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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Immortal City by Scott Speer

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 336
Source: ARC from publisher for review

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.

The Good

Definitely an intriguing idea! The author develops an interesting society that has embraced Angels and not only is their protection one of the most sought-after commodities, their appearances is too! (Think Angels as the new celebrities; screaming fangirls, posters, endorsements, TV shows, magazine spreads, the whole nine yards!) Author Scott Speer definitely captures the way our society is star-struck and our worship of celebrities very accurately! The scene is set quite nicely and the concept is readily developed so readers really get a feel of just how big this Angel phenomenon is--and just how unfair the system is too.

Writing & Style
It's not written in first person present! I've got nothing against first person present but it's refreshing to read a novel written in third person past! However, it's not very consistent; it fluxes (especially in the beginning of the novel) between letting us know everything (character's thoughts, reactions, the surroundings, etc) to a limited view of the situation unfolding. I think that's officially called third person omniscient and limited if I recall correctly from my days in high school english class?
The pacing is also not very consistent; it starts off at a decent pace but then it slows considerably after the first chapter before picking up again for the last quarter of the book. Nonetheless, as the novel started to pick up at the end, I found myself hooked in and unwilling to put it down!

I wouldn't describe the style as minimalist by any means, but it's not as flowery as other novels. The style is very to-the-point and readers aren't weighed down with extensive elaboration on details, which gives this novel more of an action-type feel.

There was one! It wasn't just a sappy romantic novel where the hot hunk (an angel in this case) rescues the fair damsel in distress over and over again, until it culminates into a world-shattering kiss! I found the plot enjoyable, not the most original but it had some turns and was complex enough to keep me interested! I feel that plenty of stories these days have a very flat plot that often seem boring, if not contrived because there just aren't any intricacies to them. However, Immortal City has a decent plot and several view points from which it's told, so I had a good time reading it! I really liked the parts told from Sylvester's point of view; the author ties his part in nicely and so it doesn't seem too out of the blue or out of place. It really adds to another dimension to the story.

The Not-So-Good
Name dropping. There was quite a bit of it in this novel. Although mentioning brand names once or twice doesn't bother me, after a while--especially calling Maddy's new cell phone by its full name, the Blackberry Miracle--it got excessive. Over-saturation of brand names and logos happen enough in our everyday lives, it would be nice it wasn't rubbed in our faces when we're trying to enjoy a book; I personally think it's a distraction from the story at hand.

Most of the characters were believable enough but a little more on Ethan would have strengthened the story considerably. He didn't get enough screen (book? page?) time and I would have liked to learn more about his story!

Although I think it's a really interesting idea, I personally don't think angels would sell their services. Maybe I'm just too naive with a view that angels are these pure creatures and who watch over people, especially children and those who can't defend themselves, but selling their services just seems so materialistic and well, earthly. Maybe I've been reading too many fairytales, huh? Just my opinion :)

I really enjoyed the book and I'm glad it was a self-contained novel. Lately I've been reading a lot books that are firsts in series and while some of them leave the perfect cliffhangers, others leave you feeling unsatisfied, as if the whole book was just a setup for the next two or more books to come. While there is a hint of a possibility of more to come, Immortal City wrapped the story up nicely and leaves some things to the imagination.

The story does pick up steam just after the half-way mark, so if you're thirsting for more action, keep reading! I think fans of other angel novels will enjoy Immortal City, especially anyone who's been looking for more action in the angel genre! Not the most polished book written, but a great read that I highly enjoyed!

Overall: 4.25 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 4 stars
Cover: 4 stars (I think I like the ARC's cover better; it's shiny (!) and it shows not just the angel but the city as well, which I think captures the essence of the story better.)


Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

I never heard of this book before, but it sounds really interesting. Definitely going to check this one out! Thanks for the review.

The only thing I don't like are those name droppings. It's really not interesting if someone has a Blackberry or a Samsung. That's too much information for me.

Unknown said...

This book is an amazing book and I would highly recommend it

Unknown said...

This book is an amazing book and I would highly recommend it

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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