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The Immortals

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  814 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Rosa Hyde is the daughter of a time-traveller, stuck in the year 1945. Forced to live through it again, and again, and again. The same bulletins, the same bombs, the same raucous victory celebrations. All Rosa has ever wanted is to be free from that year -- and from the family who keep her there.
At last she breaks out and falls through time, slipping from one century to a
Paperback, 328 pages
Published September 17th 2015 by Old Street Publishing
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  814 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed this, with its unique take on time travel and changing voice, I didn't love it.
It never seemed to rise to a crescendo, which it seemed it was building to. It more sort of wandered off.
While Rosa's many journeys were interesting, beautiful and at times horrific, I found myself falling out of love with her character about halfway through the book.
It hasn't put me off S.E.Lister, the opposite in fact, I want to read more.
And I do have to say, it has a beautiful cover on this edition
Rebecca Finlayson
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was incredibly excited when Sophie asked me if I would like to read and review the novel ahead of its September released. I absolutely loved her debut, Hideous Creatures, available here:

So, The Immortals. The protagonist, Rosa Hyde, is the daughter of a time-traveller - she and her family are stuck in 1945, forced to relive that year over and over again. As she grows older, she longs for something more, even if it means breaking away from her family.

Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel, fiction
This book is probably more of a 2.5 stars to be fair. I wanted to like it so much, but it left me feeling unsatisfied.

Rosa Hyde is born in 1945. By the age of 17, she is still living through 1945. Every New Year's Eve, she and her family pack up their home and fall back through time to the beginning of 1945 and live the year over again in a carefully researched location where bombs won't fall.

Rosa is trapped in 1945 by the weight of her father's grief for his father, killed at Arnhem in 1944.
Tony Walker
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
There were many things to admire about this book. Lister conjures places into the imagination - 19th century montparnasse , 21st century London and of course 1945. She really creates each one and they feel individual. The museum in the desert is a place I'd go on holiday - I almost felt the desert heat. The character pictures are good - I thought the Hyde family was best done. The interaction between Rosa and her mother is pure genius (see pp 286-) I also thought her father was beautifully drawn ...more
Matthew Weston
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stunning. Loved this book from start to finish. The plot takes you from century to century: each vignette of time is fascinatingly and beautifully described, but like the protagonist Rosa we never stay put for long. I was captured by the narrative in the best possible way, and enjoyed the wonderful rich language at every turn. The only downside was a few typographic errors that have snuck into this first edition - but nothing to detract from the experience. Another reviewer mentioned "like Never ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Immortals is a story about 17-year-old Rosa Hyde. She has never left the year 1945, and finds herself living through the same year again and again. This story follows Rosa’s escape and the exciting accounts of her travel through time.

This book reminded me a bit of The Time Traveller’s Wife. The principles are similar when it comes to time travelling but this time they thankfully don’t lose their clothes. What I particularly enjoyed about the plot was that it was completely unpredictable. Eve
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the premise of this book. Ordinary people travelling through time and the story told from the point of view of Rosa, who at the time of the story starting is 17 and tired of living the same year over and over.

I liked the book but I didn’t love it. I kept waiting for the story to start but it never quite seemed to get there. Kind of picked up a little when we finally met Harding, but then it kind of wandered off then just ... stopped. I’d have liked to have more of Rosa and Hardin
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay... this was a funny one.
I adored the concept, the setting, and the overall... vibe. I loved the crazy and unexpected turns it took, I loved the globetrotting, time-jumping madness. But the main character... I loathed. I’m not sure why, I just couldn’t bring myself to have a shred of affection for her. I’d recommend the book - it kept me engaged - but... if you’re a reader who (like me) latches onto characters in the blink of an eye usually... you may struggle with this one.
This book just got more confusing the further I read on. Most of the characters are actually quite bland and the story line leaves too many open questions. Sadly, as the underlying concept had quite the potential.
Becky Douglas
The Immortals follows Rosa. As the story opens she’s in her early 20s and she’s arriving home to her estranged family who she ran away from some years earlier. She gets a slightly frosty reception but mostly this is out of awkwardness – her family has already mourned her and now they don’t really know how to react. Nevertheless, they find her a room and some clothes and they get her a meal, soon warming to her presence. Rosa, on the other hand, is quickly reminded why she left.

We then jump back
Rosie Morgan
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Now here’s a quandary – should The Immortals be given 4 or 5 stars? To be honest, I’ve vacillated between the two. At the beginning I would have wagered that a 5 star would be a given, but by the end I plumped for 4.
This is no easy decision.
Since the start of my writing/publishing journey I’ve discovered the power of ratings and reviews, not only on the readers but on the authors. If I’m awarded a poor rating, or a less than enthusiastic review, I can be cast down for days. Words have power.
So m
Ms C Bruen
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moments of magic

I found it hard to settle with the book at first and at no point did I feel compelled to stay up late to read on, but, I think others will, because despite it not keeping me awake to devour it, this is a fine book.

There is a thinness to the characters, but that reflects their fragility as they are taken by tides back and forth through history, even to a time before humanity, where wolves had not yet become wolves.

Overall, this is a beautifully written examination of ideas of time
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'The Immortals' is about all the important things - life, meaning, mortality, and time travel! It reminded me of 'Never Let Me Go' and 'The Time Travellers Wife', with added epic! - and as such, it is entirely my kind of book. I read it once at break-neck speed carried along by the adventure, and now I'm now reading it again to revisit the places that S E Lister takes Rosa over the course of the book.

So a bit about the plot...

