Immortal by Gillian Shields 5 of 5 stars.
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 more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness.
Evie'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 fate. (Goodreads Summary)
Evie Johnson is on her own. With her grandmother in the nursing home and her father in the army, a scholarship to one of the oldest and most elite boarding school in the country comes as more than a welcomed relief to her father. But Evie isn't so sure. From the moment she starts her journey to Wyldcliffe Abbey School, she knows something isn't right. Darkness and danger hover over the entire school like a dark cloud, but the Abbey isn't the only thing shrouded in mystery. There is also Sebastian, a beautiful and strange young man and the only thing keeping Evie's head above water.
But as things continue to get stranger at the school with its lingering Gothic influences, Evie begins to realize its not just Sebastian she does not understand, it is herself. As ghosts and foreboding tidings seem to seep from the very blood stained walls of the Abbey, Evie realizes she's in a fight for her life. One where she can trust no one and nothing until this horrible evil can be at once laid to rest. Can Evie push her emotions for Sebastian away long enough to see behind the curtain to her true self and his?
Immortal is a stunning modern Gothic thriller with rock solid characters and a beautifully toned narrator. Gillian Shields's writing was so addictive I could barely put the novel down. The distinction between Evie and Agnes's voices in the book was what really held things together for me and managed to separate the modern from the Gothic while melding them together at the same time. With two characters so alike it takes a great deal of talent to make them both stand on their on as well as Gillian Shields was able to.
I'm thankful that she didn't make Sebastian into the cookie cutter type of guy many novels of this type seem to dish out. He was complicated and unpredictable until the very end, and I like that. There's nothing worse than being able to predict the outcome of a story. It may make you feel smart for a while, but it is very unsatisfying.
Overall, the plot and tone of Immortal is gorgeous and powerful, full of all the right undertones and highlights a book of this genre needs. Its a novel that fits in perfectly with the popular books of today but also goes far beyond that in the sense of timelessness that it brings. Anyone with a thirst for a good fantasy will love this. It may not be the ideal light summer read, but for those of you like me who enjoy your books heavy and intense, you will love this one.
For fans of: The Evil Within by Nancy Holder
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