Eternity had a great concept, combining witches and reincarnation. I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, the plot was full of surprises that weren’t really all that surprising, and the characters made stupid decisions. To top it all off, the viewpoint switches were distracting.
Raven St. James has a secret. In a time when witch hunts are common, she is a true witch. In addition, Raven is one of the few immortal witches. This makes her a target for Dark Witches, who can extend their lives by stealing the heart of an immortal witch. Hoping to avoid pursuit, Raven flees to America. She is followed by Duncan Wallace, a young man studying to be a priest. He knows Raven is not all she seems. After all, he saw her die once. Though he knows Raven is a witch, he loves her. Unfortunately, the town elder decides that Raven is evil and must be punished. Duncan dies trying to save her life.
The rest of the book takes place during the present. Because he died trying to save Raven, Duncan is reborn as an immortal witch himself – but without memory of his former life. Naturally, when Raven tries to tell him about their shared past, he thinks she insane. To make matters worse, a villain from their past appears, and Raven’s life is once again in danger.
When we first meet Raven, she is young and unaware of her powers. We get to see her grow over time. She demonstrates her compassionate nature by being concerned for the people around her. Though she is a likable heroine, Raven makes some questionable decisions. While she realizes she should be careful not to arouse suspicions, she often does things that indeed appear suspicious, both in the past and in the present.
As for Duncan, in the first part of the novel, Duncan wonders if his love for a witch could lead to his damnation. At times, he thinks she has bewitched him. It’s not often you see a romance hero who thinks loving the heroine is sinful! At times, I wanted to shake him for this attitude. Luckily, he soon gets over it. Unlike the others around him, he can see through the hypocrisy of those who want to accuse Raven of evil. In the present, Duncan has a whole new set of problems as he tries to mend fences with a distant father. And this time, he seems to jump into bed with Raven too quickly; he didn’t seem quite concerned enough about her claims to be an immortal witch.
Several times while reading Eternity, I wondered if I was supposed to be surprised by certain plot twists. I saw them coming long before the characters did. In addition, I found some plot twists too coincidental. Finally, I was annoyed that it took Raven and her friend Arianna so long to figure out the easiest way to prove to Duncan that they were immortal. (Hint: Bang!)
The novel switches frequently from Raven’s viewpoint, which is in the first person, to Duncan’s viewpoint, which is in the third person. It was distracting to switch between their viewpoints. Add to this a couple of scenes from the point of view of the villain, and the reader is left feeling bounced around.
This novel presents a refreshing angle on witch hunts as a tourist attraction. Raven and Arianna are horrified by the idea of a museum that capitalizes on the suffering of helpless victims. It’s appropriate that the novel is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Salem witch hunt. If you like paranormal novels with a new age twist, you’ll probably like this novel in spite of its flaws. I wouldn’t mind reading the sequel to find out what happens to Arianna. Still, Eternity’s flaws are often irritating. Also, if you object to the positive treatment of pagan religions, you’ll want to avoid this book.