What is this about?: It’s about my love for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to the point that I requested a very, very, YA (9-12) book. Look, I am a sucker for the right blurb. And, the blurb and the book does deliver.
What else is it about?: A cursed Pharaoh, death and family.
Should you read?: You should read this with your kid. It’s good fun.
Blurb: Gothic action-adventure transported to twenty-first-century London
The first installment of a brand new adventure series, The Last Immortal combines the action of Percy Jackson with the mystery-solving of Sherlock, and a superhero cast reminiscent of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
In Victorian London, 13-year-old Luke dreams of joining the Immortals, a supernatural crime-fighting squad, founded by his father, the infamous Victor Frankenstein. But when Luke secretly follows the Immortals on a mission against the resurrected Dark Pharaoh Sanakhte, he is killed.
Luke is preserved for 150 years before he is reanimated in the modern day by his childhood friend Evelyn and her father, Jonathan Harker—both vampires. His reconstructed body is fitted with cybernetic upgrades that make him an incredible athlete and fighter. And he’ll need them, because Sanakhte and his followers have returned.
Now Luke and his friends must reunite the scattered Immortals: Raziel, a living gargoyle; Aurora Cage, a werewolf bounty hunter; and Dodger, a Victorian pickpocket cursed with eternal life. But to destroy the Dark Pharaoh, Luke must first uncover a terrible secret hidden in his past . . .
Like I said, I’m a sucker for the right blurb. And, I have a deep and abiding love for the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, which yes it’s not particularly brilliant, but it’s not like I care. The attraction of a wealth of different literary characters coming together to fight evil was just too good tor resist. (… Admit it, someone else out there loved The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, right?)
And years later it still is for me.
Luke, like every other kid, wants to be involved with the exciting stuff is father is embroiled in, which if your father is Victor Frankenstein, you know where he’s coming from. The book begins with a bang, letting us know how much Luke wants to be part of The Immortals, a society consistency of different (literary) immortal characters fighting the good fight against evil.
And, in those first chapters, Luke is killed. No rest for the wicked here. Fast-foward a 150-years and Luke is awake, alone in the world because of his father’s death, and the Immortals, the society which was a constant in his life disbanded. Only Jonathan Harker and his daughter Evelyn are around, and that’s because they finished his father’s work in bringing him back.
So begins Luke’s acclimatisation to modern life and his new body, not to mention the continuation of his almost frenemy relationship with Evelyn as she helps him understand what he can do. These scenes are so much fun, and Marlowe has a gift for writing action, bringing the complex scenes to life.
Training montage over, things get hairy when they discover the cult that caused Luke’s death is still around, searching for a heart of a Pharaoh. More than a couple of times, I got serious The Mummy vibes here.
Eventually, comes readers’ thorough introduction to the rest of The Immortals as Luke and Evelyn hunt them down to bring the band back together. This part is just downright fun, and any kid (or adult) will enjoy it.
One thing that did stick out to me, was that the bulk of this book is geared towards Luke finding out about the future and himself, and finding the rest of The Immortals, all in an effort to stop this cult — which, given as it’s supposed to be the main storyline sort of got lost a bit in everything else until it was tied up in the end. It might’ve been better to focus on Luke and his relationships, as well as the other Immortals more.
That said, the 9-12 years age group is going to love this!