Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2) by Cate Tiernan
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Released: September 13th 2012
Find it on Goodreads
Nastasya has spent the last 450 years in darkness and bad behaviour, changing her name and travelling from town to town to avoid the repercussions, fuelled by the desperate desire to run from her past and avoid her immortal destiny. But you can’t run forever, no matter how hard you try, and Nasty has been at River’s Edge, home for wayward Immortals, for the last couple of months, learning about herself, her past and trying to carve out a future. A difficult task in itself, but made all the harder by Reyn.
Reyn, the first person to stir Nasty’s heart in… a long time. Tall, gorgeous, nauseatingly attractive… and the Butcher of the North, responsible for pillaging and killing hundreds of people, and whose family is responsible for destroying Nastasya’s family. Yet he is the one Nasty wants, above anyone else. If only fate hadn’t intervened to make it impossible. But can she turn away from the one person who truly understands her, the one person she loves?
And as she learns more about her past, and her heritage, Nasty begins to question whether she can ever really break free of the darkness, if she was born with it, will she ever be able to escape? And if not, why should she even try? (from press release)
Paranormal. Fantasy. Contemporary. Historical. Weepies. Romance. Issue books. Mysteries. Suspense. Gothic. Horror. Science Fiction.
Aiiiieeeee! So many categories! What do they all mean? I didn’t really know, so I asked an editor. Her take was that Paranormal referred to a book that had certain elements, such as vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters, witches, magick, immortals, faeries, angels (fallen or otherwise), and ghosts. If a book was called Fantasy, it was set in a completely different world, whether that world was part of Earth or not (such as a secret faerie kingdom accessed through a cave, for example). Contemporaries are as they sound: set in current or recent times, having realistic characters and situations. Historicals are also as they sound: set in some period in the past (usually realistic and accurate and pertaining to our world).
“Weepies” are books where, whatever else is going on, the main focus is something tragic, like a main character dying. The main plot in Romances is getting two characters together, to have them fall in love and plan a future together. “Issue” books are books that explore a realistic and often difficult topic such as anorexia, abuse, etc. In Mysteries the main plot is that the characters are trying to solve a puzzle of some kind.
I can’t bring myself to read Suspense books, the way I can’t bring myself to watch super-suspenseful movies. They freak me out. I literally can’t stand the suspense. They’re books that are written to, well, build suspense, keep the reader on the edge of her seat, put the characters in perilous situations, and then boom! resolve everything and leave us trembling and wrung out.
Gothic and Horror are two different things. In Horror books, awful, scary things happen, they’re often quite visceral, and they’re supposed to scare the bejesus out of the reader. If you’re wondering, I can’t read Horror either, or see scary movies. I’ve never recovered from The Exorcist—I’m convinced it’s a documentary. It could all so easily happen to me. As a writer, I’m suggestible and have a rampant imagination. Horror is out.
Gothic is different in that it’s both scary and suspenseful, but not necessarily horrifying. It tends to have a certain dark, wistful mood. It’s hard to explain.
Science fiction is a genre that relies on science or technology, and is often set in the future, or on another planet.
And it is of course possible to have any combinations of categories—a Gothic Mystery, a Contemporary Suspense, a Historical Romance, a Paranormal Contemporary . . . any combo is possible. It’s enough to make anyone’s head hurt.
For the longest time, I thought I wrote “books.” That was as far as I categorized them. Just books with interesting characters and exciting things happening. Books about teenaged girls and their families and their powers. Then I found out I wrote Paranormal, because my books have witches and magick and/or immortals in them. I was like, I write Paranormal?
Are categories useful? I think so—it lets me cruise one or two aisles in the bookstore instead of going up and down each one. However in some ways categories and definitions are a drawback: I’m sure there are terrific books I haven’t read because in general I’m not crazy about the category they fall into. And I’ve read a lot of mediocre books because they did fall into one of my favorite categories.
Likewise, I’m sure my books have sometimes not appealed to a reader because he or she doesn’t like Paranormal. There are times when a bookstore hasn’t bought my books because they were all full-up with Paranormal titles and didn’t want any more. Some readers have bought my books, loving Paranormal, and then been disappointed because I don’t write about vampires. So it’s kind of a plus/minus situation.
In general I’d like to encourage all of us to let categories be a fine beginning, but a bad place to end. Let’s challenge ourselves to try other genres sometimes—like Westerns, which I forgot to mention. Or Dystopians! Or Steampunk, which is kind of Gothic and kind of Historical and sometimes Romantic or Suspenseful . . .
What do you think? I agree that categories can be both a help and a hindrance! I used to avoid historical books like the plague until I was forced into reading one - and now I enjoy them so much more. But if I'd never read that one book, I would have missed out on so many great books because of my distaste for the genre. However, I, like Cate, can quite happily waltz past the horror section. Gruesome stories about possessed little girls who cut up people in the night are not for me...
Thanks so much to Cate for writing the post and to Emilie for organising everything! And if you haven't started the Immortal Beloved series yet, go read it now!