I super late with this review and I apologize for it. I got an ARC of The Immortal City via Netgalley last year (I know, I know…). Thanks for the opportunity to BHC Press.
|Series: The Magicians of Venice #1||Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Mystery|
|Date of Publishing: September 19th 2019||Trigger Warnings: Abuse (prisoner), Violence (graphic description of murder scenes), Torture, Inclined rape,|
|Page Count: 324||Publisher: BHC Press|
In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.
Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.
Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.
As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.
With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.
“Venice had survived like a small pocket of the decadent past, its mythology only enhanced by the world that loved and protected her, even if they were not Venetian. It was a city that still welcomed all and stole their hearts as easily as it relieved the money from their giving pockets.”
I definitely wanted a love song to go with The Immortal City and luckily for me I have a couple of bands on my list who can pull those songs off. Goo Goo Dolls is one of them and I think Let Love In is a great song for Penelope and Alexis.
Back when I requested a copy of The Immortal City on Netgalley, I was looking for something light and interesting book to read, thinking I’ll be having all the time finishing it before release. Life of course decided to kick my ass instead and a year passed somehow until my schedule cleared up enough to finally get to it. By this point I basically jumped into it blindly, I could not remember the blurb and decided not to look it up so it would be a mystery.
And The Immortal City does start out as a mystery. Modern-day Venice is plagued by a brutal murderer and Inspector Marco Dandolo asks for help from archeologist Dr. Penelope Byrne to help understand the strange symbols left at the scenes. Unlike herself, Penelope gets on the first plane to fly half a world over in hopes to get closer to learning something about Atlantis. Her efforts ridiculed by everyone, her career in ruins, she is unable to give up on finding answers. She knows Atlantis must have existed and a piece of stone tablet might prove it. As well as the murderer roaming free in Venice who uses very similar symbols. What Penelope finds though is a life-threatening danger, unexpected friendship, and new possibilities.
The Immortal City got me hooked pretty early on. I love crime fiction, especially if it’s paired with some fantasy. It starts our more crime fiction and ends up being more fantasy. I was intrigued by the investigation and was a bit disappointed when the focus switched to Penelope and Alex’s relationship. That’s where things have become a bit cliché. Not that it stopped me basically devouring the book. Was it predictable? Yeah. I didn’t really care about the MC, Penelope either, but there was still something in this book that just made me unable to stop reading. I probably read it at the right time and it just clicked with me on some level.
I liked the side-characters, the magicians living with Alexis. Phaedros, Aelia and Zo bring a great comedic relief on their own way, while the others, Nereus, Lyca and Galenos are more serious. They balance each other out well. I somehow found Penelope a bit flat as a character among all these colorful, vibrant personalities. Sure, all of them has their problems and hardships, Penelope included, but she kind of felt like a tool in the plot rather than an active participant. Things are happening to her and she is by no means a weak character, just… not interesting enough I guess. It’s hard to explain.
The Immortal City is a fast-paced, decent Fantasy set in the beautiful Venice – of which we get not nearly enough by the way. It might be a perfect read for those who love Mystery books with star-crossed lovers and magic chasing thousands of years old myths. It has a lot going for it and Kuivalainen made Venice alive in this modern-day blood-soaked love story.