Any new Vampire series released is going to get the inevitable ‘Twilight comparison’, and without thinking about it, whether you are a fan or not of Twilight, these comparisons will knock around in your head as you read.
For me ‘No Such Thing as Immortality’ is 100 times better than Twilight. Not only do the characters show huge emotional depth for acceptable and understandable reasons, rather than just being unreasonably broody, Sarah Tranter’s writing style is fantastic and electric, and I loathed the moments I had to put it down to go to my lectures.
Nate is a lovable and emotionally troubled Vampire, who you just want to drag out of the pages and give a big hug to, although he’s got plenty to keep him occupied from his thoughts what with his (rather awesome) friend James forcing him out onto supposedly deserted roads to race cars.
“Yeeeeesssss!! I just thrashed your anally retentive arse!”
I can not imagine a better first line than that. James is now my new best friend.
And what happens when immortal men think it’s a good idea to race cars? Yep. A crash happens.
Enter, Rowan Locke.
“You complete and utter moron.”
This is no weak and feeble Bella Swan, and straight away I’m hoping this will be Nate’s love interest. This is how I want to see a main female character; feisty, able to hold her own, and not content to let a man run her over (quite literally). This is what all girls should do if a man driving recklessly crashes into their car, get out, get angry and scream at them for being so high on testosterone they can’t use their eyes. Of course, in the interests of your personal safety (and that of your foot as illustrated by Rowan) you should probably wait for the police, but I for one was all for it. You go Rowan, make Nate grovel a little.
The fear Nate experienced feeling all of Rowan’s emotions as his own was beautifully written. You could feel his terror leaping off the page. Imagine having to live for over two hundred years without needing to feel any pain and then have an emotional woman’s every feeling hit you and become like your own. Now, as an emotional woman myself, I can announce that that would be painful.
And if you haven’t fallen in love with Nate already (which I can’t imagine personally) you will after this line;
“I have never tried Cat…I quickly dismissed the thought – too small, not remotely satisfying enough.”
Nathaniel Gray, I am officially in love with you.
I’m also loving Rowan’s Cat Tinks.
“Barking sometimes, I’d say.” Rowan added fondly. Tinks meowed loudly and leapt from her lap and stalked off.”
That’s right Tinks, you defend your feline rights to have no dog spoken of in your presence.
“Dear God! How the bloody hell could a two-hundred-and-thirty-year-old vampire, go to a human child’s birthday party, dressed as a bloody dinosaur.”
Think of the most romantic couple you can think of, fictional or otherwise. I can’t imagine even Damon Salvatore would dress as a dinosaur to make Elena Gilbert happy, and I’ve never seen someone more in love than him (If that made no sense, I urge you to go away and watch The Vampire Diaries and swoon at Damon’s bad-boy awesomeness.)
Yes, Nathanial Gray dressed up as Barny the dinosaur for Rowan. Now that is love right there. This chapter spoke to me so much. Nate had warned Rowan off making their relationship more intimate for the time being, fearing he would not be able to control his bloodlust, but I loved the simple chaste kiss he gave her. It was heartwarming and had me tearing up. It was simple, but beautiful and meaningful.
But Nate’s own humiliation at having to dress up as a dinosaur just couldn’t be complete without friends like James and Frederick to help you never live it down.
“Barney the WHAT? – Mama Mia! – Hamleys? – A HORNY KISS! – You dirty bugger! After everything you said to me...”
If I was Nate I’d take great pleasure in shouting “I know a song that will get on your nerves” on constant repeat in my head just to drive them mental, although I have to say Elizabeth’s own Vampire distracting techniques makes me whoop in delight for Team Girl Power!
“But I do have a great idea for protecting my thoughts from him and enhancing my marriage! I’ve bought a new book from Amazon. I’m going to read it and then simply think of it when he’s around.”
Can you guess?
“The Complete Illustrated Kama Sutra. It’s a bit tame, obviously designed with human limitations in mind, but it will get his imagination going on how a Vampire might improve on the positions.”