Rosa Hyde's family live 1945 over and over. At the end of every year t
Finn Longman
I'm glad this wasn't an ARC, because I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to start with reviewing it. It's beautiful, and peculiar, and sad, and hopeful. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure why I liked it as much as I did, but I did. If you crossed The Night Circus with The Time Traveller's Wife, you might get something approximating the mood / essence of this book, but that feels inexact as a description. Idk. I liked it a lot. You might not. There's time travel and loneliness and the end of ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is a fascinating concept for a book but I'm not sure I completely loved it. I think I was expecting more fun from a book about time travel but this is more a bleakly but beautifully written meditation on time and mortality. Rosa's predicament of being stuck in 1945 is curiously unsympathetic and her exploration of other times and places seems, perhaps intentionally, superficial.
John Fox
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What would you do with any time you could live?
A fascinatingly philosophical book about a rather boring time travel adventure.
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really gripping

Loved this book .lots of twists and turns couldn't put it down.excellent story of time travel,love and life.a real winner.
Katie (wife of book)
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: time-travel
This book was difficult to rate. The story is really interesting but I felt there was a huge lull in the middle of the book.
It's about Rosa who comes from a family of time travellers who only ever live in 1945. The book starts with Rosa's return to them after running away 7 years before.
This is a tale of time travellers who have little or no control over where or when they travel. The first section of the book, which tells the story of Rosa, her family, and what she did when she left them, was
The base concept is definitely a five star one, with huge potential. It is thought provoking and asks more questions than it answers, which is often what turns a good book into a great book. However, here, the concept is the strongest element of the text. I did not fully engage with any of the characters. The main protagonist is not fully drawn, with her passage through time sketched in what she sees and who she meets rather than how she is changed and how she responds, except for the grim pull ...more
Echo Echo
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book; I hate this book. It will blow your mind. It certainly blew mine. I love it because of its imagery, and Rosa and Tommy, and people who have lost their way and are floating. Immersive imagery, fantastic places. Haunting and terrifying, and wry. It is about living, and what living means - a philosophical book without any pretensions towards philosophy. Truly the most haunting book about growing up and getting old that I've ever read.
I hate it because of the feeling it gives me at
Beth (bibliobeth)
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, can I just talk about this gorgeous cover? I posted a photo of it on my Instagram as I was reading it and it seriously does not do justice to how stunning the cover art actually is. I was recommended this book on a reading spa I went to with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads at Mr B's Emporium Of Reading Delights in Bath. If you haven't been there before, I highly highly recommend it. Not just for the reading spa which was amazing (and the second one that we've actually ha ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Immortals took me quite a while to warm to, it was an interesting enough idea, a group of people who could time travel, pulled by tides in time but at first it’s just the main character’s dissatisfaction with her life with her family, constantly repeating 1945 over and over again. Then we see what she does when she escapes this repeat and as she travels through different eras and meets different people, it’s interesting enough but nothing really happens but oh it’s worth sticking with, all t ...more
Jane Watson
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow - just wow! I think this book may haunt me for quite a while. The overall impression I got from it was light, despite the fact that some of the subject matter was harrowing and hard, the whole book had a light touch and you were just wafting your way through it. It didn't matter that you didn't know what the characters looked like - it was enough just to be there with them. The middle of the book where Rosa goes to a particularly dark cold place was quite frightening and I was relieved when ...more
Sue Smith
Picked this up not really knowing what to expect, but liked it a lot. A time-travel tale is always good value. This focuses on the journeys of one character, but although the idea of existing outside of the normal march of time feels alluring, the story paints a mournful and heartsick picture of the emotional toll of her anchorless existence (it's not all fun and games being a time-traveller). It reminds me of something else (another book? a film?) that's on the tip of my mind but I can't quite ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
normally i dont write reviews or comments about books, and while this book was certainly a fun read, there was one glaring mistake that almost made me put it down. here it comes: Arnhem is not in belgium, it's the capital city of the province Gelderland in the netherlands. as a resident from this area i know Arnhems history very well, for the city to be placed in the wrong country, it was just awkward to read. Miss Lister, please fix this historical error, for a book about time travel deserves b ...more
Saima Nisbet
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
Rosa has never left 1945, it's when she was born and it's where she's lived her whole life until the day she wonders why and decides to break free, to experience time like other people, only Rosa is not like other people and her life will be nothing like what they call life. Was the freedom worth it or should she have stayed in 1945? Her story is a grand adventure through time that had me wondering how I would have coped. It's a brilliant plot which had me engrossed.
The Chemist
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read.

A thought provoking story.
Liked the characters.
Enjoyed the story up until Rosa travelled from the museum to 1945 and her family. Found the story difficult to follow after that didn't make as much sense.
All in all it kept you guessing and trying to work things out. So did enjoy it.
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked the book overall. I wasn't thrilled by it, but by no fault of the book : characters are good, story is good, etc etc - Ithink I just didn't like it like someone doesn't like tomato or the colour yellow. So, in summary : I didn't like it personnally, but I find no fautl to the book and could recommand it to someone. :)
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The tale of Rosa Hyde travels time, across centuries and continents, leaving the reader with a lasting impression that people like her could exist - travellers across space and time, living with us "mayflies" - pitying yet jealous of our stability.
Great prose - poetical and lyrical, with a well thought out story about what ties us within time and families.
I really wanted to love this book, and I did for the first 2 thirds of it but that ending just left me so confused. I think I understand what happened but at the same time I'm really not sure. Am I the only person to struggle with the ending of this book?
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S. E. Lister grew up in Gloucestershire, and studied Creative Writing at Warwick University.

She has been reading stories since she was old enough to pick up a book, and writing them almost as long. Alongside her creative writing, she has written for various magazines and websites about philosophy and film.

She loves vintage clothes, art-house cinemas and growing her own courgettes.
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