Shi: A Dark Adventure Into Living Forever (Immortality Interrupted book 1) by C.F. Villion (book review).

‘Shi: A Dark Adventure Into Living Forever’ by C.F. Villion is the first in the ‘Immortality Interrupted’ series which is currently a three book series. I’d call it a trilogy, but I don’t know how the third book ends so there could be more and there is a 32 page short story which is numbered 2.1. so it would appear to fit in-between books 2 and 3. Anyway, ‘Shi’ is the book I would hold up as a very good example of all that’s right and all that’s wrong with Amazon’s publishing platform.

On the one hand, it’s actually a very good story with some interesting ideas and some good strong characters. On the other hand, the formatting is awful with double-spaced lines and there’s a good sprinkling of typos. Amazon has it listed as the 4th edition (26 Dec. 2015), the first page after the cover says my review copy (downloaded from Amazon) was published in 2016. The following page says it’s the first edition, 26 Dec. 2015. That’s just sloppy.

Let’s get to the books strong point: the story. The main character is Eliza Dawson, a rather repressed housewife although you wouldn’t think so. Chapter 1 opens with Eliza killing a man by hitting him with a rock. She’s rather taken aback by her actions and even more surprised when a mysterious stranger called Bill who’s watched the killing offers to help her bury the body. Bill meets her the following evening and makes her an offer she can’t refuse. She can live forever providing she has a daily injection of a drug called Shi and does a few odd jobs for the immortal elders of a secret organisation known as The Manufacturers. These odd jobs are generally killing people the elders don’t want around. Before she knows it, Eliza is a highly competent assassin. While it might have taken a few years, time doesn’t matter to Eliza anymore.

Things take an unexpected turn when her next target turns out to be her ex-husband’s grandson. It’s the closest thing she has to family and there’s a difficult decision to be made. It’s at this point the story really takes off. There is quite a bit of violence, aliens and lots of double-crossing. Things aren’t quite what they seem and neither are some of the characters.¶

It is a good, fast-paced read with an ending that leads nicely into the second volume ‘Nanite Storm’. If there was one thing I would criticise it would be the Eliza and the other young immortals that she knows, requirement for a daily injection of Shi. This is injected directly into the brain in a rather unpleasant procedure. A daily dependency seems extreme and surely there would be better ways of delivering the drug in this day and age?¶

One of the things about the author C.F. Villion is that she doesn’t explain everything. There’s no explanation as to why Eliza killed the man Eliza killed in Chapter 1. Similarly, there’s no explanation of why Shi has to be injected into the brain. Some things just are but it does lead to a lot of questions from the reader (me!).¶

If you can get past the poor formatting, there is a rather good story to be had here. A secret society, aliens, double and triple crossing, fearsome female assassin and a fair amount of violence are all the ingredients you need for a good read. It’s one I would recommend but I do hope the publisher can get their act together and give us an edition that is nicely presented with a few less typos.

Andy Whitaker

May 2018

(pub: Starstraeder Publishin, 2015. 255 page ebook. Price: £ 4.50 (UK). ASIN: B019E7TBOA)

check out website: www.amazon.co.uk/Shi-Adventure-Forever-Immortality-Interrupted-ebook/dp/B019E7TBOA


I live in deepest darkest Essex where I enjoy photography, real ales, walking my dog, cooking and a really good book. I own an e-book reader which goes with me everywhere but still enjoy the traditional paper based varieties. My oriental studies have earned me a black belt in Suduko and I'm considered a master in deadly Bonsai (there are very few survivors).

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