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Grasping at Eternity - Karen Amanda Hooper Maryah's family is brutially murdered, leaving her injured and barely alive. During her recovery she sees a handsome green eyed angel watching over her. Maryah is shipped off to live with her Godmother in Arizona, where she learns that her angel is actually her godmother's son Nathaniel. She learns that she is part of their family's Kindrily, a group of souls who have retained their memories and been reincarnated for many lives. Unlike the rest of the Kindrily, she doesnt remember anything about them or her past lives. She also doesnt remember that Nathaniel is her soul mate whom she has been with for hundreds of years in many different lifetimes. Maryah needs to recover her memories soon, because the men who killed her family are the same ones who murdered her in her last life, and they are still hunting her.

This story starts off really fast, since the murder of Maryah's family happens right away. After she gets to Arizona though, things happen at a much slower pace. Its nice to see Maryah gain friendships at school and slowly get to know her new family.

The characters are all wonderful. There are a lot of them (roughly 18 "main" characters so at first its a bit hard to keep track of them all, but once you get a handle on their names, abilities, and who they are in a relationship with it becomes pretty easy to follow. I love how Maryah wasnt your normal heroine. Most heroines just go with the flow or whine the whole way through. Maryah questions things as she goes, chalking something up to borderline insanity caused by her grief. Nathaniel will break your heart. Watching him as he sees the empty version of his soulmate is so tough. You can feel your heart breaking along with this. His anguish over the situation was protrayed so well that you fit right inside him and can literally feel all his emotions as they happen. There is a scene where he tries to appologize to Maryah for something he did and when she gets dragged away by another guy, the next scene you see him in was just tragic. I thought my heart was going to break right along with his and I had to struggle not to shed a tear for his pain.

The plot is somewhat slow. The build up takes a while and when it reaches the end it is rather anticlimatic. There is also the question of why Nathaniel just talked to one of the villians instead of just killing him. He was right there! They didnt you take him out? The entire story is really just a build up, but it does a brilliant job. The entire book paints you into this world and the lives of these characters in a fantastic way so that, while the ending is anticlimatic and nothing really is resolved, you are invested into the characters and ready for the story to continue.

Despite its "flaws" (if you can even call them that) this story is a brillant start to what I believe will be a wonderful series.