Wyldcliffe Abbey School For Young Ladies, Housed In A Gothic Mansion On The Bleak Northern Moors, Is Elite, Expensive, And Unwelcoming When Evie Johnson Is Torn Away From Her Home By The Sea To Become The Newest Scholarship Student, She Is Isolated Than She Could Have Dreamed Strict Teachers, Snobbish Students, And The Oppressive Atmosphere Of Wyldcliffe Leave Evie Drowning In LonelinessEvie S Only Lifeline Is Sebastian, A Rebellious, Mocking, Dangerously Attractive Young Man She Meets By Chance As Evie S Feelings For Sebastian Grow With Each Secret Meeting, She Starts To Fear That He Is Hiding Something About His Past And She Is Haunted By Glimpses Of A Strange, Ghostly Girl A Girl Who Is So Eerily Like Evie, She Could Be A Sister Evie Is Slowly Drawn Into A Tangled Web Of Past And Present That She Cannot Control And As The Extraordinary, Elemental Forces Of Wyldcliffe Rise Up Like The Mighty Sea, Evie Is Faced With An Astounding Truth About Sebastian, And Her Own Incredible FateGillian Shields S Electrifying Tale Will Dazzle Readers With Suspense, Mysticism, And Romance It took me a while to actually get into the book It has a really good, new, interesting plot It just never really caught my attention like some other books I ve read have It also kinda bugged me how quickly Evie and Sebastian fell in love To me it was all to fast Maybe it was just because we don t get to see all the time they spend together We just get to see some of the times they meet together But, even through all that, as all the mysteries strengthen, the book get s a lot exciting Especially the ending You start getting all these answers, and one of the answers you get was so obvious that I felt so stupid for not figuring it out to start with You also start to believe Evie s and Sebastian s relationship a little , which made it even better When I first started the book I wasn t sure if I was going to continue on with the series, but after the endingI have no doubt I will continue with this series I have got to find out what all is going to happen Evie Oh no, I have to go to this stupid boarding school since my grandmother is sick, my dad s in the army and my mom is dead Stupid boarding school Me Well, that s pretty sad about your family and all, but at least you get a good education for free, you know Evie And the stupid cabman wouldn t even drive me He just used weird words like yonder and muttered dark, cryptic things about the boarding school Me That s pretty weird This is a tiny village, right I have to just assume this, because you barely leave the school grounds and never really meet townspeople again But anyway, how many places does this cabman have to drive to You d think most of his business would involve ferrying students to and from school.Evie I didn t think about the stupid cabman very much because I had to WALK and it was gross and then this boy tried to run me over with his horse He didn t even care about ME getting hurt, just about his stupid horse.Me Jerk I bet you hate him.Evie I was SO mad And then I cried because he broke the frame of my dead mother s picture And then he felt bad And he s super dreamy How can you stay mad at someone so hot Besides he s, like, so mysterious with his talk about dangers and meeting again and me being from the sea Me Yeah, sounds like a real catch Okay, so what about the boarding school Evie Stupid boarding school With stupid, shallow rich girls and a stupid, mean headmistress And then just because I m a SCHOLARSHIP student I have to do stupid chores like Cinderella Me Scholarship students doing chores is a pretty strange policy What s that all about Evie Oh, whatever, it never comes up again It was just a way to introduce me to Helen Black, this weirdo other scholarship student who everyone else despises Lady Agnes Dear Diary, blah blah blah exposition My beloved best friend S has returned from his travels Delightful Although I talk about everyone else by name, I only refer to him by his initial I do so love being mysterious Also, my mother will likely try to marry me off to some bore with a title I shall do no such thing I shall only marry for love, regardless of wealth or rank And I hate corsets And women should get to vote And have whichever job they choose And be paid equally with men I I m sorry Sometimes I do get carried away with anachronistic thoughts Ta Me What was that Evie What was what Me Didn t you never mind Okay, go on You re at the stupid boarding school with a bunch of stupid people.Evie Yes And this girl Celeste is rich and popular and she HATES me And she and her cronies threw my clothes on the floor and put black silk and rose petals on my bed and surrounded it with funeral candles Me snicker Evie IT S NOT FUNNY Me Yes it is Where did they get rose petals And black silk And funeral candles That s a lot of effort for such a lame prank.Evie IT WAS TRAMAUTIZING Me I m sure it was So, why did they do this Evie Because this girl Laura who was, like, Celeste s bestie, drowned in the lake And they said I took her bed I was sleeping in a dead girl s bed I mean, eww Me I hope they at least changed the sheets Evie Eww Anyway, then I kept seeing this ghost girl who looks like me Well, she has red hair like me And she wears funny clothes And rooms suddenly have strange people and look different and I keep fainting It s weird.Me That is strange So what do you do about it Evie Do Me Yeah Do you talk to anybody about it Do some research Anything Evie I don t understand.Me