Review: Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity, #1) by Angela Corbett

Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity, #1) by Angela Corbett
Publisher: Pendrell Publishing
Released: December 2nd 2011
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: My own
A love so strong, even eternity can’t separate them.

Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men.

For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie—but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society—the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance—the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn’t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren’t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.
I have extremely mixed feelings about this book.

I'm not a large fan of love triangles, but having said that, I don't hate them either – in fact, I'm pretty open to them. However, it also really depends on how well the author can pull it off.

So let me say that in Eternal Starling, the love triangle was literally a mess. This novel is majorly confusing, boring, predictable and yet unpredictable.

I know, that wasn't very helpful at all. *facepalms*

How I felt when reading the book.
First off: Corbett's writing was clear and descriptive. I found it just right. The first 20% of this book proved to be interesting. However, a ton of other stuff made my reading experience not-so-fintastic.

I felt that the main character, Evie Starling, didn't have enough depth to her at all. Evie has a knack for cars and mechanical stuff, which is unique, and she's a rebel who doesn't do what she's told. But beyond that, I couldn't truly grasp who Evie was. The way she interacted with Alex and Emil was so frustrating and I found myself disliking Evie further and further.
"I like knowing what's going on, it makes me feel more in control of things."
Well, then, Evie, why didn't you demand to know what in the fishcakes was going on with either boy?

It was so contradicting whenever Alex or Emil talked about things Evie obviously didn't understand and though she did ask them what was going on, she was very easily dissuaded from pursuing the matter by them. I also did NOT like how Evie was considering a rebound relationship. It was like when Edward left Bella in Twilight, except this Evie-Bella didn't do all the crying crap and stuff and instead just went out with another guy immediately.

Now for the boys (and Evie).

Evie and Alex: I really thought these two had it going for each other. But then something happened, and the middle part was all about Alex trying to convince Evie that Emil was dangerous and evil (even though Emil didn't display anything to validate that) by periodically dumping a bunch of information on her. It was so damn repetitive. After Alex and Evie argue, Alex always goes, "Okay it looks like I gotta give you more details on Emil so you'll believe me" and then Evie's torn between both boys. At the same time nothing interesting happens, so the boys just get mad at each other and the cycle starts again.

Evie and Emil: I didn't like how they got together. Evie didn't seem sure of herself and like I said, I got frustrated with how she wanted a rebound relationship. Nothing special happened between these two and I found Evie petty for complaining about Emil's mannerisms to herself, which I thought were fine.

Yes, Alex and Emil are smokin' hot. But none of them are going to be my book boyfriends now. Even though their personalities were vastly different, they didn't have depth to them just like Evie. I felt Alex had the potential to be expanded into a worthier character, but I was wrong. Emil didn't do anything much at all. Here's how the middle part of the novel went:
Evie talks to Alex. Evie talks to Emil. Evie is conflicted. Evie thinks. Evie talks to Alex. Alex gives a junkload of information. Evie talks to Emil. Evie is conflicted. Evie thinks. Evie talks to Alex. Alex gives a junkload of information. Evie thinks. Evie talks to Emil.

Every time Evie talks to Alex, Alex tries to persuade her against being with Emil. He plops information about the Amaranthine Society or the Daevos Resistance in a bid to enlighten her on how evil and dangerous Emil is, but because Emil doesn't do anything much till the 80% mark, Evie's stance is always sorry-Alex-but-Emil-hasn't-given-me-reason-to-doubt-him-so-let's-just-keep-this-up. This continued in circles and it was so draggy and boring. I was all Team Alex in the beginning, then got annoyed and bored in the middle and by the end of the book I was like meh, I don't care. Now, Alex is just an annoying buffoon who always goes "But you don't know what he (Emil) is like!!!!!".

The chain of events was largely predictable too. The only time Corbett surprised me was how Emil greeted Evie the first time they met, and even so, I didn't like how Evie went all insta-swoon over him. A same tactic was used to dish out more info on Alex and Emil's backgrounds to the reader – two double dates with Evie's friend Jasmine and her boyfriend. The setting did nothing to enhance the storyline at all. There's no other interesting action whatsoever in the middle except for a camping trip, which made no difference to the story plot. The guys could be staying over at Evie's parents' house for all I cared and the same thing would unfold, so it was nothing special at all.

Also, Eternal Starling has no major action at all until the 82% mark. I kid you not. Halfway into reading, I realised I was still reading Eternal Starling ONLY because of Alex, not Evie.

Main character couldn't sustain my interest.
I got the sense that Corbett was trying to drag events out till a point where Evie could BAM-understand-what-in-the-starfish-pants-was-going-on, like how heroines usually do in other books. But other than soulmarks, the lead-up of events wasn't interesting enough and there was no BAM moment at all. Alex just plopped info on Evie in chunks at random moments in the book. Corbett introduced two flashbacks into the past at the beginning but she didn't use that fully to her advantage. I think the plot would have been more visual if flashbacks had been used to help Alex relay information to Evie, especially her past.

The stakes in this book were high, but I couldn't see why Evie was so special or why everything had to revolve around her. In the story, there are others of her kind out there and it wasn't like she was the only one who could 'tip the scales' or something (Fallen series reference here). The villain in Eternal Starling caught me off guard, but the amount of power he suddenly acquired just seemed like an easy way out to pose danger to the main characters.

The ending: Unsatisfactory. Evie's 'abilities' are nothing special nor surprising.

Eternal Starling had potential, but it just somehow turned out boring. I was unusually distracted from this novel because of how un-captivating it was. Not gonna pick up the sequel because I couldn't care for the characters after finishing it.

I was THIS bored with the book.

One starfish for the nice writing style, another for what could've been. Half a starfish for hot guy Alex who started off smexy but... turned out, well, meh.

As a child, Angela Corbett’s most prized possession was a set of read-along books. She used to follow along with the narrator on the stereo and dream of when she would be able to read by herself. Her childhood reading habit led her to consider her future career. However, after consulting with her parents, she realized she had already exceeded hobbit height and since fairies and dragonslayers were tricky jobs to get, she decided she wanted to create worlds of her own. She started writing poetry in elementary school and worked as a journalist in high school and college, but could never leave her love for writing fiction behind.

She is a graduate of Westminster College where she double majored in communication and sociology. She has worked as a journalist, freelance writer, and director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and escaping in a good book. She lives in Utah with her incredibly supportive husband and their five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin, whose following of fangirls could rival Justin Bieber's.

Eternal Starling is her debut novel and the first book in the Emblem of Eternity trilogy.


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