Tuesday, September 16, 2014

House Immortal by Devon Monk

Title: House Immortal
Author: Devon Monk
Genre: Sci-Fi-Fantasy
Series: House Immortal #1

Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Publication: September 2, 2014 by Roc

Source: I received a review copy from the publicist in exchange for a honest review.

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One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized....

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…

Wow. Just wow. House Immortal is the first installment in a brand new series by Devon Monk, and I am completely blown away by how incredible this book is. This is the first book I’ve read by Monk, and if this is anything to go by as to how her writing style, characters and world-building is…I’m sold for life *puts author on auto-buy and go read all her other work*.

House Immortal immediately captivated me from page one with the introduction of Matilda Case and Neds Harris. Matilda is a stitched together 26-year-old ‘Immortal Galvanized’ girl (think Frankenstein) and Neds, her farm-hand, is a two-headed mutant guy. The world-building is rich, meticulous and complex. Monk described everything in perfect clarity, painting vivid images in my mind. And just the overall concept is so unique, fresh and well crafted that I am still in awe of it. Like any first in the series, there was a lot of information required for the foundation of this new world. Some readers felt there was too much info-dumping, but I never had a problem with it. The information was incorporated in a way that it didn’t feel overwhelming and the short journal entry at the start of each chapter helped in the explanation. I love learning about the background/history of the Immortal Galvanized and The Houses. The governing system is comprised of 11 houses (House Brown not acknowledge) each specializing in a certain area and a different color:  white is medical, yellow is technology, black is defense, green is agriculture, grey is humanity, silver is vices, etc. The interworking of each House like the characters were well developed that in my opinion created a believable society. I am extremely impressed by what I see so far and can’t wait to learn more; since the first book I’m sure barely touches the surface of this multifaceted world.

Right from the get-go I knew I was going to like Matilda (Tilly). She is exactly the type of heroine I enjoy reading about; she’s intelligent, independent, compassionate, and totally kickass. All of the secondary characters were just as great. While many of the house leaders and Galvanizes didn’t get much page time as other characters (Abraham, Neds, Oscar, Slater), in their brief appearances you can still glean a lot of their personality because each character is fleshed out and memorable. Of all the side characters, there were two that stood out the most to me and had me laughing out loud the entire time…Neds and Welton. Since Neds has two heads, one called Right Ned and the other Left Ned. I was a bit confused with Neds’ dialogue at first, unable to differentiate who (Left or Right) was speaking but after a couple chapters, I got the hang of it. Neds had completely different, somewhat polar opposite personalities which made for hilarious dialogue. And there was Welton Yellow, leader of House Yellow. He is what I’d call the black sheep of the Houses, he does and says whatever he want, He’s eccentric, and awkward at times yet still likable. Another plus with Welton was he was the only one not really out to get Matilda. He of course tried and wanted Matilda, but is more friend than foe. 

There is a blossoming romance between Matilda and Galvanized Abraham. I thought their chemistry really worked and loved their back and forth repartee. They really complement each other, both strong equal characters. However, I thought the romance was a bit rushed. Matilda been hiding her entire life, so I know she didn’t have much of a male connection other than her brother and Neds. But I don’t recall them exchanging more than a few words, and they barely know anything about one another. This isn’t a big deal, and I still enjoyed the book…I just had a moment where I thought it was funny how quickly they decided to be BF/GF (and I think this is the first book, where I heard a leading couple ask each other if they wanted a title lol, interesting). 

House Immortal is definitely one of my favorite reads this year. The world building is amazing, the characters unconventional and fully realized, and the plot fast-paced. From the moment readers open the book and to the very end, expect nothing short of a roller coaster ride full of action and twists that will have you completely floored. I was so shocked by the ending that I swear my heart stopped for a moment, and when I flipped that last page I couldn’t believe it was the end (I literally flipped back and forth and went ‘WHAT? THIS IS THE LAST PAGE? DAMNIT!’)…it was THAT crazy. I loved this book, and highly recommend it to everyone; it’s a fantasy, science-fiction and dystopian all rolled up into one. The sequel, Infinity Bell comes out next spring and I can’t wait for more Matilda and Co.


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