Of course you don t, sweetie Okay, what s next Evie Well, then I talked to Sarah She likes animals She told me about Lady Agnes and how she lived here and then she DIED and it became a school And Sarah s, like, a gypsy Her great grandmother was a Roma adopted by this English couple and she was sent to this school which has always been the most exclusive school in England and they didn t want to accept a gypsy But her parents donated a lot of money and so she got in.Me Wait, wait Didn t Lady Agnes die in 1884 And Evie s great grandmother probably went to school in about 1900 So the school was AT MOST about 15 years old How was it already always the most exclusive school in England Evie I don t know Stop asking me questions.Lady Agnes Dear Diary, my dearest friend S found a mysterious book in the Orient It is called The Mysticke Way No, diary, I do not know why it has such a silly name Apparently the vendor just gave him this book He asked for no money at all How silly foreigners are The book makes me quite nervous, but S is very intent on using it I m sure it will just be a little game Spiritualism is all the rage nowadays, but I shall make no mention of actual historical people or events or ideas in this diary Me Seriously, why does this story keep getting interrupted by these useless diary entries Evie Stop talking about things that aren t me All the teachers are so mean They won t even let me wear my grandmother s very super special necklace Did I mention my grandmother gave me a necklace And I always wear it And it s my grandmother s I hid it under my shirt so the teachers certainly can t see it Also, I keep getting demerits I HATE this school Me Yeah, them s the breaks, kiddo Lady Agnes Dear Diary, I used the book with S It is in somewhat oldish language, but mostly it is regular spelling with e s added to the ends of words Rather queer S and I did a ritual and I was touched by the Secret Fire I feel so powerful S was quite put out that I gained power that he did not Evie Well, I suddenly really wanted to go swimming So I decided to sneak out at night and go swimming in the lake.Me Wait, wait, wait You wanted to go swimming in the lake Alone At night Without telling anyone what you were doing Evie Yes.Me Didn t your mother drown Evie Yes.Me Didn t that girl Laura drown in the lake Evie Yes.Me Do you have a death wish Why would you do something so incredibly stupid Do you have no sense of self preservation Evie I don t understand what you re talking about I like swimming Me Shoot me now Please.Evie I m really glad I decided to sneak down to the lake because there I ran into the dreamy boy who tried to kill me with his horse and was really rude to me earlier Me What, he was just lurking by the lake hoping you d go for a suicidal swim that night Evie IT WAS ROMANTIC He said he just knew that I d be there because he s, like, my soulmate And he said that he wanted to know everything about me and that he had been waiting for me his whole life His name is Sebastian What a dreamy name.Me So you seem to like him I can t understand why Evie I told you He s dreamy And we, just, like, connect Plus, he s super smart He s going to Oxford And he s really deep He doesn t want to just drink and show off like all the other boys at Oxford He wants to know about immortal truths Isn t that, like, dreamy Me Okay, so he s smart and deep So what do you talk about Why are we here Why do we die Why, if there is a God, He lets terrible things happen to innocent people Evie BORING No, we talk about me About how he loves me and always wants to be with me and how beautiful and wonderful I am and how dark and mysterious he is Me This is such a shallow and dull relationship.Evie SHUT UP IT S WONDERFUL AND ROMANTIC AND EPIC Lady Agnes Dear Diary, S is my dearest friend and I love him so, but sometimes he scares me He wants power The book says a male must have a coven to gain true power I refuse to be part of S s harem I also keep seeing this strange girl who looks like me Well, she has red hair like me I know that she is S s true love Even though I love him as well, I am oddly content with the idea that this queer girl is his destiny Me Seriously, WHY do these diary entries keep appearing What do they add Evie What diary entries Why do you keep muttering strange things It s only okay to be cryptic if you re a hot guy or a random villager ANWAY back to me, Sebastian and I had a fight It is SO TRAGIC Sebastian said we couldn t be together any because it was too dangerous I bet he was just ashamed to show me to his family Sure, all we do is hang out at night by the lake and talk about me and mysterious things I don t think too hard about but OUR LOVE IS EPIC We are meant to be together forever Me Okay, this is just dragging on So, Sebastian is dreamy or whatever and you love him but he keeps saying he s too dangerous and refuses to reveal anything important about himself The girls at school are mean, except for Sarah who is nice and Helen who is weird The teachers are weird and mean You go to class but never seem to do homework or learn anything Get to the good stuff Evie The teachers are an evil coven I KNOW You totally didn t see that coming, right And they serve Sebastian as their Master because he s going to give them immortality They re not worried about the fact that they re the third generation of this coven and no one s got any immortality yet And Sebastian is immortal Except he isn t He is kind of a ghost or