Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Immortal by Christopher Pike

Published July 1993.

Josie is on vacation in Greece with her father, his new girlfriend, and her best friend. While visiting the sacred island of Delos, she accidentally stumbles upon an ancient artifact - a tiny statue of a Goddess. Immediately Josie is enchanted by the statue and she takes it with her when she leaves the island.

Then the trouble starts. A guy takes her for a boat road and she is almost killed. Then the image of the Goddess begins to haunt her dreams. The Goddess wants something from Josie that she doesn't want to give.

The immortal wants to be mortal.

The goddess wants Josie's life. (book back blurb)

First, the chronology of that blurb is off. Josie stumbles upon the statue after a few of those events already occur and she starts dreaming about the goddess. Second, personally, I think that blurb is a little misleading but once you start reading the story, it makes more sense in context. But from just reading the blurb, the story's not exactly how it sounds.

My biggest (and pretty much only) issue with this book was the voice. It makes me wonder about the difference in perception of the YA voice from 20 years ago against what it is now. There were just some parts that I felt were so contrived I couldn't help but laugh. Like when Josie was snorkeling and she saw some fish. She then thought to herself that they made her horny. I was so jarred by that I actually laughed out loud. Aside from the complete blindside of that statement, am I missing something? Are swimming fish supposed to be an aphrodisiac? Not to mention Josie isn't a very likeable character. Not that I wanted to stop reading about her, but her actions were on this side of bitchy and uncaring. She's a very self-centered chick but it all works itself out. There's a redemption of sorts to her actions.

While I feel the plot meandered a little too long at the beginning, fleshing out Josie's life up until things start happening, I felt like I was propelled through the story. I felt a little like I was on sea legs reading it. Things were a little choppy, a little discombobulated and some of them didn't make a lot of sense, but once things started to round themselves out, all the little seemingly uneven nuances pulled themselves together in a nice straight path.

I'm amazed by the ending. Pike has this uncanny ability to weave all of these little bits and bobs together to create a climax that'll blow you away. I'm so glad I picked up The Immortal first. It has a great balance of history and present, not eye-rollingly blended at all but convincing enough that maybe, just maybe, if you went to Delos, it might just happen to you. It weaves two seemingly unrelated plotlines together excellently, only coming together completely within the last few pages, leaving you salivating for more because while it ends nice and completely, it doesn't really end. Catch my drift?

The best part? Pike isn't afraid to royally screw with his characters. They will be put from one end of the ringer to the other and back again before the book is over and you will love every second of it. He's fearless and it makes the story all the better. If you have to start somewhere with Pike's work, make it The Immortal. You won't be disappointed. While it's not crazy spooky ooky horror, it's got a creep factor to it that may just leave you questioning your friends.


Anonymous said...

Christopher Pike was my absolute favorite when I was younger! I haven't read anything by him in so long.

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

I haven't read this but I've read the Last Vampire by Christopher Pike, which I really enjoyed. It's wierd how differnt YAs were just a few years ago, isn't it?
This book looks really good, and this is a brilliant review!

Anonymous said...

I remember reading this book when I was like 10! I loved it. I read it twice. I still remember the glass in the hamburger and thinking - can you really kill someone that way? Wouldn't she taste it?, etc.

Ahhh, memories.

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