Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book Review: Immortal City by Scott Speer

First Published: 2012
Young Adult, Fantasy
Jackson Godspeed is the hottest Angel in a city obsessed with Immortals. Everyone loves him.
Everyone except Maddy Montgomery, that is.
She's not interested in shallow celebrities... until Jackson takes refuge in the diner where Maddy works and an irresistible connection pulls them together.
But as Maddy is drawn into Jackson's glamorous world, she's exposed to more that the paparazzi. A serial killer is murdering Angels. Maddy and Jackson could lose each other for ever. 
While I started Immortal City wary of hoping for too much, in lieu of never reading a truly great angel story, it became promising very quickly. Mostly because of how unique the plot was, when in theory it shouldn't be. The general premise is fairly unoriginal: supernatural boy falls for normal girl... Been there, read that, have the bookshelves to prove it.

But it's the setting of Immortal City that truly sets it apart; imagine modern time with one key difference - Angels "came out of the closet" years ago and are now saving people from unnatural deaths as Guardian Angels... for money. Only the rich can afford this premium luxury, while everyone else watch the angels with starstruck eyes, following their every movement through the tv and fantasizing about winning their own angel.

Because not only are they now an enterprise, they're also the Kardashians of this world.

Can we just take a minute to appreciate this? Have you ever heard of a story commercializing angels? I sure as hell haven't.

And surrounding all that, there is a strange,  impossible murder investigation. Angel murders. Angels who are supposed to be un-kill-able--unless by another angel. I'm not sure I'm doing the intensity of this setup justice, but trust me that it was insanely intense.

These different plot lines are transmitted through three different point of views.

The first is that of Maddy, possibly the only girl in the world who is disinterested in the angels. Despite this unoriginal role, Maddy turned out to be a strong and logical girl with a very likable voice. You know you truly like a character when you understand where they are coming from and forgive their annoying parts.

The second point of view is that of Jackson, a superstar angel about to become the youngest guardian to date. He was cute... but sometimes really clueless, which is surprising considering he's such a hotshot. My one major problem with Jack was how often he hurt Maddy because of his high sense of duty and justice or his silence. I think the silence part was more aggravating.

Like, if someone calls your girl trash... anything other than outrage is unacceptable in my opinion. I kept wishing we'd see him truly protect Maddy; from emotional harm as well as physical. If he would have just fought against his dad and defied his stepdad, even by asking him some effing questions...

He did become fiercely protective and kick-butt when he realized he loved her, even if that realization happened like a week quickly. But, WOW what a first kiss! The romance in here kind of reminded me of Twilight's, which in my case is not an insult or anything but to some people...

The third point of view that isn't mentioned anywhere in the synopsis is that of Detective Sylvester. From his side comes the murder mystery, as he is responsible with catching the killer. He was a great character, one that made me excited for those little breaks in the dominant plot-line to see the hunt for the killer.

When it came to the twists in this book, I kind of figured them all out from a mile away. I even knew who the killer was!... sort of. I kind of hoped my other option would've been the killer, if only for them to have an excuse to kill him/her. Maybe in the sequels?

But what the book lacked in plot twists, it all but made up for in the action department and the surprising way things unfolded. The book starts slow, building the world and characters, but it was never boring. And it ups the ante considerably as it nears the end. To the point where I simple couldn't put it down until I had finished.

And let me tell you, Speer knows how to make you sweat. I literally held my breath. The last few chapters just put me in a hyperventilating mess of "oh my god"s. I did not expect any of it. Speer sure knows how to surprise and scare! He managed to make me fall for the same ruse twice, god damn him!

And then it ends on a somewhat cliffhanger? You're an evil man, Scott Speer. 

The only thing less the stellar was parts of the writing. While I applaud Speer's ability to effortlessly switch from one character to the next, the descriptions sometimes seemed to lack. They just didn't play in my mind--couldn't play in my mind. The logistics of it made no sense. But it was a rather small thing, really, on the grand scale of things.

And what a scale that was...

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