Review of “I, Immortal” (Brace Yourselves)

by on September 21, 2012

in book reviews, Entertainment

I immortal book reviewUpon the recommendation of an acquaintance, I went out and picked up the book I, Immortal, by “Afobos.”

The premise in I, Immortal is a good one and taps into our desire to live vicariously through others who live through the ages without threat of death or disease.  And there are a few premises and social statements tossed out there that are noteworthy.  And it’s a long, long, long read. (If you like your books feeling like they’ll never end.)

I also think that this book, if you can get it for free, is a great example for up and coming writers, on what not to do when writing a story.

And that’s where the good thoughts about I, Immortal end.

I don’t like writing negative things about movies or books or what have you but I am compelled every now and then to stand up and play town crier.  While I was reading I, Immortal, I was going to grit my teeth and just get through it and lesson learned to never, ever, in my life, buy anything from Afobos, ever again.

I think I grabbed a Kindle copy of this indie book because it was free for that day and I fear, even that was too much to pay.  Then the other day I saw that this book actually exists in paperback and has a going price of $14 on it.  That’s when I decided to stand up for the innocents who might drop that kind of money on the title and I wrote this book review.

The book starts out as our main character, Aris, telling us about himself.  He’s immortal and has been around for around 12,000 years.  He has a lot to say about the many things he’s seen and the many adventures he’s been on.  And he’s been on quite a few, many of which have impacted the history of the human race, again, and again and again.  From meeting Jesus and being “that” Paul, defending some Indians from Western man’s incursion into their territory, to partaking in the war of 1812, pursuing Hitler, being famous authors throughout history or sinking Atlantis, he’s been there and done it all.  And amazingly, has survived to tell the tale.  Then again, he’s invulnerable and pretty much nothing can stop him.

The premise behind the immortals in the book is that when they’re in their 30’s, they suddenly stop aging.  And as time goes on, they become impervious to any harm and develop superhuman strength and speed.  They (there’s more than one) also seem to want to use their almost Superman powers for good.

But therein lies one weakness to the story.  Being invulnerable, his adventures hold no sway over some of our emotions.  There’s no risk and the reader has no investment.  As the book goes on, Aris does nothing but talk about himself and how cool he is.  And it comes off to the point of narcissism.  Immortal narcissism.  And that can go on forever!

He likes standing up for the victims and the weak and still enjoys experiencing life.

One of the largest flaws of the book is that the author does not trust the reader to be smart enough to remember what we’ve read or doesn’t trust himself.  Every chance he gets, he reminds us of Aris’ immortal state or his immense strength and speed.  Or his yearning desire to protect the weak, whether they be a single individual, a tribe or an entire nation.  And this goes on for 445 pages where he won’t let up in reminding the reader about the various special traits of the main character or his other immortal friends.

Honestly, a good editing job would have cut the page numbers down to the 200’s and made an interesting story.  But I am not sure where to begin when talking about the horrible or non-existent editing of the book, but suffice to say that every page or two or three, the wrong words are used or whole sentences are garbled up in a mish-mash of error.  Contradictory statements appear throughout the book and sometimes in the same paragraph.

Though I must fess that after looking around, it seems that Afobos is from Greece, which might account for my difficulty reading the book, but still…

I was once told I write like a NASCAR fan and I have to say that when I start grinding my teeth while reading something, that can’t be good.  I, Immortal feels like a parent gave an iPad to a kid and told him to go nuts.  And that kid pulled vibes from many different shows that I’ve watched in the past, like Stargate (there are snake head aliens in pyramids), pieces of Highlander (where all the immortals can detect each other) and so forth.

If you can get it for free, I’d suggest all new indie authors give it a once over.  It could be a great tool in showing you some insights.  Seriously!  Because of it, I became more aware of one of my own writing flaws.  And I actually appreciate that.  (I am not trying to use an off-handed compliment there,  It was an honest take)  So I forced myself to finish the story because I do finish everything I start.  Sigh.

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