Friday, April 13, 2012
Immortal City, by Scott Speer
- Immortal City #1
Release date: April 3rd 2012
Published by: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 5/5 stars
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon
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.
I don't know why, but I've been procrastinating in the last couple of days. It took a lot of courage for me to actually sit down, and try to write this review. Maybe it's because I loved Immortal City so much, and it's always harder to talk about a book you love than one you hate; maybe it's because the story is so original and interesting that I can't possibly do it justice with my words. Either way, I was drawn to Scott Speer's debut novel the second I saw this cover. It would be beautiful enough on its own, but then Goodreads told me it was young-adult. And I was even more curious.
Though Immortal City is, like I mentioned, a debut novel, it doesn't feel like it at all. The world-building is solid, introducing us to a society in which the angels have come out and told humanity that they exist. Now they get paid for their services as Guardian Angels, which, if you think about it, is weird and fascinating at the same time. They don't have to save anyone, and it'd be all right for them to work with this. But why only rich people have guardian angels? Why aren't their services more accessible? It's mean and just plain wrong for rich guys to save themselves from death because they have money, while someone poorer than them has a family to sustain.
This conflict of ideals and religion can only lead to something spectacular. More interesting is how angels are treated. They're celebrities, they have millions of fans.... it's like Justin Bieber with wings, basically. People would die to be saved by one of them, especially the girls. There's a rule, though, that says it's forbidden for an angel to save anyone other than who he's protecting. And that's where Jackson and Maddy's story begin.
I loved them both before I even reached the middle of the book. Jackson is surrounded by cameras and paparazzi, but he can't feel any of it. He's suffocated by it all. Jackson's loneliness is touching, and I was glad when he found Maddy. His characterization could have been better, really, but I was overall very satisfied with the way things turned out for him, especially in the ending.
Maddy, in the other hand, is untouchable by the Angel-drama. She doesn't like them, doesn't worship them. She thinks this adoration is pointless. So you can only imagine how great it was the first time Maddy met Jackson. The only girl in the world who doesn't care about angels ended up falling in love with one (how's that for irony?). I liked her personality, her stubbornness - it didn't seem fake, for once. She irritated me a little in the ending, with a stupid decision, but really, the last chapter made it up for me.
With a balanced pace, delicious romance, and strong world-building, I can only give Immortal City five stars. It doesn't deserve any less than this. Its flaws, if any, only made the reading more realistic for me, which doesn't happen often. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. If it's as good as Immortal City, I'll be pretty satisfied.