Juliet Immortal is a unique reimagining of the famous Romeo and Juliet story. Author Stacey Jay creates an alternate version of the tale, one where Romeo killed Juliet for the chance at immortality offered by a group called the Mercenaries. As she lay dying, Juliet was offered the opportunity at the same eternal life, only her offering came from the Ambassadors of Light, the enemy of the Mercenaries. The Ambassadors fight to unite soul mates by sending a spirit, such as Juliet, into the body of someone who is near the soul mates to bring them together. The Mercenaries’ job is to convince one of those soul mates to turn against the other and commit murder.
Juliet and Romeo have been fighting on opposite sides for centuries, continually battling for the same souls. On this latest mission, Juliet finds herself in the body of Ariel Dragland. Ariel is an insecure loner, with one cruel friend and a distant relationship with her cold and harsh mother. Her life is not an easy one, and Juliet vows that when she leaves this body Ariel will return to a better life than the one she had before. However, Juliet experiences a hitch in her mission. She makes the biggest mistake an Ambassador can make…she falls in love with one of the soul mates she has been sent to unite with another. This body is not hers, and compromising the soul mates is absolutely forbidden. But Juliet cannot deny what she feels, and that seriously complicates things.
If I could use one word to describe Juliet Immortal, I would say unique. I loved how Stacey Jay took a story that has been retold a million different ways and totally turned it upside down. The heroine and narrator of this story is Juliet (with the occasional interruption by Romeo) and I found her to be strong, relatable, and realistic. She is not an idealistic warrior of love, but rather someone who was betrayed by her lover and husband and was offered the chance to foil him for the next seven hundred years. She battles inwardly with her job as an Ambassador, not really believing that she is completely cut out for the job. Romeo is deliciously evil and manipulative throughout the book, and I could really feel the disgust Juliet felt for him as I was reading.
My favorite aspect of this story was the relationship between Juliet and her forbidden love interest. It was a little disappointing that it was one of those “love at first sight” things, however Juliet doesn’t really have all the time in the world in Ariel’s body, so the attraction had to happen quickly I suppose. Ben thinks she is beautiful and strong and his feelings for her are so pure that I liked him immediately. The two have quite a bit to overcome, however, and I loved the turmoil I felt while reading their love story.
There were a few hiccups for me while reading Juliet Immortal. As much as I loved this story, I felt like there wasn’t enough information given about the Ambassadors of Light and the Mercenaries. There are many gaps in what we are told about them and the information we do have is very vague. I wanted to know more about who they are and where they came from. Perhaps that will be developed more in the next book (which Jay is currently working on). I also was not into the ending. It was wrapped up just a little too neatly for my taste. And the ending came so quickly and out of nowhere really, that I was even a little confused about what in the world happened. So, with all that said, I really loved the story despite a few minor flaws, and I cannot wait to read the sequel!
- This reviewer also blogs at goldiloxandthethreeweres.blogspot.com.
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Date of Publication: August 9, 2011