Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the House Immortal series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I really enjoyed Monk’s Allie Beckstrom and Broken Magic series but wasn’t a huge fan of her Age of Steam series (odd since I usually love steampunk books). I was excited to see what she would come up with next. House Immortal is the first book in a new fantasy series by Monk. I wasn’t able to find information on how many books are planned for this series. The 2nd book in the series, Infinity Bell, is due to release in March of 2015. I really enjoyed this book and think that House Immortal is Monk’s best book yet.
Matilda (aka Tilly) Case was stitched together by her father and brother. Stitching people and animals together is illegal. After her parents deaths Tilly has remained in hiding at a rural farm, taking care of the animals her father stitched together. Her only company for years has been the two headed farmhand named Neds and her mentally unstable grandmother. Then Abraham Seventh shows up at her door. Tilly has been discovered and she is the thirteenth of the galvanized. The galvanized are beings stitched together in a way that makes them super strong and pretty much immortal. Suddenly in an effort to save her farm and her grandmother Tilly is thrust into the complex politics of the Houses and fighting for her future.
I loved the unique world-building, the idea of the galvanized and really enjoyed the characters throughout. It’s hard to pin down the genre for this book. The story has a bit of an urban fantasy feel to it, some mystery, some science fiction elements, some steampunk ideas, and lots of political intrigue. I thought it was very different from anything I have read before and really enjoyed both its uniqueness and how engaging the story was.
The world building really is top notch. There is a complex system of Houses. Each different color House specializes in something (Black is defense, White is medical, Grey is people, etc). The galvanized that comes to Tilly’s house, Abraham, belongs to House Grey. Tilly is secretly a member of House Brown, which is a House that stands outside all the other Houses. It is all a bit complicated at first but Monk does an excellent job explaining this complex world well.
I loved Tilly and Abraham as characters. They have excellent chemistry together and are very intriguing characters. Tilly is just very fun to read about, she’s got this whole mysterious past but she is a very down-to-earth farm girl type. Tilly has a lot of bad options to choose from in this book and does her best. She is one of those characters that doesn’t seem super tough at first, but she really steps up to the challenge when it matters.
Abraham has that whole dark and mysterious going on, yet he is very practical too. I really enjoyed his character and thought his personality played nicely off of Tilly’s. As mentioned above I love the idea of immortal characters that are made from stitched up bits of other people (very Frankenstein).
The whole story is very fast-paced and engaging. I really really enjoyed it. The book stops at a cliffhanger that had me desperate to read more. Usually cliffhangers frustrate me but it worked well for this book. The point the story stops at is a cliffhanger but it is a also a point where you can tell we are transitioning from one type of story to another.
Overall I really really loved this first book in Monk’s new fantasy series. I think it is her best book yet. This book is a unique blend of many genres and has a very urban fantasy/steampunk feel to it. I enjoyed the awesome world-building and the engaging characters. Highly recommended both to urban fantasy fans and to fans of Monk’s previous works.