Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Immortal City by Scott Speer

Immortal City by Scott Speer
Release Date – April 3, 2012
Publisher Website – Penguin/Razorbill
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating- 8/10
**obtained from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 novel opens with someone driving recklessly down a sharp turning road. The guy is pushing the limits because he can; he is protected by an angel. These are not the Angels that you’re used to. These Angels are considered celebrities by the public. They protect people but do it for a price. If you lucky enough to afford this protection, and be assigned an Angel you can take the risk. For the other, less fortunate people, you won’t be as lucky. The first chapter make you aware of the glaringly unfair advantage the rich and powerful have.

Jackson is the hottest, and most talked about Angel in all of Angel City. He also happens to be one of the youngest Angels to be commissioned as a Guardian. He is followed by paparazzi, on the cover of many magazines, and the dream guardian of girls (and women) all over the world. Jackson is a little full of himself, but it doesn’t come across as annoyingly so. He has had people tell him how special, wonderful and good looking he is and it’s hard not to let that go to your head. Jackson is also very focused. His duty is very important to him. The protection he is assigned is going to be his number one priority and he takes it very seriously. He’s been training is whole life for this. It’s this part of his personality that I really liked. He’s doing what he thinks is right and is trying to not disappoint anyone. He has a huge weight of expectations on his shoulders, and the pressure might just prove to be too much for the young angel.

Madison is immediately likeable. She’s just a girl who wants to get through high school, get into a college and get out of Angel City. She doesn’t have time for boys, parties, and especially has no time to obsess over the Angels like everyone else. Her parents died when she was young and she lives with her Uncle and they are just trying to survive. Maddy wants nothing to do with Jackson when she first meets him. Something that is made even more clear when she goes on her first date with him. His world and her world do not mix, and Maddy isn’t really interested in trying to fit into it. I loved that she didn’t just fall at his feet. I can totally see why Jackson would pursue her because she offered him something he didn’t have before - a chance to be seen as Jackson instead of JACKSON GOODSPEED.

This novel is much grittier than I was expecting. It’s filled with the darker side of LA but infused with Jackson’s “celebrity” lifestyle. The author uses rain, darkness, and an overall feeling of dread to keep the flim  noir feel throughout the novel. I can picture the detectives in trench coats, and old Hollywood glamour.

The author has a background in directing. This comes through in his writing and as a result this novel practically screams to be made into a CW TV show. So many of the scenes are laid out in a way that you can not only visualize the surroundings but it leaves you with a feel of the scene. The first time we are introduced to the horror of angel wings on the Walk of Fame is chilling, and set up to be a striking image. The blood, mixing with the grittiness and rain in LA back dropped against the glamour of the Angels is almost a metaphor for the novel itself.

The twists and surprises in the novel were actual surprises. There were a few I could see coming, but plenty of things caught me by surprise. The angel serial killer part of the storyline was quite well done. The killer’s reasoning is believable, and the systematic way it was being done was chilling. The motivation behind it had turned into something darker, and that often drives people to extremes. I was happy to say that I did not figure out the killer before it was revealed but upon reflection the clues are there.

Scott Speer mixes danger, glitz, glamour, romance, and adds a huge dash of crime noir to create something really unique. This book may not be for everyone, but I fully enjoyed the atmosphere, characters and surprises the author created.


  1. at first when i saw this book I didn't have the feeling that i want to read this book but after reading your review, I will check it out again, GREAT REVIEW :)

  2. I'm with Lilly - I've seen this book on Goodreads, but I didn't really have any interest on it. After reading your review, though, I think I might just have to check it out. I'm quite interested in the angel serial killer angle!

    New follower, btw :)

  3. Wow, brilliant review, Kathy! I am SOO intrigued by this. I mean, we've all read plenty of angel books in YA, but I don't think we've had any quite like this before. It's so UNIQUE and the idea is fascinating. You have definitely peaked my attention with these characters, I like being able to get inside the head of both an everyday girl and an angel who's swept up in this crazy new reality.

    I especially like that you couldn't guess the killer! Unpredictable... my favourite kind :D

  4. Wow, Kathy, great review! :) I am so intrigued by this book! I saw it in Chapters just yesterday and came really close to buying it, but um, no, Evie, refrain from buying books! So yeah, in the end I left without it, and now I kind of regret, cause your review got me really excited for this novel! I usually end up loving books that "are not for everyone" and have specific (weird?) atmosphere - bring it on! :D

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts <3


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