"ETERNAL STARLING," by Angela Corbett, Pendrell Publishing, $18.99, 323 pages (f)
One of the first of many enigmas Evie Starling confronts as the protagonist in local author Angela Corbett’s debut novel, "Eternal Starling" is when a well-to-do attractive man sweeps her off her feet, and proclaims his love as her soul mate then promptly removed himself from her life.
Evie is eager to begin a new chapter in her life as a college freshman far away from her less-than-satisfying romantic past — both figuratively and literally. She moves from her parents’ home in Idaho to attend college in Colorado.
There she meets not one but two men who say they are — and have been — madly in love with her for centuries. As difficult as this is to believe, she can’t shake the feeling that she has known both of them before.
Each guy claims to know things about the other, things that should make Evie wary about spending time with either of them. Evie considers the warnings of each of her “soul mates,” but ever the headstrong woman, she decides to figure things out for herself.
As the tumult that is her romantic life progresses, Evie discovers that she’s not quite the person she thought she was. She learns that she’s eternally linked to a mythos of goddesses and warring factions and the men who love her represent each side in a battle for eternal love. What none of them realize is that another faction wants Evie for its own insidious designs.
Corbett, a Westminster College graduate who now works as a director of communications and marketing, has crafted a great story. It has a multilayered plot that prompts questions from the reader that are ultimately answered in a satisfying manner. She does a terrific job playing in the gray areas and pitting the characters against each other in a way that makes you wonder just who the bad guy is. Once you think you know, she adds a new wrinkle to the plot.
The dialogue is believable and flavored with clever phrasing.
There are times where a suspension of disbelief is necessary — not just for the mystical elements of the novel but also the relationship aspects — however, the story moves along well enough that it’s not impeded by these moments.
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The book is geared toward the young adult market; however, our heroine is 18 and each main character is at least as old. With some elements of sensuality and adult themes, it's recommended for older teens and adults.
IF YOU GO ...
What: Angela Corbett book signing
When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City
Christopher Miller is a longtime member of the League of Utah Writers and a contributing writer to BleacherReport.com. His website is at www.millerchris.com.