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House Immortal Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 2014
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Praise for the novels of Devon Monk
“A must read.”—New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur
“The action is superb, the stakes are sky-high, and the passion runs wild...Devon Monk rocks—her unique setting and powerful characters aren’t to be missed!”—New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews
“Beautifully written and brilliantly imagined.”—New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent
“Loved it. Fiendishly original and a stay-up-all-night read. We’re going to be hearing a lot more of Devon Monk.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs
“Powerful and action-packed, Monk’s pacing is hypnotic.…Keenly crafted characters and a deftly depicted landscape make this an absolute must read.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Devon Monk has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She writes the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series, including Magic on the Line, Magic Without Mercy, and Magic For a Price, and the Age of Steam steampunk series, including Dead Iron, Tin Swift, and Cold Copper. She also knits silly things and lives in Oregon.
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"The way I saw it, a girl needed three things to start a day right: a hot cup of tea, a sturdy pair of boots, and for the feral beast to die the first time she stabbed it in the brain."
After that we find out that something in the ground (nano) is presumed to mutate animals like the crocboar our heroine Matilda is currently trying to kill, it's causally mentioned that said feral beast makes for excellent "dragon chow," and the farmhand first known as "Neds" quickly becomes Left Ned and Right Ned (b/c Neds has two heads).
And yet . . . so captivating.
Matilda Case is a Frankenstein-esque creation of her father's, a scientist of great renown (or notoriety depending on who you ask), but unlike the monster in Shelley's Frankenstein, Matilda is . . . at least partially . . . truly her father's daughter.
You see, when Matilda was a child, she became very sick and almost died, but her brother somehow managed to transfer her consciousness into the body of a "stiched" person.
There are twelve other "stitched" people in Matilda's world known as the galvanized. They are immortal. They do not age, they feel no pain, and they cannot be killed unless you irreversibly scramble their brains.
They're basically sentient zombies.
They're owned and employed by the eleven houses that control various essential resources (and the WORLD) . . . and to the general population they are . . . celebrities.
FUN FACT---If you google the word "galvanize," the definition you'll get is:
1. shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action.
The world-building in this book was amazing.
It's important that I firmly establish how spectacular the world Monk created in this new series, before I go on to say that by the time I finished House Immortal, I had so many unanswered questions that it took all of my self-restraint to not find her and give her a shakedown (YES, a shakedown) for the next book.
The premise was equally great.
I don't want to share too much for fear of giving something away, but suffice it to say that the hints Monk drops with just enough frequency to keep us chewing our fingernails rather than throwing things (like books and/or temper tantrums) are well worth the frustration when you finally get to the fist-pounding euphoria of knowing you were right all along (and I so was).
What comes now?
We'll have to wait until book 2, Infinity Bell, hits bookstores in March to find out. And you'd better believe I will be counting down the days.
Until then, House Immortal by Devon Monk tosses you headfirst into a brave new world of mutated creatures and people, all controlled by Houses grasping for power and . . . immortality. From two-headed farmhands to tiny, fruit-loving octopuses that live in trees (and yes, are kind of cute), I can promise that you have not read anything like this modern parade of human oddities and the result of scientific experiments gone horribly awry. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for not-your-ordinary heroine, or not-your-ordinary anything, really. Strange is good.
Some 150+ into the future, the modern world is ruled by Houses which control pretty much everything under the sun: technology, vices, medical, water, the list goes on. There are 11 ruling Houses in this new world. Created from something called the Restructure, the new world was faced with overcrowding and the burdens that go along with it, including chaos. The 11 Houses were put in place as a means of control and the population of the world was given a choice to pick a House to live under, complete with a contract of service. Those who disagreed with the new order chose to side with House Brown, the often overlooked 12th House, a House with no say, but much freedom. Matilda Case is one such member. Living off the grid on a farm that was her childhood home, she spends most of her time caring for odd, manmade critters of her father's creation, along with her ailing grandma and a two-headed farmhand, Ned Harris, affectionately known as Left Ned and Right Ned.
This new world isn't a very peaceful one, as each House is vying for total control over everything. There is one thing more than any that each House wants to possess the most of -- the galvanized. Immortal stitched beings brought about from a long ago science experiment called the Wings of Mercury. The galvanized are inhumanly strong, immune to death, disease, and any ailment that affects mortals. 12 Galvanized currently reside in the world, but there is a surprising 13th member. One who is very similar to the galvanized, yet so very different. Meet Matilda Case, galvanized 13, created by her family's hands and not as experiments, like other galvanized.
Tilly's peaceful, out-of-the way life is completely shattered when Abraham Seventh shows up on her doorstep, bloody, with a message from Matilda's mother. A mother who's been dead for a number of years. Facing a new, uncertain future, Matilda's about to enter the fight of her life. Because of her galvanized status and because of some interesting qualities that stem from being created as she was, she's now a hot commodity. So sought after that Houses are willing to pay any price to acquire her. So much so that Houses are willing to start a war, just to have her under their service and therefore, their rule. That's a lot of people after one woman and as Matilda learns, trust is nonexistent in such a dire situation. With only Abraham and Neds Harris as allies, it's a tough world out there for Tilly Case.
Devon Monk has created such an interesting, inventive, odd future with House Immortal, and 'odd' in this case is a high compliment. I was instantly hooked, even after just reading one chapter. There are so many different aspects, so many different traits and qualities that really made this story stand out for me, mostly that the entire series is based on a group of Frankenstein-like people. No vampires, no weres, no witches, magic, or ghosts. Just stitched, created beings. The world she built has quite a number of things to keep straight, different events and different factions that molded and shaped and now run this new world, and while it can be daunting to keep some of those things straight, it added such depth and almost a sense of wonder to this futuristic world. Because of the many futuristic aspects and some of the more scientific-themed characteristics of this story, like the medical elements and gadgetry, Monk has nicely balanced urban fantasy with sci-fi, without one overshadowing the other. And of course, there's a hint of a blossoming romance, which is always the cherry on top.
Bottom line -- great first installment in Monk's new House Immortal series that I highly recommend for UF lovers looking for something a little different. I will certainly be continuing on with this series and with the doozy of an ending that House Immortal had, March 3rd and Infinity Bell, book 2, can't come soon enough.