Eternal – Cynthia Leitich Smith


Zachary is an angel – literally. He’s had many charges over the years but being Miranda’s guardian angel is his toughest gig yet. See, he’s in love with her and love just complicates everything. Deep down Zachary knows that he would do anything to keep her safe – he’d even risk his own position in heaven. When Miranda heads out one night with her friend, Zachary sees trouble coming a mile off – trouble of the vampire kind. In the process of trying to protect Miranda from becoming a meal, Zachary breaks the one rule guardian angels are never allowed to bend, under any circumstances, and he reveals himself in human form.

As punishment, Zachary is cast out of heaven and sentenced to life on earth, as a human. Knowing he failed the love of his life, Zachary begins on a downward spiral of destruction. Someone upstairs, however, thinks that Zachary deserves a second chance and the heavens assign him a task – to kill Dracul, the most bad ass vamp around. If he succeeds, he’ll win back his place in heaven and his guardian powers will be returned to him. When he gets to the Dracul castle, however, he doesn’t expect to find Miranda all vamped out and running the show. This complicates things, just a little. See, even though she’s now a vampire, Zachary can’t shake his feelings for her and embarks on a mission to not only eliminate her master, but save her soul from her vampire self.

Miranda is a lousy vampire. She’s not evil enough, nor scary enough to throw her authority around like her master expects her to. Some of the servants even like her a little. Then, Zachary arrives at the castle and she’s drawn to him immediately. He makes her want to be a better person – if its possible for a vampire to live like a person at all. She stops drinking human blood, opting for animal blood instead, and helps Zachary orchestrate his plan to eliminate the master. But the question remains – can Zachary save Miranda, or is she destined for a life of eternal damnation?

Eternal is narrated through both Zachary and Miranda’s points of view. I love this technique of dual narration because it allows the reader to really get both sides of the story. Zachary is an adorable character whose strength and conviction is admirable, at the very least. I found Miranda’s failed attempts at being evil humorous at first, but towards the end her self-pity was a little on the annoying side. Even so, I was compelled to keep reading. You know the author has some serious talent when you’re interested in reading about a character you don’t like very much. For Zachary’s sake I found myself hoping for the best. Does he get his girl and his place in heaven back? Or does the Dracul master ruin his life forever?

Only the pages of Eternal have the answers…

Set in the same world as Smith’s previous novel Tantalize, Eternal will draw you in – fangs, angel wings and all!

Available February, 2009

Rating: [rating:3.5]

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