The Compulsive Reader: Immortal by Gillian Shields

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Immortal by Gillian Shields

Okay, first off, I want to apologize to my readers. I have been saying forever (at least like, 7 months) that this was a historical paranormal...well, I was told wrong. It's not. There ARE historical elements, but it is mainly a contemporary read. I apologize if I misled anyone, read on for my review of this book.

With her mother dead, father deployed overseas, and her grandmother ill, Evie Johnson has no choice but to attend Wyldcliffe Abbey, an all girls boarding school. Stripped of any electronics, the girls live a rigid and strictly controlled life under the mistresses at Wyldcliffe. Evie, unaccustomed to their practices and bullied by the cousin of the dead girl whose place she took, finds solace in a mysterious boy who meets her at night outside by the lake. But there's much more to Sebastian than meets the eye...

Immortal is a book that packs in a lot between its pages: strange old powers, a mysterious guy, journal entries from a girl who lived over 100 years ago, a menacing secret society, a strange disappearance, family secrets...is your head spinning yet? However, Shields does a commendable job at connecting all of these elements in a complex storyline that is unique and interesting...it’s just a bit underdeveloped and hard to follow. Many things in Immortal are lacking or just fall flat; the romance between Evie and Sebastian isn't that interesting, and Evie goes back and forth between loving and hating him so many times, readers will lose track. The book moves slowly and is in danger of losing readers until about 200 pages in when a few new twists are thrown in. From then on out, everything is rushed to a very quick, vague showdown and then finished off with an odd, abrupt ending.

Immortal does have some redeeming qualities: the mistresses of Wyldcliffe are genuinely creepy and do scare the reader a bit, and Shields' plot is very unique. Immortal might have been a bit more enjoyable if there had just been more to it, if things had been developed a bit more, or perhaps a bit more focused. The ending is open, hinting at a sequel, but whether or not this reader will pick it up is still up in the air.

Cover Comments: I am in love with this cover! I like the water as the background to the necklace, both of which have meaning in the book. I love the texture of the ripples, and the mysterious, antique look of the necklace. The font of the title is just okay, but I think it works well with the cover!


Eleni said...

Hm, great review, very honest...crappers I have this book and I'm kinda scared to read it, I've been reading some bad reviews on it...but I will read it eventually!

the story siren said...

Great review. I couldn't agree more. Falling flat definitely describes it.

LOVE is my alter ego said...

Thanks for the review. i spotted this book and was intrigued but your review was very insightful.

Anonymous said...

I heard there is a sequel! Its called Betrayal!! I liked this book but its definitely not my favorite!

Loopyanne said...

I just finished Immortal. I read some reviews before I read it and was reluctant to read, but I found myself not wanting to put it down. It has the forbidden love like Edward and Bella (doesn't COMPARE in intensity) and the character conflict for a girl that Harry experiences at Hogwarts. Everyone can relate to the unacceptance of others when in a new situation. I was sometimes confused when the writing was in first person and whether it was present tense or past tense. The teacher in me wanted to make corrections! I'm ready to read Betrayal. I hope it finishes the story and isn't a cliffhangar!