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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Immortal City by Scott Speer

Title: Immortal City
Author: Scott Speer
ISBN: 9781595145062
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: April 3, 2012
Page #: 368
Series: Immortal City
Source: My public library

"Jackson Godspeed is the hottest Angel in a city that revolves around idolizing Immortals like him. He great up in the spotlight, and in less than a week he'll become the youngest full-fledged Guardian ever. People around the world are lining up to pay for him to keep them safe. His lifelong dream of becoming a hero is finally within his grasp - and he can't afford to let the parties, paparazzi, or red carpets distract him.

But Jackson's high-profile life takes an unexpected turn when he meets seventeen-year-old Maddy. She's smart and down-to-earth, and sees Jackson for who he is and not for his celebrity. They forge an instant - and electric - connection. Their vastly different backgrounds seem like the only obstacle in their path to being together... until something much more dangerous threatens to destroy their chance at love.

Because not everyone worships the Angels: a bitter killer is murdering the Guardians one by one. And it's up to Maddy to save Jackson - he's next in the killer's sights. Set in a reimagined Los Angeles that sparkles with glamour and celebrity worship, Scott Speer's Immortal City is charged with passion and haunted by themes of power and idolatry."
First Lines:

"At 3a.m., the Pacific Coast Highway was nothing more than a gray ribbon winding through the ocean fog. Despite being more than a little buzzed, Brad downshifted, smashed the gas pedal, and sent his BMW M5 surging forward."
Page 1

In all honesty, I thought I was going to hate this book after the first few chapters. I was really worried it was going to be totally vapid and carbon copy-like. I'm happy to report I was wrong. It turned out much better than I expected.

Maddy is your typical teen - she goes to school, she works at her uncle's diner, she has friends who push her to be more social, and she sees visions moments before something bad is going to happen. Okay, so maybe she's not 100% normal. She meets a new guy named Ethan who she could fall for in a heartbeat... that's just not her thing. And then there's Jackson - the most famous Angle-of-the-moment who is constantly being watched, being talked about, and having girls swoon all over him. And on top of it all - there's something killing Guardian Angels. Oh the drama!

As I said in the beginning, I was worried the book would suck x10 after the first few chapters. There's an intense amount of brand name dropping, super obvious characters, and a little Twilight-like lurve action. I found myself thinking, "oh, Twihards are gonna love this." There's even a scene where he watches her sleep. I mean, come on! Ahem, anyway... the book gets tons better after that. Things start falling into place and the mystery really picks up. So don't give up! It'll get better. I promise.

I think one of the things that really drove this story for me was the mystery around the Angel deaths. Without it, the book might sink. But there's rampant speculation about who could pull these murders off and how it would have to be someone in the Angel community. Everyone starts getting nervous and pointing fingers and the NAS fails to do much of anything. While it broke up the story a bit, I enjoyed getting the perspective from the detective - his background and his knowledge really helped me get a better handle on the world they live in.

The whole idea of Angels being used for protection - to the highest bidder - seemed a bit... blasphemous (I think that's the right use of that word). I really had to put my whole idea of what Angels are on the back burner for the length of this book. There's really very little mention of the divine - just that the archangels are connected to something bigger, but now they're a governing power on earth. As opposed to answering to any higher authority. I mean, the idea that they would be rich and famous sort of stretches my idea of what an Angel is all about.

That being said, I thought the idea was really clever. And it really brings to light the craziness around celebrity and people's focus on the things around them. So I thought that was well done and I'm sure that comes from the author being based in LA. And if you just take Angel to mean Immortal Life Saver, then you're good to go. But putting all that aside, I pretty much read this book in one day. So, take what you will from that.

I will definitely recommend this book along to all of those paranormal romance lovers :). I think it's a great addition to the genre - and I love that it's just different enough to pique interest. I'll absolutely pick up the second book whenever that is published. I can only imagine the story from here... there's plenty more drama to be had. Just as a note: I'm going to start a rumor that the cover model is the author. I mean, have you seen pictures? Yes, please, and thank you. All in all, while it's not in the running for best book of the year, I'm a fan.
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