9 May 2013
Immortal City by Scott Speer Review
What they say: 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.
What I say: In prep to reading Book 2 of the series Natural Born Angel, I decided to reread Immortal City. However I'm slightly confused because the first time I read Immortal City I loved it, but this time I found myself getting frustrated with most of the characters.
I have to say here that I started Natural Born Angel right after rereading Immortal City and struggled with it too (as of now it's been pushed to the bottom of my TBR pile and I'll return to finish it when I've decided how I feel about book 1).
I cannot work out why I've changed my mind about Immortal City in quite so dramatic a way. Originally Jackson was up there with my fav book boyfriends, but now I'm finding him hard to like (I really don't like him in book 2).
Maddy and Jackson's story is very starcrossed. She's the human girl unimpressed by angel celebrities and he's the angel boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders. They shouldn't have met and they shouldn't be together. Maddy describes herself as 'angelstruck' on several occasions, but I liked how she dismissed Jackson and called him out on his arrogance and the idea that angel's can only save those who have paid to be protected. What I didn't like when I reread the book was how easily she is won over by him (it's all a bit too insta-love) and how he never really clarifies his feelings (although they are implied).
I'm a big fan of Angel stories (who doesn't like the idea of these super hot beings out there protecting/falling in love with us?) and the reason I initially liked Immortal City was because it was an Angel story with a difference. It's along the lines of superheroes charging people to save them. Having worked in TV production I liked all the parodies and illusions about the ridiculousness of societies current celebrity obsession, and the almost God-like status we appoint to actors/musicians etc. The Angel magazines and TV programmes were a hoot. The A! network instead of the E! network was brilliant.
Scott Speer does a great job mocking our celeb obsessed culture and introducing the idea that only the rich can escape death. In one sense Immortal City is a metaphor attacking society and in that way it's brilliant. The Angels make themselves know to humanity, then introduce their customs and subvert our culture and we adore them for it. The notion of whether or not this is right is addressed by some of the characters (and is a developing theme in the series). With the angels being all powerful Scott addresses the idea of who watches the watchmen?!
I think my issue with Immortal City (and what I've read so far of Natural Born Angel) is to do with the characters rather than the story which I loved. Recently there have been so many awesome and hot heroes and some strong, bad ass heroines, and subsequently Jackson, Maddy, Mitch, Gwen etc don't seem as well rounded as these others.
Back to my confusion. I have mixed opinions about this book as I originally gave it 4 Stars then decided to down grade to a 3. I'm going to balance it out and opt for 3.5 and hope I can rediscover what I originally really enjoyed. It is a good book with a very unique take on the angel story.
3.5 Stars in my Sky!