I went into Immortal thinking it was going to be pretty straight-forward historical fiction. It is so much more than that (which should have been obviI went into Immortal thinking it was going to be pretty straight-forward historical fiction. It is so much more than that (which should have been obvious from the title.) There is a mystical, supernatural element to Traci Slatton's debut novel and it flirts with time travel, too. While both require a certain suspension of belief on the part of the reader, I enjoyed the extra dimension they added to the story.
Luca, the 'immortal' main character was extremely well-developed. He was forgiveably flawed and easy to relate to. Slatton gives the reader other memorable, sympatheic characters. As Luca moves through is supernaturally long life, he gathers friends and enemies, and I loved the friends as much as I despised the enemies.
Immortal provides a vivid glimpse of Florence at a turbulent stage in its history. Several significant events are interwoven into the plot: the Black Death, the Inquisition, the rise of the powerful de Medici family, and the cultural revolution we know today as The Renaissance.
At certain places, I felt a little bogged down by the author's writing style, usually during the discussions of art and alchemy. Both subjects had their place in the novel, but the way they were handled interupted the flow of the plot and the book could just have been tighter and more succint in these areas.
From the beginning, Slatton used foreshadowing to suggest that things would turn out badly for Luca. However, the ending still managed to surprise and evoke emotion as she brought together various elements, including the mysteries of Luca's parentage and his immortal nature, in a masterful and powerful way.