At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated by none other than the King of the Mantle of Dracul, she goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as her personal assistant, has his hands full saving his girl's soul while planning a fast-approaching Death Day gala. In alternating viewpoints, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat aristocracy as they play out a dangerous, diabolically witty love story for the ages. (from Powell's Books)I am not a believer in guardian angels and after reading Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize, I am not sure I would want one either. The reason is if it hadn’t been for Miranda’s guardian angel Zachary, she would have been jumping clouds and playing harps in heaven instead of being groomed as the new princess of dark by the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul. Smith’s quirky tale of Miranda’s twist of fate and Zachary’s chance to right an angelic wrong is an entertaining and unusual flight into the young adult paranormal genre.
Several elements in Eternal surprised me and made the read interesting and unique. The first is Smith’s choice of narration. The book is in first person but alternates between Zachary’s and Miranda’s voice. This provided me with knowledge into both characters and made the read much more personal for me. I really liked Zach’s character. He was completely honest and open about his feelings first about Miranda and then about his fall from grace. Luckily for Zach and Miranda, he is given another chance at righting the wrong that caused Miranda to become a Vampire instead of an angel herself.
Another aspect of the story I enjoyed involved the actual relationship between Miranda and Zach, which was fun to read because of it was quite different than a simple boy meets girl dance. Miranda has no clue, who or for that matter, what Zach is. She hires Zach to be her personal assistant and to help plan a gala for her master and new father Dracul. Within this context, and because of Zach’s feeling for Miranda, things get a bit out of hand, but Smith brings the story full circle and the ending although somewhat expected does have a twist that I did not see coming.
This is far from a dark and heavy vampire tale thanks to Smith's injection of lots of humor, albeit dark, it still lightens the mood enough to make me chuckle. I think this will be a favorite read with young adults who seem to crave the paranormal genre like vamps crave blood.