Hey everybody! Lady Literature here with the my third ‘no’ book so far.
Today’s book is ‘The Immortal Trilogy”, by Lauren Burd.
The cover art for this book is wonderful, and it played a large part in wanting to buy it (the striking single eye design is super mystical and interesting) And then you read the eye catching title and you think to yourself in the bookstore, “This book looks great, I’ll try it!”.
But the truth is that although the front cover is wonderful, the story doesn’t rise up to meet the great expectations. ‘The Immortals’ could have been written so much better (I would love for it to be written well since the plot is so intriguing). And the characters were lacking in depth, especially the two male leads Samuel and Duncan, which surprised me since the author had three books for character development.
The book had some very good action scenes inside it, but in between these it was (right here I am critiquing, and not trying to hurt the author or any fans of the book series) hard to stay engaged in the story and lives of the characters. I consistently felt that the plot was moving too slowly, which made it difficult to finish. Although ‘The Immortals’ picks up towards the end, the first few chapters were hard to get through as a reader. It reminded me a lot of a daily diary. Alina gets up and does her hair and clothes and goes to school and eats and talks. That first chapter I compared a lot to a book I read for school, “The Story of an Armenian girl”, which was nearly a thousand pages about a girl who lived during the immigration into America. The whole book was about her doing chores and subsisting on meager food, and although you get a good idea of the agonizingly painstaking lives of folks in early America, I was left hungry for plot and characters and, truthfully…. bored to death. I feel strongly that there could and should have been a whole lot more to both of them.
I’m going to describe chapters of the book for you, so that you can see what I mean instead of just taking my word for it. Ok, so the first part of Immortal is Alina riding in an airplane. Again, super extreme detail. I have a feeling I know the answer to “left brain or right brain” for Lauren Burd.
I won’t mention anything important so that I won’t spoil the storyline, but I WILL tell you that right after overkilllongdetailedzzzzplaneride, before it starts picking up, the book slowly moves to Alina getting her own place and meeting the two male leads, which is what, in my opinion, shoulda happened in the first chapter. It was hard to understand why Burd’s editor allowed her to keep these chapters in the story, since they don’t appear to affect the ending. This section was very difficult to read, and I nearly put the book down. Meanwhile the characters remained -although intriguing- with a LOT of depth to be desired. The two boys Alina meets seemed shifty and strange to me, not strong and attractive like Alina sees them. Alina falls for both of them so quickly too, and I kept wishing I knew more about who they were, or that Alina had a few more scenes with them, so that the reader could feel more of a connection. I also got upset, not with the story but with the writing, about the amount of times the male’s eyes were mentioned. I totaled it all up and Duncan and Samuel’s eyes are consistently mentioned around 10 to 20 times per chapter. Ok, let me just restate that. 10 to 20 times. I understand how interesting eyes can be, and how they can demonstrate a character’s emotions, but I felt like Burd seriously overused it. It’s definitely an easy thing to do. I only wish it had been fixed before publication. I had a good idea of the color and intensity of their eyes the first few times, and it seemed really unnecessary to mention them again any and every time Alina saw them.
At the end of the book I thought back over it and came up with a film analogy for all of you. A lot of people have seen Michael Bey movies, so I’m using his movies as an example. I felt like the Immortal Trilogy was a good example of a written Michael Bey movie. The book revolved around switching from one action scene to another. The writer, Lauren Burd, although very talented at writing action scenes, didn’t have enough character development for Alina , Duncan, and Samuel. I was so sad for them, and I wanted them to feel real and tangible the way other books have been fantastic at doing for their characters. The main characters said enough of the dialogue to move the book along to the next action scene, but not enough to attach a reader to them and make them a friend for life. The scenes could work in it as a movie, but in a book I wanted to get to know all of them so much more.
Immortal (Immortal Trilogy Book 1) Page 25:
‘Pushing off the counter and refusing to mope any longer, I looked at Tabby. “How long until you’re ready to go?”
“I’m ready when you are,” she answered in a happier voice.
“Then let’s go.”‘
As you can see from this short quote I found, it doesn’t feel like a normal conversation when the characters are talking. It’s a stunted, and very every day conversation. Fine for a real life friend. But terrible in a book.
Although I cannot recommend this book, I do commend the author for her unique story idea and for the action scenes in The Immortals.
Thanks so much for reading! 🙂
Your friend, Lady Literature.
Write well. Love Lots. Read Bunches.