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….
House Immortal is the first book in a new series by Devon Monk. As with any new, complicated Urban Fantasy series the first handful of chapters are there to explain things, world build and basically lay out what everything is and how it will work. House Immortal is no different and in the beginning we are introduced to our main characters.
On the surface Matilda Case is a humble farm girl. But below the surface she is so much more and so very unique. She is galvanized.
Made of bits
Not quite human.
Stitched like my father’s other illegal creations.
Many years ago, an event took place that left 12 people immortal. These people are stitched together by thread, stronger, smarter and faster than normal humans. They are called the galvanized.
“Only galvanized brains resist every strain of disease on earth; feel no pain; and are inhumanely strong, adaptive, and infinitely repairable. Only galvanized brains show no sign of aging or decline. Only galvanized are immortal- cheaters of time.”
They are revered, worshipped and treated as higher beings. But only by the common people. In order to save humanity from an all out war, the galvanized agreed to serve the Houses. Each House is of a different color and controls a certain part of the world- White is medical, Black is defense, Green is agriculture and so on. The 12 galvanized were divided between the Houses and the peace was kept. This also allowed House Brown to be formed; the house of misfits and one not acknowledged by all other houses.
Matilda is the one galvanized to ever have been made since the creation of the 12. What nobody knows is that she is born and not made. She was a human girl who become ill and was transferred into the body of a hidden galvanized. So she essentially was made immortal. Matilda and her brother Quinten, along with their grandmother and the Neds, are the only ones who know about Matilda and if they want her to survive, that is how it must stay.
This plan seemed to be working fine until the day a bloodied man by the name of Abraham Seventh shows up at her door claiming to be there to save her father. Since Matilda witnessed House Black murder her mother and father many years ago she doesn’t know why he is there and figures to patch him up and send him on his way. Abraham is the galvanized of House Gray and makes it clear that Matilda will no longer be able to hide. If his House knows about, then everyone does and the other Houses will not be as nice as he has been.
Matilda has a farm and her grandmother to protect, plus she hasn’t seen her brother for three years and thinks he is being held captive so she agree to go with Abraham. Her two-headed farm hand, Ned, grudgingly goes with her as a protector. Once there things start to spiral out of control as all the Houses fight for ownership of Matilda. She only wants to be free but that doesn’t seem to be an option any longer. House Gray seems like the lesser of all evils so Matilda signs a ten-year agreement with Oscar Gray in exchange for protection for her grandmother, help locating her brother and the recognition House Brown has long deserved.
Nothing is that easy though and the leader of House Orange has a plan underfoot. He is sick and wants to be immortal. He has made it his life’s work to find a way to become immortal and now he has control over Quinten Case, the only person to create a galvanized. He will do anything to get what he wants even if it starts a war between all the Houses in the process.
I love Devon Monk’s books. There is something about each story that sucks the reader in completely and doesn’t let go. It has been several days since I finished this book and still I am thinking about it. The first couple of chapters are a rough info dump and I was wondering what was up. It didn’t start out hooking me. Then Abraham shows up and the story explodes. Matilda was doing what she could to protect her family and farm and it seemed like she was getting a good deal. But this is one of those books where you know something else is going on; you know the story you are getting isn’t the full story. Boy was I right.
The last couple of chapters takes everything in the book and blows it all to pieces. Houses are fighting, galvanized are taking actions they are not supposed to, crazy transitions take place and what was left wasn’t what we started with. I was shaking my head when I finished this book. Of course there is a cliffhanger too. It is a doozy and I have no idea what will happen now. This is set to be a new series and I cannot wait to see what it will hold.
Overall, this was an excellent story. Devon Monk is incredible at weaving a tale that makes the reader excited, crazy and astonished all at the same time. Urban Fantasy fans will love this new and exciting concept and not be able to put the book down. So where can I get that next book now?? Final grade- A-/B+
He raised one eyebrow. “Broken arm and a revolver. A revolver, Matilda? You’re a couple of centuries out-of-date in your choice of weapons.”
“I like that revolver. You’d be surprised what a chunk of lead and gunpowder can do to even out a situation.”
“No,” he said, “actually I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“It’s not illegal to own a revolver.”
“Neither is it illegal to own a canon. Not a lot of people lug them into a crowded metropolis.”