Thursday, February 25, 2016
The Immortals is a debut novel about Greek gods living in the modern day. Selene DaSilva is actually Artemis and now lives in New York City where she spends her time hunting down men who prey on women. When she finds a woman dead by the river, slain in a ritualistic fashion, she suspects that someone is emulating ancient Greek cult practices- but to what purpose? She meets a classics professor who has ties to the slain woman, and together the two of them investigate the murder- and uncover a plot that stretches back thousands of years.
I wanted to like this book, from the cover to the premise everything about it appealed to me- but initially I was a little underwhelmed. I had trouble relating to Selene, she came across as aloof and unknowable- and that may have been intentional, as she is indeed a Greek goddess who has been alive for millenia, her powers slowly fading as mankind no longer worships her. But I just had trouble with it, it wasn't clicking for me- it kept her remote and it just seemed incongruous with the modern world.
However, this book gets better as it goes, and I'm glad I stuck with it- the last quarter of the book is amazing and really hums. There were a couple of "yea, that's what I'm talking about" moments towards the end. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did it was worth it. The characters are well drawn for the most part- Theo the classics professor is a man who knows his Greek myth, but little does he know that the woman he's falling in love with is an actual Greek goddess.
The supporting cast are good too, especially the other gods and goddesses who show up. There's one in particular who steals the show. The concept of gods drawing power from their worshipers is taken in interesting directions, and Selene is faced with a dilemma- how far will she go to keep her immortality? I did make a connection as to the bad guy early in the story but that didn't really affect my enjoyment of the story.
Another thing I'd like to praise are the real life locations. The author knows NYC and there are lots of scenes set in abandoned subway or little known Central Park locations. This adds a lot of heft to the story and context. All in all this was a good story and I'm glad I stuck with it and I look forward to revisiting these characters again.
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I'm glad that even though it took a bit to get into the book that you ended up enjoying it! Also, that's always great when an author uses real life locations and knows what they are talking about! :)ReplyDelete
I'm so glad I stuck with it, it turned out to be a good book! And yes the locations were a big part of the story!Delete
Despite it's slower start due to an unrelatable MC, I'm glad that this one picked up for you and delivered in the end! I adore Mythology, especially Greek so this one has been on my radar but reading your thoughts here REALLY makes me want to read it :) Oh and the NYC setting is the icing on the cake - especially that it's so well done!!ReplyDelete
I think you'd like this one- especially if Greek mythology is your thing. It's full of that stuff. :) And I'm sure it starts slow so much as I didn't get into her character at first- but as the book went on it got really good. :)Delete
I'm guessing that this is a series, and this is book #1? Then it probably fell into the book 1 problem for many authors where they have to set up the characters, the setting, the main plot and some things suffer. Glad the story really picked up, though. I'm still interested in reading this.. originally from NY I love a detailed story about it and the storyline seems fun, but quite unusual... gods and goddesses alive and well and living in present day NYC! Okay, caught my eye...ReplyDelete
Hey Rita! Yes this is a book #1, with more to come I think. It definitely is a little different from a lot of stuff out there, I think. A little bit urban fantasy but not like a lot of UF out there...Delete
Hmm. I wonder if the beginning is rough with starting into a new world and series and not having any background. Sounds like a great idea for a story. :)ReplyDelete
That could be, there is a fair amount of setting up so that could be it. I thought she was so powerful in her early days that whenever she reflected on that, it made her hard to relate to- but that got easier as the story went on.Delete
Totally agree! Although I didn't have any issues with the beginning. I enjoyed all the history so the beginning was pretty interesting for me. As far as the bad guy goes, I did not see that one coming!ReplyDelete
I'm glad you ended up liking this one, Greg. I really want to read it. It's good to know the first part might be a little hard to get into. Good review!ReplyDelete
I am glad this one got better for you, Greg. I'll keep in mind your initial thoughts if I read it as it sounds like this one is worth continuing with.ReplyDelete
I never actually knew what this book was about until now. I can definitely see the problem with the Greek goddess main character being aloof since that's how characters like that always seem to be, and it does make sense considering their powers and how long they've been alive and all that. I like the idea of the Greek mythology expert unknowingly falling in love with a real Greek goddess though. That would be fun. And it's always great when settings are done well like that!ReplyDelete
Yeah I haven't seen any other reviewers mention that so maybe it's just me. I was trying to imagine this Greek goddess who used to control the moon and all this stuff and it just wasn't working. It would have been more plausible to me if their powers hadn't been quite so literal, you know? But... she doesn't really have those powers anymore so that made sense. And the book really did get better as it went.Delete
I really liked what she did with the setting too. there are a lot of little known places in NYC she tapped into, and that made sense for the MC to know since she's lived there for hundreds of years.
