Review: Immortal Writers - Jill Bowers


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Immortal Writers by Jill Bowers
Rating : {★★★☆☆}

Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Netgalley

From Goodreads:
Young up-and-coming author Liz McKinnen has no idea that her life is about to change forever when she comes home from her first book tour. When she's kidnapped and told by her captors that she has to kill her fantasy book's antagonist, she thinks that she's fallen into the hands of crazy, dangerous fans... until her antagonist sends a real, fire-breathing dragon after her. Liz is quickly initiated into the Immortal Writers, a group of authors from throughout time whose words have given them eternal life, and whose prose is so powerful that it's brought stories over from the Imagination Field into the Reality Field. As Liz meets authors such as William Shakespeare, JRR Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen, she has to learn how to control magic, fight dragons, and face her own troubled past before her power-hungry villain takes over the world. Will she survive the ultimate battle against the dragon lord whom she created?

I feel like I've been hitting a lot of 3 star 'meh' reads lately. But this one (apart from the first 30%) wasn't like that. I really did enjoy this. It's still a 3.5 star read, but 3.5 entertaining and highly enjoyable stars.

I just love this concept. I mean, seriously - "authors from throughout time whose words have given them eternal life, and whose prose is so powerful that it's brought stories over from the Imagination Field into the Reality Field." What bibliophile is not going to jump at this!?

What I also found likeable about this it that Bowers has written a book about a book (and I've read a few of these lately!) and she's done it well. We get to see the worlds of both of these books, and both are well developed and believable.

The main character's world of Shethara is richly imagined and described as are the characters from these books. In fact, Liz's books are something I would love to read myself. The world of the Immortal Writers was also really well developed and thought out and (of course) I loved the characters that Bowers introduced here. Shakespeare, Hemingway, Roald Dahl, Tolkien!

This quote in particular made me wish I was right there in the castle:

“Chocolate?” Liz repeated. “Not exactly the hors d’oeuvres I was expecting for a fancy party like this.”
“It’s not just any chocolate,” Hemingway said. “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka made it.”
As I mentioned I had a few issues with the first 30%. There were some info dumps which could have been handled better and too much convenient special snowflakiness for our MC.

On learning to use magic:
"The fact that you were already able to throw magic at me means that you’re unusually proficient, so it probably won’t take you very long to master this."

On learning to sword fight:
"I’m impressed with how quickly you picked up the techniques I showed you. You just need practice."

There's a lot of action in this book - training and battle scenes. Mostly I thought this was a good thing and it was easy to visualise exactly what was happening. I also enjoyed the different fantasy world's colliding at some points and if you're even remotely a Tolkien fan you will enjoy the use of his works here. Clearly Bowers is a Tolkien fan, and it's highly possible she knows elvish fluently!

I wasn't particularly a fan of the romance in this book, but each to their own. The setup felt too predictable and even after things in general picked up after the first 30% the romance still made me roll my eyes a lot.

While it was definitely entertaining and the premise original, I did find the book predictable and there wasn't anything that really surprised me. So for this, and the first 30% not being as good as the rest of the book I stand by my 3.5 stars.

“We’re all just stories,” Liz said, looking down at him. “Wonderful or horrible, we’re just words and actions and plots and characters. Just stories... "

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