Review: House Immortal by Devon Monk (@jessicadhaluska, @DevonMonk)

Posted October 8, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 32 Comments

Review: House Immortal by Devon Monk (@jessicadhaluska, @DevonMonk)
House Immortal by Devon Monk
Series: House Immortal #1
Published by Roc
Published on: September 2 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized....

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…


So many strange things happened in the first several pages of this book that I made my husband stop constructing whatever diabolical thing he was working on in our basement, so I could have his undivided attention when I read those pages to him out loud.

First sentence:

“The way I saw it, a girl needed three things to start a day right: a hot cup of tea, a sturdy pair of boots, and for the feral beast to die the first time she stabbed it in the brain.”

After that we find out that something in the ground (nano) is presumed to mutate animals like the crocboar our heroine Matilda is currently trying to kill, it’s causally mentioned that said feral beast makes for excellent “dragon chow,” and the farmhand first known as “Neds” quickly becomes Left Ned and Right Ned (b/c Neds has two heads).

So weird.

And yet . . . so captivating.

Matilda Case is a Frankenstein-esque creation of her father’s, a scientist of  great renown (or notoriety depending on who you ask), but unlike the monster in Shelley’s Frankenstein, Matilda is . . . at least partially . . . truly her father’s daughter.

You see, when Matilda was a child, she became very sick and almost died, but her brother somehow managed to transfer her consciousness into the body of a “stiched” person.

There are twelve other “stitched” people in Matilda’s world known as the galvanized. They are immortal. They do not age, they feel no pain, and they cannot be killed unless you irreversibly scramble their brains.

They’re basically sentient zombies.

They’re owned and employed by the eleven houses that control various essential resources (and the WORLD) . . . and to the general population they are . . . celebrities.

FUN FACT—If you google the word “galvanize,” the definition you’ll get is:

1. shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action.


The world-building in this book was amazing.

It’s important that I firmly establish how spectacular the world Monk created in this new series, before I go on to say that by the time I finished House Immortal, I had so many unanswered questions that it took all of my self-restraint to not find her and give her a shakedown (YES, a shakedown) for the next book.

The premise was equally great.

I don’t want to share too much for fear of giving something away, but suffice it to say that the hints Monk drops with just enough frequency to keep us chewing our fingernails rather than throwing things (like books and/or temper tantrums) are well worth the frustration when you finally get to the fist-pounding euphoria of knowing you were right all along (and I so was).


What comes now?

We’ll have to wait until book 2, Infinity Bell, hits bookstores in March to find out. And you’d better believe I will be counting down the days.

Until then, House Immortal by Devon Monk tosses you headfirst into a brave new world of mutated creatures and people, all controlled by Houses grasping for power and . . . immortality. From two-headed farmhands to tiny, fruit-loving octopuses that live in trees (and yes, are kind of cute), I can promise that you have not read anything like this modern parade of human oddities and the results of scientific experiments gone horribly awry. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for not-your-ordinary heroine, or not-your-ordinary anything, really. Strange is good.

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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32 responses to “Review: House Immortal by Devon Monk (@jessicadhaluska, @DevonMonk)

  1. Pili from In Love With  

    As you said Strange is gooooood, Jessica!! I’m adding this one to the wish list but I don’t plan to read it till closer to March so the agony of waiting won’t be as bad!
    Unique and different reads tend to be far in between and I’m so gonna be not missing this one!
    Great review!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #63!!

  2. Well, color me intrigued by this one Jessica! Mary really enjoyed it as well despite it’s strangeness, and I honestly couldn’t be more curious about Matilda and this world. Stitched creatures with someone else’s consciousness? Must give it a try for myself!!!

  3. Mogsy from BiblioSanctum  

    My first ever experience with Devon Monk was her Broken Magic duology, which was the spin off from her Allie Beckstrom novels. I think that’s why I was a bit lost, and admittedly the experience left me a bit gun shy about her books. Kinda regret not picking this one up now though, because it’s gotten pretty good reviews, and being a brand new series I think I would have liked it a lot more.
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Dust and Light by Carol Berg

  4. Wow this sounds really weird at the start, but the catch is that I love weird!! Not to mention unique and for that this one is going to my TBR list. It’s amazing that you got to enjoy it that much at the end and I cannot wait to read it myself. Great review, Jessica 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#16)

  5. Stephanie

    The world building is truly spectacular in this book. I highly recommend Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series if you’ve not read it yet. I am going to visit her steampunk western series while I wait for March.

  6. This does sound strange but in a good way. I think I own a different series by this author but haven’t started it yet. I’m glad that you really loved it though. It is always the mark of a great book if you have to pull your husband away from what he is doing to hear you out, I do the same thing with my boyfriend over great books.
    Thanks for the great review!
    Alexa recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels

  7. Anonymous  

    LoL this sounds super weird, but fun weird! And I agree with all of the things she mentions in the first sentence; that’s always the start to a good day!

    I’ll have to check this one out, because curiosity!

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  8. I was a little anxious before starting this one, because I loved her Devon Monk series and I wasn’t sure it would be up to it but in the end I loved it and I liked the ideas there so I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. you made me laugh with the translation of galvanize, I didn’t know it meant that.

  9. Any UF series that opens with a four star book is enough to grab my attention! Even though I’m not a huge zombie fan, the galvanized sound promising. The fact that there are so few of them is definitely unique for most zombie books (as opposed to overrunning the human population). I’m also loving the subtle stitching around the model’s neck on the front cover…very spooky/cool!
    Danya recently posted…Review: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire