Near Mortal

An interesting concept, but it doesn’t deliver on that promise

Book title

Near Mortal


Julia Alty

Standalone or series

Series (first in a planned series)

First time reading this author?


Why I picked this

The plotline sounded interesting.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publisher and online book club The Pigeonhole for the chance to read this for free. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

Set in a future where land masses have re-collided creating one continent again, and a genetic abnormality means some people have extended lifespans. Mandy is one such woman. She joins The Facility with the aim of creating equality between those with different lifespans, and is given a mission by The Facility’s Director, Tian, involving a suspected immortal called Peter.


The idea of this book – a world which has to restructure to deal with the fact that there are no longer sea masses between continents, and has to deal with the impact on resources of large numbers of people living hugely extended lives – is a very intriguing one. Unfortunately the delivery doesn’t live up to the promise.

None of the characters are well developed and significant moments are skipped over in a way which was a major turn-off for me. I struggled to care about what was happening to the characters or why. There’s no sense of the actual impact of these two hugely significant moments of human history. What led to the movement of the continents, how sudden was it, did it impact weather, jobs, wars, politics? How was the genetic abnormality of long lives discovered, and who the heck decided to call those with longer lifespans Near Mortals which sounds line they have radically shorter lives?

Exploring any of this might have grabbed my interest. Instead while there were occasional references it was always brushed over as if it was unimportant. I have the feeling the author knows it all and is just making the mistake that the reader has the same context that she does.

The actual characters are very shallowly written. We rarely see their motivation in any depth and are supposed to get on board with relationships which drive the plot after a couple of pages.

Great concept, poorly delivered. This is the first in a planned trilogy, but I won’t be returning for the sequels.


Rating: 2 out of 5.
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