Book of Immortals starts out amazingly. That first chapter is just grand. I can’t really get into specifics without spoiling it much for you but it is easily one of the best opening chapters I have ever read. It sets the bar so high that the subsequent ones almost disappointed me. This is actually the first time I ever recall enjoying the first half of the book much more than the final one.
One of my favourite things about the book is how the protagonist is not supposed to be the protagonist. All in all, there’s a lot I enjoyed about Book of Immortals, or I would not have read it so quickly. The concepts are ingenious and unique. For instance, I always wonder, when reading a book where the characters go on adventures, how they get food and other items they need. The creation of items such as satiety pellets and space pouches was very smart indeed. And the subsequent items all seem very believable and its purpose well explained, as well as the settings.
But I started losing interest around the time the narrative became too focused on the romance and when Shann uncovers her dark power and her sole purpose seems to become gathering whatever she needs to resurrect. I can tell the author tried to show progression, but it still felt to me like two different people. The good natured, naïve Shann and the power hungry one. Even if she never meant to hurt anyone, the fact is she didn’t let anything get in her way to her goals. I am just not fully convinced, it was too drastic a change. I mean, I get that Erik was like the little devil on her shoulder telling her it was perfectly fine to disregard anything and anyone because those people weren’t real, they were characters in a book, but book or not, it was their own reality – they knew they could not go back to their old world because they had died there, so it really makes no sense to me that she would change that drastically. I know we’re supposed to feel sorry for her, that the circumstances led her to who she is but I just can’t.
The long periods of seclusion made me feel disconnected to the story a bit and I also feel the characters who started out so strong lose what made them unique, especially Aaren and Sabien.
I also have to point out that the synopsis completely ruined it for me and it took me quite a while to get past it. When I first started reading the book, it had so much potential, to me. We are reading about someone who remembers themselves differently, doesn’t recognize their body, has glimpses of memories of another life. This right here tells us that maybe the person is dreaming or having an out of body experience or so much more that I cannot imagine but no, the blurb just HAD to tell us the person has died. Major spoiler. I don’t appreciate major spoilers in a synopsis. Something as important as this should be discovered by the reader progressively, as they advance in the adventure.
I also kind of wish the book and concept had another title. Although I cannot think of one, the fact is they are not immortals, they just live longer than mortals.
All in all, Book of Immortals is a great read if you are a fantasy fan, so despite all the flaws I mentioned I think the 4 stars are well deserved. I can tell a lot of thought and imagination was put into creating this work and would love to read the remaining books of the series. I would especially love to see some questions answered, particularly how the protagonist is transported into World of Immortals (really wish it had a more inventive name, by the way), why Celine and Erik’s reading devices were locked on the book and why they were chosen to go there and if there was anyone else transported to WoI, etc.
Read it. It’s quite the adventure.
Read from December 07 to 08, 2014
I would like to thank the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.