“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: The sequel wraps up loose ends from Immortal Beloved with humor, action, and more swoony romance with our favorite Viking God.
Opening Sentence: ”I want you.”
The novel’s first line, “I want you.” comes from Reyn, so believe me when I say he has you swooning from page one. Nastasya is still at River’s Edge, learning Tähti magic and clean living and hiding from her not-so-BFF Innocencio. She’s still a smart-a$$ immortal with huge insecurities, but we see even more growth in Darkness Falls than we did in Immortal Beloved. Tiernan thrives on character-driven novels, which means as the reader you form a close relationship with the narrator, faster than you expect to.
In this novel there are a lot more flashbacks to Nasty’s past lives in Iceland and Norway and Tahiti and a million other places. They show a lot of horrible things, tell us a lot about Nas’s character and how she survived on her own, but every time we get to one the present-day the plotline stops cold. It makes for a slow read, but our sarcastic and hilarious heroine carries the story along with self-deprecating aplomb. Of course, she also has her share of embarrassing moments and unfortunately, because it’s written in first-person and you love Nasty, you get to feel her mortification close and personal.
Nastasya begins to suspect Incy knows where she is. Either that, or someone at River’s Edge has it out for her. With danger coming in unexpected turns, Nas tries hard to keep the others out of it. Of course, Reyn doesn’t like being pushed to the sidelines and their relationship suffers for it. Oh beautiful angst! As per Immortal Beloved, the romance subplot is a SUBplot, with Incy’s evil machinations taking the leading role. This is both nice, because it’s good to see girls with their priorities in order, and also so so disappointing. Reyn, in all his Butcher of Winter-Viking God glory, is sweet and strong and swoon-worthy. He doesn’t coddle Nas like some of the others, and he cuts through her self-centered recriminations when she needs it.
Incy has a much stronger role in Darkness Falls as more and more sinister things begin to creep into West Lowing. Finally, we get to see just how unstable Innocencio is without his BFF through Nas’s flashbacks and visions. The truth scares her and makes her feel stupid. How could she not notice what a monster her best friend was?
With Immortal Beloved we saw Nas’s introduction to River’s Edge and their lifestyle, but with Darkness Falls we see her really begin to accept her place there. This installment proves that Middle Bridge Book Syndrome can be avoided, and the story takes an interesting turn in Eternally Yours. We learn more about her power, her life, and get to see her make different—better—choices. Mostly.
Still, like with the first book, this sequel was a bit slow. It’s Tiernan’s writing and snarky narrator that carry the novel through the slow-bits. Nas’s story is heart-breaking and hilarious in turns (and at the same time). We wrap up most, if not all, of the loose ends from Immortal Beloved and Nas’s past opens up new questions about who and what she is. At the end of Darkness Falls, you’re left with the impression that things are only about to get more complicated for the immortals at River’s Edge.
“Why are you here?” I gestured largely, denoting “at River’s Edge” rather than “in the barn.” He blinked in surprise, and I could almost see him weighing the decision to tell me, what he should say, if anything.
He stepped into the stall and stood by the door. I was struck by the change in his demeanor—he was usually brash, cocky, charming; self-confident in the way that an incredibly handsome man can be. He opened his mouth to say something—raised his hand, then let it fall.
I polished a saddle very quietly, my eyes locked on him. This ought to be good.
His fingers plucked the fabric of the Italian wool trousers he had chosen to muck out the barn in. “I…” he said, looking at the ceiling, the floor. “I have…”
I held my breath. Cheerful, lovely Brynne had tried to set someone on fire, so I couldn’t imagine what had brought Lorenz here.
“I have two hundred and thirty-five children,” he said, and I almost fell over.
FTC Advisory: Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Darkness Falls. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”