Immortal (Immortal #1)
by Gillian Shields
With her grandmother ill and in a nursing home, and a father going off for military duty, Evie Johnson has been sent to Wyldcliffe Abbey, a boarding school set to turn girls into proper ladies (stuck in a time warp much?) as a scholarship student. She soon discovers that this is the nice way of putting that she is a charity case that the school is allowing – oh, she definitely knows it from her classmates and dorm-mates who are very unwelcoming -- constantly belittling her and plotting ways to get her into trouble so that she is to be kicked out. She tries her best to ignore it and just remain calm/neutral with the girls, and focuses on fitting in into her classes and learning the ever-growing list of strict rules and regulations of the school.
Making her way initially to the Abbey school, Evie is nearly strampled on by a dark horse and his mysterious, good-looking young master. Sebastian is ever growing in Evie’s mind and soon they are secretly meeting together night after night outside the Abbey. The more they meet, the more entranced Evie becomes with Sebastian, and the more curious she is about what he is hiding about his identity and past.
Intertwined with Evie’s story are excerpts of journal entries of a girl named Agnes, who lived in the Abbey before it was a house converted into a boarding school, over a hundred years ago. As Evie’s story progresses, we learn more about Agnes’ story and how she is connected with a boy named S. (let’s not be fooled here, it’s clearly Sebastian), her dealings with earthly magic, and also how she is connected with Evie and her story, 100 years after Agnes’ death mind you.
I thought the story was very similar to the Gemma Doyle series (both in setting (gothic-esque school, boarding school), and a group of girls discovering their affinity for magic). It also sort of reminded me of the Thirteenth Tale, with the discovery of Agens and Evies’ connection/identities.
I really did not like how disjointed the story was the first ¾ of the book. Going back and forth between Agnes and Evie was very frustrating and I think is the biggest weakness of the book. Perhaps if Agnes’ story, her journal entries made up the first half of the book, and then the story introduces Evie, it may have been a more enjoyable read. I also did not like how easily Evie “fell in love with” Sebastian – even though she finds out he’s so evil and is keeping these really big, important secrets that have everything to do with her.
Rating: 2/5 Stars.