Immortal Von B.

Immortal Von B.

Moving from Oklahoma to Vienna for Dad's research is quite a change for Josie, but losing her mother, discovering a dreadful secret, and unleashing a chain of musical impossibilities puts the teen and her friends in mortal peril.

It was a bit strange when Mom suddenly stopped playing concerts with symphonies all over the world; her piano genius came down to Josie as a love for guitar. Then Dad being chosen to head up the largest private genetics research center in Europe made quite a switch from being a university professor. So away they go, from the Oklahoma town she's always known to a huge estate near Vienna.

When Mom suddenly falls ill and dies, Josie is left to raise herself as her grieving father throws himself into his work. He shows her the new genetic sequencer in his lab once, but is usually gone to meetings and conferences. She has just one friend at school, purposely going grunge-rocker to distance herself from the kids of diplomats and duchesses.

The only bright spot in her whole senior year is visiting the Vienna Haus der Musik as a new Beethoven exhibit is being unveiled. The museum director knew Anna and is delighted to show Beethoven's own clothing and fortepiano to her daughter.

Somehow Josie's friend Fa8 talks her into hosting a party at the estate where a diplomat's son starts criticizing her dad's work. Eager to shut him up, she disobeys Dad's instructions and shows him the lab and sequencer.  Days later, Dad calls to ask her to check on the lab computer; it says it's running a human DNA sequence when nothing should be on. Just a glitch probably...

Except when Josie goes down to the lab, she discovers footprints leading from the sequencer to the yard! What got cloned in there? Yes, a strand of Beethoven's hair from the museum fell from Josie's sweater into the sequencer when she was showing how harmless it all was, and now a 17-year-old Ludwig is alive in the 21st century!

Suddenly, not only Dad is wondering which human DNA sequence was completed, but thugs with automatic weapons are after Josie, Fa8 and Ludwig - with orders to kill all but the clone! Racing through Vienna while trying to help Ludwig adjust to modern life and all the music that his older self will/did write sends Josie from fear to joy to terror.

Can the three teens escape the bad guys?
What is the DNA sequencer really supposed to do?
Is Josie falling in love with Ludwig, or is he falling in love with her?

Classical music, cutting-edge research, timeless values, and Beethoven learning to play the electric guitar... adventure and romance in Vienna - if they can just live long enough to enjoy it!

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at

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