Review: Immortal City – @MrScottSpeer

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Summary:

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city that revolves around idolizing Immortals like him. He grew 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 of 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

Review:

I picked this up early this year, probably when I was reading a rather mediocre story of Angels. I’d gone hunting on Good Reads and then came up on my suggestion list. My only wish? I hadn’t waited so long to actually read it.

I absolutely love the premise of this book: Angels exist, and live openly among us. Except instead of being religious figures, they offer pay-for-protection service. Yep, you too can have a Guardian Angel – if you have the cash to pay for it or you’re so lucky as to win a lotto that will net you their protection. It’s very clearly a service that only the wealthiest can afford. Not only is it a neat concept, but Speer does some neat things with the concept as well, and it’s clear that it’s being used to drive the plot in the new two books. It’s a neat twist. Along with the twist on the concept, Speer takes the opportunity to tackle celebrity culture, as Angels are the celebrities of their world. While it doesn’t work as well as it does say, in the Hunger Games, it’s not heavy handed, nor does it come off as cheesy, so I gotta give him props for that. I also give him props for probably one of the best depictions of Los Angeles I’ve come across in a book for quite some time. I thought he felt native and, as it turns out, he might as well have been as he attended USC. It’s not something most would notice, but as I am a native of the city, I appreciate it.

Character wise, I’m also loving what’s going on here. Jackson is that oh-so-rare thing in genre YA: not an asshole. Is he stuck up? A tiny bit, but honestly, having known people born to money, it’s on that kind of level. It’s not malicious, it’s not I am the shit, it’s just that slight sense of entitlement that comes with having everything handed to you on a silver plate. And I really like that Speer avoided that cockiness that so many female YA authors would have felt necessary to give a character with his skill set. It’s an absolute breath of fresh air. Maddie is handled well too. She does have a slight touch of “she’s pretty and doesn’t know it” syndrome, but it really isn’t nearly as bad as a lot of other novels and it certainly isn’t harped on. I also like that Speer does actually address it and you do see her trying to be bolder. It’s actual character growth.  Awesome.

In case you can’t tell, I absolutely loved this book and completely devoured it. It’s been a while since a book made me fall so hard for it. It’s well written, well paced and has likable characters. What more can you want?

Verdict: Buy It (duh)

Available: Now (as is the sequel Natural Born Angel. The final book in the trilogy is due out Aug 28th)

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