, and that she wanted to get back to the man she loved. He wrote the letter to a place known as the Ouroboros Society, headquartered in New York City. Eventually, Beau convinces her that she should go there and see what information they can give her about her memories of past life and her feelings about Iain.

Escaping from her life in Snope City, she makes her way to New York, and finds that the Society does believe her, but that not everyone in the Ouroboros Society thinks it is all that great, and that some people are more crippled by their knowledge of their past lives than helped. She also meets Iain, and he recognizes her and wants her to stay with him forever. Unlike her, he can remember all of his past lives perfectly, and as she stays with him, she remembers more. But she also remembers that someone in her past life killed her, and it just might have been Iain. Someone wanted her all to himself forever. Someone wanted her enough to kill her when she tried to run away.

But Haven can't remember who that someone was, and she doesn't know if she can trust Iain now not to be the one who killed her, and she can't tell him for fear that he will kill her all over again, or lie to her about the past. And if she can't trust him, who can she trust, and can she figure out who her killer was before it happens all over again now?

This book plays on the feelings of Deja Vu that many people have. Haven gets a much more specific feeling about Iain, and the feeling that not only has she known him before, but been his lover. Since she can't have done that in her current life, being much too young, so therefore it had to have happened in a past life.

I found it rather amazing that someone who even lives in the South hasn't heard of past lives yet. I mean, I believed that the grandmother was enough of a religious fanatic that she thought Haven believing she was reborn was some kind of snare by the devil, but not some of the other characters. And the doctor? Well, that just dropped me out of the story at that point.

But the rest of the story was so well done that I found myself sinking back into believing it very quickly, although I did find another niggle over the ending. Why is it that the villain is always the person you never suspect and almost never hear about until the last third of the book? It's sometimes understandable, but also somewhat annoying, like the author is playing card tricks on the readers.

I found this an enjoyable book, with a few niggles that, in the end, didn't blunt my actual enjoyment of the story. It is enjoyable, and I'd be interested in reading more of the Eternal Characters, if more of them didn't seem to get mostly screwed over in the head by their memories than Iain and Haven did. Recommended.

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