The Immortals – Jordanna Max Brodsky 


I have a tendency, when reading, to let my mind wander. My eye will catch an interesting phrase, or be reminded of a fleeting abstract thought, or a character will be compared to an actor or politician or rare penguin or somesuch: and then I’m off down the garden path, meandering from Wikipedia article to thesaurus entry to Google translate and back to Wikipedia again. I usually find out all sorts of interesting things that have nothing to do with what I’m actually reading.

I digress, you see. So some of these books take much longer to read than they should given my reading speed and lack of enthusiasm for leaving the house.

Less than a fifth of the way through The Immortals, I had to Google “meandros ring” (and immediately after that,”meandros border¹”). “Ah.” I thought; or possibly said aloud because I live by myself and have lost my mind; “this is going to be one of those books“.

(And this after I had so bravely resisted Googling the entire Greek pantheon!)

Unfortunately, my journey of discovery was waylaid by a fairly obvious plot, paper-thin characters, corny dialogue, and a gruesome labia-sewing plot point² for no other reason than, it seems, to pound home the point that our villains are Super Evil Bad Guys.

Some thoughts :

  • Do not front that your MC is lean and muscular from an “all-protein diet” then mention that she goes to a particular  Chinese food place once a week. Pork dumplings are not “all-protein”, Brodsky. Mistress of the Hunt eats carbs and that’s okay!
  • For someone who can see in the dark, Selene sure does trip over wigs and slip on puddles of blood a lot.

I really wanted to love this a lot more than I actually loved this. Theo, the supposed love interest, swung between casual sexism (it’s not chivalry if you’re constantly trying to “rescue” someone stronger and more competent than you), ignoring her boundaries (“she clearly hates being touched, let me keep touching her until she gives in and starts liking it” is deeply uncool) and being about as useful as a fart in an elevator.

Oh, he’s an academic, you say? She needs his help deciphering Greek mythology? The mythology she’s a part of? That mythology? Basically, he’s there because, what, she couldn’t get access to a library? Sigh. I feel like Theo was shoehorned in there so we could have a romantic subplot, which, yeah the power of love blah blah fishpaste I get it. But also come on. I really liked the idea of fading Greek gods living out their lives in the city, and Selene as the ultimate badass lady cop. Why not tell that story? Why is it, even when you’re a goddess, you’re not truly fulfilled and your life isn’t meaningful until you find yourself a man?

Gag. Me. With. A. Spoon. 

This just barely scrapes by with a 3-star rating because a) New York, b) Hippo the dog, and c) the concept and modern-day gods was cool.

¹ Google suggested I search for “meandros border collie” because Google is a ninny.
² Don’t even ask.


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