House Immortal – Devon Monk

About the Book

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.…


368 pages (paperback)
Published by Roc
Published on September 2, 2014
Author’s webpage
Buy this book.

This book was sent for me to review by the publisher.

Devon Monk is one of those authors that I was introduced to this year and I ended up absolutely loving her work. She has a way with putting a unique twist on a story that, under anyone else’s hand, would be rather been-there-done-that. Not only that, but her magic systems are truly one-of-a-kind.

House Immortal is the first book in a brand new series by Monk. It’s sort of urban fantasy, sort of science fiction. The merging of the two genres is done in such a way that fans of either genre can find something to enjoy here, though it has more of an urban fantasy feel to it, I think it can be considered a crossover novel for anyone who wants to get picky about it.

A unique magic system is starting to feel like a Devon Monk trademark, and House Immortal is no different. You don’t get vampires or ghosties in this one. Instead you get the galvanized, a small group of people who have been pieced together and have somehow been imbued with nearly eternal life. They are incredibly strong, and are virtual celebrities. Wars have been fought over them. They are rather secretive and have lived for so long that their perspectives on current events are hard to pin down.

Of course all of this power, celebrity, and illusiveness has a price and Devon Monk has an incredibly cunning, very natural way of dealing out the negative sides of her magic system along with the positives. The galvanized have no ability to feel. They have almost no independence as they are owned by the houses they are part of, and eternal life means that plenty of people out there are willing to give up a lot to have that secret.

The world in this somewhat near future has a sort of Divergent feel to it. People are broken into different houses, each house is represented by a color, and each color focuses on a specific function of society. For example, the blacks deal with justice, the whites deal with healing and so on. Some houses are looked at more favorably than others, and even in this world of favors and bribes, there is enough political tension and a real feeling of impending change that Monk infuses her book with.

Enter Matilda Case, a young woman who lives a hard life in the backcountry, hacking her own life out of the scrub. When she meets Abraham, everything changes, and slowly Monk unfurls the importance of Matilda’s existence and the worldwide political ramifications of it, on the reader.

Matilda is probably one of my favorite protagonists I’ve encountered in quite a while. She’s strong and independent minded. She isn’t one to alter her opinions based on the perspectives or power of the people around her. She’s fierce, but rather closed off in some respects. She’s uncertain, confused, ignorant and absolutely real. She realizes her strengths and weaknesses, and is absolutely balanced with them. She’s just… Matilda, and she never really stops being Matilda throughout the book.

Matilda isn’t the only truly unique and memorable character in the book. Neds, her friend(s) and sidekick started out being an interesting character (for a lot of reasons), but ended up being one of those mysterious secondary characters that makes me want to know more.

That’s probably the best thing that Monk does with House Immortal– she really starts something incredible here. Much of this book is a setup, but it’s done so well that you won’t mind. This is looking to be one of those series that really makes an impression, especially if this book is anything to go by. I’m learning that there are things that Devon Monk does so well, and unique worlds, memorable characters, and fascinating, layered magic systems are just a few of those things. She really infuses House Immortal with all of it.

So, what’s my verdict? I devoured House Immortal. While the world felt a little too much like Divergent (though much more adult), everything else was absolutely wonderful. This is an obvious set up for the rest of the series, but it is set up so incredibly well that I’m left almost begging Monk to write faster. Please. I want more and I don’t want to wait.


4/5 stars


One Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.