Publication Date: January 9th, 2018
Rating: 3 ¼ Stars
I was extremely excited to pick this book up. I’d seen The Immortalists mentioned by so many different media outlets, reading communities and publications, as it was widely promoted prior to and after its release. Suffice to say, all this “hype” ultimately caused the book to fall a bit short in my eyes. It was because of the “hype” that I held this book on a pedestal, a pedestal that I deemed to be too high after finishing the story within.
The premise of The Immortalists is so intriguing as four siblings decide to visit a mysterious woman whom tells each of them the exact day they will die. This book causes deeper thought as each sibling is then followed to their death, leading the reader to ask whether they were truly to die that day or if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Benjamin has succeeded in seeding the conversation around life, death and the choices we make. However, her attempts to reintroduce characters from one sibling’s storyline to the next fell flat as the tie back was not seamless and felt forced. In instances such as this, whenever I come upon stories that try to cross characters thru storylines, I immediately reflect on John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a book that so perfectly achieves the reintroduction of characters that every similarly done book I encounter is immediately compared to it. So, while the story is intriguing, thought-provoking and entertaining in its own right; it unfortunately didn’t live up to the hopes, “hype” and enthusiasm surrounding it.