The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin

Four siblings go to a psychic lady and she tells each of them the date of their death. They are aged around 8 – 13 at the time. How will this information affect how they live their lives? Are these dates really going to be the date they die on? Let’s find out!


I quite enjoyed this book. It is mostly about the relationships between the siblings and how this information shaped their lives. One is a gay dancer, one a magician, one a scientist, and the other an army medic.

We spend around a quarter of the book with each sibling in turn, taking us through from the 1970s, up to the present day. It’s a nice story and you might really like it.


I ended up going on a bit of a book side mission quite early on because I discovered, through the book, that snakes and ladders is usually called chutes and ladders in the US. Weird. And also the game used to have moral lessons at the chutes or ladders, so you knew what good and bad behaviour was. Really weird.

There’s something else that I didn’t like either:

When Saul dies, Simon is in physics class, drawing concentric circles meant to represent the rings of an electron shell but which to Simon mean nothing at all.

Erm… I think he must have been in chemistry. *twitches*  There is a good paragraph about the Higgs boson later on though. 

I must admit, I started this book without really knowing anything about it. I was sort of expecting it to be about immortal people and be a bit sci-fi. My own fault for not actually reading anything about the book. I mean, I knew enough that it was vaguely about knowing the date of your death. I thought maybe the Immortalists had a hand in letting people know. This made up story in my head is not what this book is about at all, obviously, but somehow I was left a little cold because it their weren’t any time-travelling immortal people.

So, don’t make up stories about what a book might be about before you read it. You are probably wrong. Need to read some sci-fi now…

4 thoughts on “The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin

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