Friday, May 6, 2011

Immortal by Gillian Shields

Immortal (Immortal, #1)
Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness. 

Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate. 

Gillian Shields's electrifying tale will dazzle readers with suspense, mysticism, and romance. 

First Look: *****  This was another book won in an Inkpop Weekly Challenge. To tell you the truth, I really didn't read the back cover before I picked it out. I saw the gorgeous cover, and I just had to have it.  That's probably a good thing, because if I had paid attention to the back cover I wouldn't have gotten this.

Setting: ****
I liked Wyldcliffe. It was dark, and ominous, and foreboding (although my MG-fantasy-clogged brain kept screaming "It's like Bloor's Academy but less cool!").  My only problem is that is lacked uniqueness.  That's one of my huge problems with this whole book, actually, but more about that later...

Characters: ***** 
I didn't care either way about them. Evie was too...normal. There was nothing that stood out about her to make me like her. I think her relationship with her grandmother could have gotten more attention.  So she's sneaking out at night to meet this mysterious boy, but she never gets tired during the day?  What?  Evie was just...bla.  Sarah was your too-typical helpful, supportive friend.  Sebastian fit perfectly into the mold of immortal-brooding-boyfriend.  It was very irritating.  The witchy, scary teachers weren't original at all.  Helen was the only one who was the least bit interesting, but nobody paid much attention to her except me, it seems.

Plot: *****  
It was okay.  It wasn't great, but I didn't hate it, either, which is saying something.  I felt like Sebastian's big reveal should have been the climax, because for me it was the most intense part. But, nope, something else came later. So either that wasn't the climax, or it had a ridiculous amount of falling action. I can't figure out which. And by the way...as big reveals go, that one was, erm...how shall I put this nicely? The moment that boy showed up, and then it switched to the journal, I had that all figured out. Just to give you an idea, that's probably around the third chapter. It was soooo predictable.

Uniqueness: *****
Gorgeous immortal boyfriend?  Check.  Ominous boarding school?  Check.  Shipped to that school against her will?  Check. Snotty girls that annoy the reader to no end?  Check.  Immortal boyfriend wants to love girl but he's afraid he'll kill her?  Check.

Writing: ****
I liked it.  It flowed along very smoothly.  I especially liked how the journal entries and chapters would close/open with very similar phrases.  That was a nice touch.

Likes:
I really liked how the story of Lady Agnes was incorporated into the plot, and I liked reading the journal entries.

Not-so-great:
Um...what's with all this witchcraft?  That's exactly what it was.  And nobody had a problem with that?  One minute we're all I-don't-believe-in-the-supernatural but then we're all let's-figure-out-our-elemental-powers?  And I never understood why Celeste was so mean to Evie.  Nobody is like that for no good reason.  It wasn't real. 

Total Score: *****
This was an okay read. It wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible. It'll probably appeal more to people who actually enjoy paranormal romance. Other than that it was predictable like you wouldn't believe, with mediocre characters. Try it, if it looks interesting, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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