High five Elizabeth. And this round goes to the girls.
And I’m going to take a moment here to rave about how much I love the relationship between Nate and Elizabeth. You find out later in the book the reason for why they were both turned, and the respect I felt for Nate after finding out the reason behind his transition was overpowering. It’s very often in fiction that the sibling relationship is overshadowed by the romantic elements of the story, so I love that Sarah Tranter wrote such a beautiful, heartfelt relationship between Nate and Elizabeth that lets you know that they’ll always be there for each other in their times of need.
“We hugged, surrounded by giant cuddly toys and helicopters buzzing around our heads.”
This had me tearing up. Such a beautiful image, and if I can ever drag my own brother into a toy shop I’ll make sure to hug him by the cuddly toy stands in homage to this beautiful moment.
Seeing sadness in these characters is something that I love. Not because I like to see the characters in pain (I’m not that mean), but because of how they express it.
I am always furious when I read books and the heroine never cries during a hard time. We are women, that’s what we do best. We get emotional and we have a good sob to make us feel better. So I was thrilled to see Rowan crying when she was cruelly denied the right to change projects at work to avoid Simeon Frey.
“I could hear the rustle of the tissue as she wiped her nose. ‘I’ve been working here for eight years and have never cried in toilets before!’”
And speaking of Simeon Frey *shudders*...keep an eye on him. He’s far too slimy for his own good.
And when the moment we all dread arrives, I am strangely relieved that Rowan is scared of Nate.
“Do not be scared? Do not be scared? You’re a fucking vampire!”
Finally! As much as I love Twilight’s Bella, I’ve always thought she was incredibly stupid for just shrugging away the fact that Edward was a vampire as though he’d just told her he was a rock star. Even if the guy has been nice to you, take a moment to show a little bit of fear! Nate is amazing and I love him to bits, but Rowan is right to be afraid of him. She doesn’t know anything about him, doesn’t understand the way he lives or whether he has control over his bloodlust. For all she knows he could be out every night scoring with drunk girls and drinking the night away on B positive. So thank you Rowan for being sensible about this, and for that reason I will not be too angry at you for hurting Nate.
The confrontation scene between Simeon Frey, Nate and his friends, and the Fay was electric. I was on the edge of my seat as Frey and Nate battled it out.
“Rowan,” I choked. “Rowan, my love, you cannot leave me in this world without you. You cannot.”
This just killed me. One of my favourite classics is Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ and the comparisons with this just blew me away. Heathcliff’s famous line, “Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you” came to me the minute I read this heartbreaking scene with Nate. Nate and Rowan are such a beautiful couple, and just like Cathy and Heathcliff, they could never be happy with anyone else.
The final scenes of this fantastic book are the ones where you shake your head in despair at how hopeless Nate is when it comes to understanding women. Even when Rowan is desperately crying “I love you!” after him he still thinks she’s terrified of him.
“NO. NO. NO. She hadn’t just said that. She could not have. She was terrified of me.”
Just go and kiss her you hopeless, adorable man.
“You are not terrified of me?”
Finally he gets the hint.
Nothing makes a better ending than with Nate giving us some beautiful Darcy-like speech that has me giggling and swooning in equal measure.
“We need to talk, my love. Then if you still feel able to consider...a more physical relationship...then I would be honoured...so truly, irrevocably...unquestionably...honoured...to oblige.”
Oh Nate....Oh wait you weren’t talking to me...*sigh*
“Then talk – fast, Nate!”
Another high five to Team Girl Power.
5/5 stars. A definite recommended read!
‘No Such Thing as Immortality’ is available now to download on Kindle
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Such-Thing-Immortality-Choc-ebook/dp/B00A7092FC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353585294&sr=8-2
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Such-Thing-Immortality-Choc-ebook/dp/B00A7092FC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1353585408&sr=1-1 keywords=no+such+thing+as+immortality
Paperback will be available to buy on Amazon UK from the 7th January 2013 – http://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Such-Thing-As-Immortality/dp/1906931801/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353585294&sr=8-1