Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Immortal City by Scott Speer

Hi all!

Here's a review to a first book in another great YA series!


Author: Scott Speer
Series: Immortal City #1
Release date: 3rd of April 2012
Published by: Scholastic Ltd
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: YA, Romance, Supernatural, Fantasy, Contemporary
Pages: 406 in Paperback
Source: Bought from The Book Depository

Summary:

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them.He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat & and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.

Review:

I loved the premise of this book! Angels going capitalist, angels as entrepreneurs, angels as service providers in exchange for money – very intriguing indeed. After reading the book, I have to say that, overall, this idea was successfully executed. Even though, it wasn’t earth-shatteringly awesome, I enjoyed this book and there wasn’t anything specific that could have been done a lot better or what I didn’t like at all (EVERY book seems to have something like that to me).

The 1st chapter was particularly striking when an irresponsible rich prick decides to have some fun speeding and ends up with his car and another car, which was accidentally driving by, in the sea, with the exception that he was whisked to safety by his “insurance” while the innocent in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time driver is left to die. Angels provided service for pay and saving lives really was just business for them, no favors or good deeds just because. This chapter laid a solid foreground to the remaining story and created an atmosphere of understanding to this new and foreign world that the story was situated in.

The constant angle worship did get slightly annoying at some point in the book but I guess this how daily life in Hollywood actually functions. Hopefully, not as extreme. The story also included nonstop brand name dropping which wasn’t really relevant in such quantities but it illustrates the glamorous lifestyle of the rich, powerful and angels perfectly.

Characters:

Maddy was strong, realistic, grounded, not deluded by and didn’t regard the glitz and glamour of the angel world very highly. She was a good girl with her priorities in place. While she was an exemplary role model she did come across too serious at times and her life seemed to lack pure simple fun and laughter. Although, I really liked and sympathized with Maddy she made one decision I’ve seen in other books, movies, series, etc a million times before and it has never ever lead to anything positive, the outcome is always a big mess of a betrayal. At that point in the book I thought “she’s definitely can’t fall for THAT, it’s TOO obvious – oh no, she DID!”

Jackson was suffering under a light case of the typical-bored-rich-boy syndrome – privileged, a hunk, disillusioned, claiming that being him is not as good as everyone imagines, successful, etc. Even thought this can come across as annoying in a hero, it worked for Jacks and despite this, he didn’t seem superficial and acting on a whim just because his poor-privileged life encountered internal problems. Jacks was a sweet and nice guy, slightly bland, but it didn’t bother me excessively. I liked that he had a goal and being a guardian angel was something he was very passionate about. He would make a great boyfriend!

From the secondary characters I have to mention that the way Gwen, Maddy’s friend, was portrayed was refreshing and different. I expected her to turn out cliché as most other YA “best girl friend” characters – annoying, useless and not very notable in the “friend” sense, but Gwen managed to crack and break this mold, even though, her basis is practically the same. She actually had other friends, helped out when it mattered no questions asked, didn’t whine and complain as much, was quirky and whacky (for angels of course). I’m desperate to see if any form of romance develops between her and Jack’s friend. That would be too awesome!

Other characters: I’m genuinely confused with Jacks’ stepfather Mark. I wanted to hate him but with every step he made he caused more puzzlement and questions to come up. I really didn’t know what to make of him. His side of the story is left quite ambiguous but I guess all will be revealed in the coming books of the series.
The villain in the story didn’t quite live up to the title whose identity and motives remained lackluster. The reasons were there and the punishments were brutal, but they didn’t leave an impressive impact.
David the detective was also someone I liked, he seemed reasonable and able, even despite his past issues.

Overall:

In intriguing idea and world with a stellar presentation. From all fantasy and paranormal book directions I always felt that angels are one of my favorite topics to focus on and I wasn’t disappointed with this story.


4 stars!

LIIS 


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