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Eternal    by Cynthia Leitich Smith order for
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2009 (2009)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Cynthia Leitich Smith's Eternal (whose bookcover brings to mind the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan) is a sequel to her popular and alluring urban fantasy, Tantalize, that was set in a dark parallel world of vampires and werewolves, ordinary humans and their invisible (most of the time) guardian angels (GAs for short).

Zachary, one such angel, takes good care of his girl Miranda, watching over her at all times. But when she follows her BFF Lucy to a cemetery liason with what turns out to be vamps (they prefer to be called eternals), his forbidden intervention saves her life - and prevents her ascension to Heaven. Instead she's adopted by the current Dracul (the 'reigning exalted master of eternals') and 'her very soul is forfeit.' As punishment Zach (who has fallen in love) also falls from grace and ends up in human form (the archangels call it a time-out) tasked with 'an assassination of sorts'.

Zach infiltrates Dracul's Chicago-area estate and becomes Miranda's PA/Jiminy Cricket, attempting to wean her from drinking human blood (and slaughtering people to get it) and to improve the sorry lot of the young prisoners in the castle dungeons. Though Zach makes some progress, Drac discovers what's afoot - and organizes a party with fallen angel as the main appetizer. This not being to Miranda's taste, she pulls her act together big time, executes a coup d’état, and saves her soul. Like Tantalize, Eternal is darkly entertaining and great fun.

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