My Immortal by Tara Gilesbie

Fan fiction has a bad reputation, which is a shame, because I’ve read some really great pieces of fan fiction before. Of course, it’s not all good and, indeed, some of it is just as bad (if not worse) as the reputation that precedes it. My Immortal is a perfect example of that: it embodies every negative stereotype of bad fanfiction, but is “so bad it’s good” and I have to admit that it had me laughing out loud tonnes of times throughout.

Set in the Harry Potter universe, the story focuses on a new student at Hogwarts called Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way, whose name the author frequently misspells. Ebony is a big fan of everything related to goth culture, but has very strong feelings against anything she deems as ‘preppy’. Ebony is a vampire and she looks down on all the other students. I think she was probably partially inspired by Bella Swan from Twilight, as Ebony is a lot like a highly exaggerated version of Bella.

The story focuses on Ebony’s day-to-day struggles as a teenage girl, with Voldemort’s presence looming in the background… except the way I’m described it makes it sound much less silly than it is. Seemingly written completely seriously (though some believe it may have been a satire) the book contains Harry Potter changing his name to “Vampire”, Tom Riddle being called “Tom Bombadil”, Snape videoing Ebony in the bath so he can blackmail her, a sexual relationship between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, a sudden cameo by a gothic Marty McFly and the time travelling DeLorean, Good Charlotte coming to perform at Hogsmead, Dumbledore constantly shouting and swearing, etc. It’s all utterly bizarre, but at the same time strangely alluring. You can’t look away.

Originally, My Immortal was published in instalments via and it’s very obvious that there was no overall plan and that the author just made it up as they went along. During its original publication, somebody hacked the account and published their own chapter which ties up the story and the author just left it up along with their actual chapters. Ironically, even though the hacker seems to be a better writer than the main author, I enjoyed this chapter this least. It lacks the off-the-walls insanity that the others provide.

The biggest problem with the book for me was the fact that it was genuinely hard to know what was happening sometimes, because the spelling was just so bad and the plot so incoherent. Sadly, it also remains unfinished, as the author suddenly stopped updating it after a while.

Of all the books I’ve reviewed, this is probably the hardest one to give a ranking out of ten. I loved it as a piece of comedy and enjoyed discussing it with friends… so maybe it deserves a high score? On the other hand, I don’t believe that it was intended to be a comedic piece of writing, so can I give a good score to something that’s failing to do what it sets out? For that reason, a square down the middle 5 out of 10 seems the fairest way to score it.

Read it here.

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