That's kind of a bummer it didn't live up to your expectations, but the ending sounds really great so I will probably still give it a try.ReplyDelete
I liked it I just struggled a bit at first. I do recommend it though because I think it has a lot to offer, and the end is pretty good. Definitely try it- if you're interested.Delete
Bummer it wasn't as great as you hoped, it sounds like an interesting read so if I ever get a chance to read it hopefully I will enjoy it. :)ReplyDelete
I thought the premise was interesting too! I think one of the biggest challenges you find when writing urban fantasy is precisely making characters that been alive for millennia believable and make them work with the modern world. At least it is a challenge for me. That's why I was so looking forward to hear your thoughts on this one.ReplyDelete
You gotta love it when you are about to give up on a book and have a "yea, that's what I'm talking about" moment! :)
Well it seem Jordanna found a way to make her characters work since you even found the supporting characters good! Glad you liked the book! I was so looking forward to this review since you posted about the book! Great review!
I'm glad you liked it, and hope you get to read the book. You're exactly right, the problem I had early on was that she kept reflecting back to how powerful she used to be- affecting the moon, stuff like that- but now she was a faded, much less powerful figure. The problem was I couldn't really see why someone SO powerful was just shooting people with a bow and arrow 3,000 years later- it just didn't seem like it made sense, can't really explain it. But... the good news I got over that because the character became more likable as she developed.Delete
I liked the romance even though at times it felt just a tad contrived... after all she has not loved a man for 3,000 years but then all of a sudden she starts having all these googly eye thoughts LOL. At one point she even FELL on top of him- I was like ??? But it worked in the long run. :)
The supporting characters were great! And yes- the moments towards the end where I was like "yeah" were fun and definitely improved my impression of the book. She kicks a little butt at the end. :)
I hadn't heard of this book before but it does sound kind of interesting. I love Greek mythology but I'm a big fan of Percy Jackson so I think that colors how I see these kinds of stories and characters like Artemis.ReplyDelete
Artemis was definitely the focus here, as was Apollo and Hermes and Dionysus. I shouldn't give that way but I don't think it's spoilery. the family dynamics were kinda interesting... I haven't read Percy Jackson yet so I can't compare, but this one had a few gruesome crime scenes and stuff so I'm sure it's more adult oriented than PJ. A good book, I had a few issues but enjoyed it overall and will snap the enxt one up in a heartbeat. :)Delete
I do not usually like gods and goddesses stories especially when they are set in modern times, but I love books set in NYC, and brownie points for out of the way places in the city. Maybe I will have a go with this book this summer. Thanks for the informative review. :)ReplyDelete
It sounds like an interesting read, I've seen that concept of gods drawing powers from their followers a few times before and I kinda like it. That's too bad the main character felt a bit distant, but it sounds like it really picked up towards the end. And that's nice that knowing who the bad guy was didn't negatively effect your enjoyment of this review. Great review!ReplyDelete
I found the premise interesting and liked the cover (even though I am not a fan of NY). I'm glad that you stuck it out and ended up enjoying the characters. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.ReplyDelete
Awesome review Greg! I bought this book a while ago and I’m really curious about it. The real life locations sound great. And I really love stories about ‘gods’ in modern day. I definitely need to try to get room in my reading schedule for this one soon.ReplyDelete
I have seen this book everywhere, I like the sound of the locations especially abandoned subways! Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete