Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not Immortalized on My Shelves...

A Review of Immortal by Gillian Shields

I read a lot of manuscripts in addition to books. That’s what I do – I read for a living. And sometimes I finish a manuscript that I don’t like all that much because I’m driven to find out what happens at the end.

I couldn’t bring myself to finish this book.

Quite honestly, Immortal is a knock off of Libba Bray’s The Great and Terrible Beauty only with flat and simplistic characters, less imagination, and writing that doesn’t even glimpse into Bray’s league. On a whole, it was very disappointing.

Evie Johnson’s mom died, her grandmother is sick, and her dad is in the navy, so she get’s shipped off to boarding school. And The Wydcliffe Abbey School is full of snotty rich girls who look down on Evie because she’s a scholarship student. The old school has something sinister about it, and Evie starts having dreams/visions about Agnes, the daughter of the Abbey’s first owners. (Can anyone say Gemma Doyle?)

Then Evie meets Sebastian, a handsome and intriguing boy, she can’t help feel like she knows somehow. But as she falls in love with him, she realizes there is an astounding truth about their intertwined pasts and future.

Sebastian and Evie’s relationship doesn’t work. I couldn’t grasp onto anything that made me believe they were attracted to each other. Sure he’s mysterious and cute, but he seemed like a jerk the first time they met, and then after that he’s awkward enough to seem like he fell off another planet.

The plot is horribly predictable. With the first entry of Agnes’ diary – which actually was a cool and different inclusion in the book – I guessed exactly what was going to happen. And as the book continued I found myself able to figure out the clues at least fifty pages ahead of Evie.

There’s also a problem with the setting. Most of the novel reads like the Victorian boarding school in Libba Bray’s novels. But Evie has a cell phone and some modern technology which would insist the setting is contemporary – and though I’ve never spent much time in an English boarding school, it seemed to archaic to be realistic.

The only part of Immortal that I liked was the inclusion of Agnes’ diary excerpts. It was different from other novels. But at the same time, I didn’t feel like they added much to the plot and there were times I felt tempted to skim them.

Overall, it was very disappointing.


Debbie's World of Books said...

Oh what a bummer! I was looking forward to this one.

Lea said...

That sucks, I really was looking forward to this one, but I've read so many bad reviews

Charlotte said...

I might try it anyway, but thanks for the candid opinion!

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