CLASSIFIED ADS: WANTED Personal assistant to Her Royal Highness. Duties: Whatever is asked, without hesitation, including but not limited to secretarial / administrative, household, defence, blood donation, driving, companionship, prey disposal, and love slavery. At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high school theatre wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, Zachary, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, must try to save his girl’s soul before all hell arrives, quite literally, on their castle doorstep. In alternating points of view, vampire Miranda and angel Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous love story for the ages. (Taken from Amazon.co.uk)
The story is told from two different point of views, both Miranda's and Zachary's. This is something I enjoy in a book of this genre because there is usually so much going on you never see the whole picture from only one person. Even though each chapter states who we are following, it would have been easy enough to distinguish each character and they talk and act in completely different ways. What I think made this work so well in this case, was that each character both have completely different journeys to get to being in the castle together. I would have hated to miss one side of the story.
I read a fair amount of fantasy novels but none have been as gruesome as this one. Even when dealing with vampires, the act of drinking blood never seems that graphic but here we get to experience beheading and other different ways to kill people. I didn't think this would be something I would end up liking but it made the whole thing seem a lot more real instead of tip toeing around the fact that vampires do kill people and drink their blood.
One of the biggest problems with this book is character development. Neither Zachary or Miranda actually seem to get anywhere or change up until the very end and even that was rushed. While I liked Zachary a lot, I failed to feel the same for Miranda. The only characters that I could picture in my head were Zachary and his angel friend Josh. This is because the author doesn't really describe any of the others much and some not at all. I would have loved to have been able to picture Miranda's 'father' as he was in the book but instead, I had a cheesy picture of Dracula which wasn't the same.
Smith tends to put more effort into describing the surroundings of our main characters more than the characters themselves. As Eternal seems to be in a darker place than most books of this genre, I felt like the descriptions could have been much better and more detailed. Certain parts of the vampire castle are supposed to extremely luxurious and others dark, damp and scary but they just weren't described enough to give me chills and feel like I was there.
I think I am making this book sound extremely bad but really, it was OK. I wouldn't go as far as saying amazing like I have for some others I have read recently but it is certainly readable. Smith is showing more promise in each book and while I feel that this could have been amazing had someone else write it, I am looking forward to the next instalment because I think Smith is finally going to find her place by then.