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Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Comedy
Point of View: First (Adam)
Released: March 8, 2012
Predictability: 4 out of 5 (Where 1 is George RR Martin (If the characters make a plan or think about the future I know it isn’t going to go that way.) And 5 is Cinder (where I guessed what was going to happen long before it did, but it was still a great book.)
Comedy Scale: 2 amusing, but I didn’t laugh aloud.
My Rating: 5/10 Stars
Warning: This is an adult book for violence, sex, and adult humor.
I requested this book on Netgalley and I was contacted by Cindy at The Writer’s Coffee Shop who asked if I wanted to do a blitz or something to help promote the third book in the series. I hadn’t read it yet, but I jumped at the chance to interview an author! Even though I’ve never really interviewed anyone before. (I don’t figure those times for school counted.)
Adam has been around for thousands of years, he likes to say that he predates written history. In modern times someone’s found out that he’s immortal and will do anything to get their hands on him.
I am a sucker for funny books, so I when I read the summary I was sold. I mean, a funny immortal guy? I’m there.
There’s also more to the world than just one immortal guy, there’s vampires, iffrits, demons and all sorts of other things, which was cool.
I’m still not sure if I like the main character or not. He’s definitely an antihero; killing when necessary, and not always saving people, though he does feel bad about it later. He’s also a drunk. (He was drunk for like 90% of this book.)
I liked that for once there was an immortal who liked being immortal, even if he is a bit cynical about everything. He doesn’t want to die, and he’s a unique immortal, because he’s pretty sure that things that would kill a normal person would kill him too, he just doesn’t age or get sick.
There’s an info dump at the beginning telling about his life, but I didn’t mind it at all, because it was well done and witty. I loved his ability to blend into with whatever culture he’s around, his skin tone and hair changing. I wish this had been used more, it was a unique little twist.
He makes many observations about humans that really added to the story and made me believe the whole immortal thing. Like he comments that there are only so many faces out there, so it’s weird running into someone you used to know.
I actually liked the flash backs better than the main story. I understand the need for flashbacks with an immortal character living a long life, but the flash forwards (thankfully done in italics) complicated things a bit too much. Once it stays in one time the pace really picked up and it was a more enjoyable read.
I didn’t like the Iffrit Jerry, I thought he was crude. Fortunately he isn’t in the book much.
Towards the middle of the book it gets into the whole sex thing.
Adam’s done some horrible things in his life, (He always defends himself in parentheses saying it was what everyone at the time did.) but some of those things are pretty unforgiveable.
For instance when talking about his early life (cave man type days) he said: “We won the fight and rewarded ourselves by raping several of their women. It’s what one did. Don’t ask me to feel bad about it if you weren’t there.” This wasn’t funny and was completely unnecessary.
Verdict: Immortal is hard book to rate, because I liked most of it and it’s certainly an amusing book, with some interesting details, but there were aspects that I really didn’t like.
Odd fact: I was watching that new show Forever (which is very good by the way) and at the end of the second episode (Minor spoiler alert) the bad guy says something which totally made me think of this book.
“You want to call me something, call me Adam, feels like I’ve been here right from the beginning.“ – Adam, Forever
“I like to brag that I’ve been there from the beginning, and while this may very well be true, I generally just say it to pick up girls.” -Adam, The Immortal
About the Author
Gene Doucette is the acclaimed author of Immortal and Hellenic Immortal, the sci-fi thriller Fixer, and (as G Doucette) the erotic horror thriller Sapphire Blue. He is also the author of multiple short stories– including The Immortal Chronicles series– is a prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, and a published humorist and essayist. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and two children.
My Interview with Author Gene Doucette:
What’s your favorite place to write? Do you like to be alone and quiet or noisy in public?
I’ve been writing for long enough to have had a study/computer room for my desktop computer, which was a vast thing that could only be carried around in the event of a fire. In the age of the laptop, I have found myself writing in all sorts of places. For instance, right now I’m sitting at a table at Panera. My preference, though, is quiet. I’d rather be home and bouncing between the bedroom and a comfy chair in the living room, provided there is no television on in the living room.
What book character are you most like? (or favorite book character if you can’t think of one)
Do you mean any book, or Immortal at the Edge of the World? If you mean my book, then I’m most like Adam, unless he’s most like me. He’s smarter than I am, but I’m funnier. Probably. If you mean out of any book in the world, still Adam.
What are your plans for the future, do you have another book series in the works?
I have The Immortal Chronicles to keep up. Those are short stories about events in Adam’s past, and they’re fun and easy to write and people like them. I’ll continue that. I also have a project I’m starting called M Pallas, which will appear—whenever it’s ready—as a lengthy series of novellas amounting to a large and hopefully interesting whole. And I’m mulling over a new trilogy for Adam.
Who are your favorite authors? Anyone who inspired Immortal?
Immortal wasn’t inspired by anybody. I wanted to write a novel and I’d been writing a lot of non-fic humor columns, so I thought it would be fun to try writing a first person story from the perspective of an immortal man in the same basic tone I had learned to perfect in my humor columns. So he became sort of a fictional long-form blogger. I think my favorite author right now might be Neal Stephenson, because he’s consistently operating at a level I can’t even comprehend reaching as a writer.
Are your characters all fiction or do people you know creep in there?
A whole person would never creep in, because fiction writing doesn’t really work like that. I will pick up traits from the people around me and use them, but that’s more about understanding human nature and using that understanding to build simulacrums. So yes, all my characters are fiction, but they’re also real people.
Are you a planner or do your characters have minds of their own?
Those two options aren’t really opposites. I don’t plan or outline, but I have a clear idea of where a story is going to end up. How I get there is entirely up in the air until I start writing. Now, characters do have a mind of their own, but that’s more a commentary on how I create characters than on anything else. I tend to use dialogue to define a character—I was a playwright before I was a novelist—and dialogue is very much about people saying what makes the most sense in response to what was said to them. Sometimes the characters say something that I didn’t expect, and that can change stuff around. It just doesn’t change the ending.
Would you share a funny story with us? [I borrowed this question for Lola. ;)]
I’ve been thinking about this question for two or three days now, thanks. Apparently, I have no funny stories. My life is an unremitting tragedy. Look away, look away.
If Immortal became a movie, who would you want to cast?
This has been a topic of a lot of discussions in the Cult of the Immortal. I created Adam long enough ago that the answer to this question could have reasonably been Robert Downey Jr. or Johnny Depp, but they are both too old and too famous now. These days I’m leaning toward someone like Misha Collins, or Chiwetel Ejiofor.
If you were a character in a book would you want to be the hero, the villain, the sidekick or the love interest?
Oh I’d have to be the hero.
Thanks for letting me read your book and interview you!
If you had a chance to interview your favorite author what would you ask?