‘The Immortal City’ by Amy Kuivalainen

General Information

TITLE: The Immortal City

AUTHOR: Amy Kuivalainen

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy


PUBLICATION DATE: 19th September 2019

MY RATING: 1.5/5


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

Thoughts & Opinions

Sometimes writing a book review feels a lot like writing a student’s report card at the end of a semester. The reports of those students that are either good or bad can be written both quickly and easily as there is always plenty to say. In fact, even some middling students can be easy to write about if they are a mixture of good qualities and some that are…less than desirable. However, every class has a few students that, unfortunately, don’t have any exceptional qualities, good or bad, and thus struggle to stand out or be memorable. For me, The Immortal City felt like one of those middling students. After I had finished reading the book, I really struggled to determine what opinions I had, if any. So, I forced myself to read it for a second time in the hope of finding some inspiration. I had limited success.

The premise for The Immortal City is certainly interesting enough. Ritualistic murders in Venice coupled with magicians from the lost city of Atlantis…there’s so much potential here. However, despite having so many interesting aspects of the story to work with, I felt that far too much page time was dedicated to the burgeoning romance between the two protagonists. Certainly, I can appreciate that the romantic element was necessary for the overall story, but what I really wanted was to learn more about Atlantis and the mysteries happening in Venice.

Amy Kuivalainen clearly knows how to write a book. The Immortal City reads ok, flows from beginning to end, and doesn’t suffer from any major pacing issues. The characters develop satisfactorily (although, without ever feeling truly dynamic), while their relationships and interactions with one another are, for the most part, believable. But it all just felt so…meh. The only way that I can really think to describe it is that it had a ‘paint-by-numbers’ feel about it. Whatever magic that Kuivalainen has put into these pages has unfortunately passed me by.

Thanks to BHC Press and NetGalley for an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review

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