something now but will become a demon if he doesn t get the Talisman Which is my grandmother s necklace Which is a family heirloom Because Lady Agnes, is my great great great grandmother She put all her power into the necklace to keep it from Sebastian Because Sebastian is S Who saw that coming And Sebastian was the one to kill Lady Agnes But it was an accident And he feels bad about it now Me Wait, WHAT Sebastian killed your ancestor and you don t even blink He s a murderer and you don t even care a little bit Evie He s dreamy and I love him so much What s a little thing like murder in the face of a love like ours Besides, he told me he never wants to hurt me Though he might in the future when he becomes of a demon and has to kill me to get the Talisman and become truly immortal Sigh Isn t that the most tragically romantic thing you ve ever heard Me You say tragically romantic I say miserably stupid Evie And the evil coven has been searching for the Talisman They knew I was related to Lady Agnes, but didn t question me or try to take my SuperSpecialAwesome necklace ever Oh, and if you get three demerits they send you to detention but REALLY they steal your life force.Me Why do they wait for three demerits Why don t they hand out demerits easily so they can get life force Why don t they just steal a little bit of all the students life forces Why didn t they just try to steal your life force when you arrived because they knew who you were and kept giving you demerits anyway Evie confused You keep saying things I just DON T understand Me You know what This is dumb This is beyond dumb And I just don t care any Go off and pine for your murderous demon boyfriend and fail to do anything useful ever and stop talking to me I m done with you. Okay I admit that I liked this one If you haven t noticed I am a sucker for the story of the somewhat lonley, misunderstood female lead who falls in love with the guy who is not quite what he first seems to be HOWEVER, I will tell you that I liked this story much much when it was called A Great and Terrible Beauty and was written by Libba Bray. ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.Evie Johnson is a new student at Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, which resides in you ll never guess a gothic mansion on the moors Surprisingly, there are some severe headmistresses there coiffed with scraped back buns and a clique of mean rich girls They tease Evie for arriving on the train and make discourteous comments when the school mistress announces that Evie is their new scholarship student You won t believe it, but Evie has red hair and a seemingly innocuous silver pendant which belonged to her mother who was drowned , grandmother, and other maternal ancestors who have some connection to the area around Wyldcliffe Abbey Needless to say, I was astonished when Evie started experiencing strange sensations and hallucinations when she arrived at school These visions are connected to the tragic deaths of two young ladies, one of whom grew up in the Victorian age and wisely kept a diary detailing her experimentation with witchcraft.In an unpredictable twist, there s also a mysterious and exotically beautiful boy with no personality who sneaks around on the grounds at night and has fallen hopelessly in love with Evie for no apparent reason With the help of Sarah, the only nice girl at Wyldcliffe Abbey, and Helen, the strange loner, Evie tries to figure out what s going on.Immortal, by Gillian Shields, is a disappointing Wuthering Heights wannabe whose plot so closely mimics Libba Bray s A Great and Terrible Beauty, that it begs comparison And so I will compare it I didn t particularly enjoy Bray s book because of the unlikable girls, but I did find some pleasure and wit between its covers and the audio narration was truly beautiful.Immortal, however, has nothing going for it Evie is an ineffective heroine We re supposed to root for her because she s the protagonist of the story, but she s not particularly engaging or interesting The only reason to root for Evie is that Celeste the ice princess who s the classic mean girl caricature is against her Likewise, the beautiful boy who falls in love with Evie has nothing to offer He s supposed to be tragic and romantic, but I found him annoying and wondered when Evie would ask herself what was wrong with this ridiculous romance The only tolerable person in Immortal is Sarah, the nice girl Unfortunately, though the audio version performed by Emily Durante was otherwise well acted, the voice used for Sarah was so highly pitched sometimes becoming sharp and shrill that it made even Sarah intolerable.So, there s no reason to like any of Shields characters, and there s no charm, wit, beauty, or style to make up for it Immortal isn t likely to entertain most adults and most well read teenagers will also find it derivative, emotionally vapid, and generally unsatisfying Other than disappointment, while reading Immortal I never felt anything but d j vu.
Gillian Shields was born and brought up in Yorkshire, in the north of England As she grew up, she had two passions books and theater Gillian s love of books led her to read English at St Catharine s College, Cambridge After university she studied acting in London She then taught in a drama school, the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, for several years, becoming Vice Principal She recently
- 368 pages
- Gillian Shields
- 20 March 2019 Gillian Shields