Wednesday, May 16, 2012

IMMORTAL CITY by Scott Speer

A Los Angeles where angels are the unearthly celebrities and we their adoring public.  The Guardians rush in to make death defying saves for their protections (i.e. the people they are paid to protect).  It's like the ultimate health insurance--for those who can afford it.

Immortal City had so much promise.  The cover copy read like a feature film synopsis.  Jackson Godspeed (love that name btw), L.A.'s #1 Immortal It Boy, is this close to earning his place amongst the Guardians.  It's all he's ever wanted--to become a hero and save human lives--but then he meets Maddy, a mortal girl who's never bought into all the Angel hype.  Forbidden love, two opposites attracting, an angel celebrity falling for a seventeen-year-old waitress.  What's not to love?

I'm going to be honest: I didn't love this book.  I had trouble getting through the long descriptions, the dense pages that, for me, didn't seem to move fast enough.  The shifting third person POV made it hard for me to get a good grip on either Maddy's or Jackson's personalities.  Although I liked them fine, in the end, both MCs felt a little flat.  I wanted so much more.

What saved it: The fantastic plot.

In this type of story, it's usually all about character, the romance, the sweeping first love.  BUT there is something to be said for a well-conceived plot.  Amidst all the hype surrounding Jackson's commissioning as the youngest Guardian ever, something more sinister is afoot.  Angels are dying, their wings found severed and left on the Walk of the Angels (think Walk of Fame but with immortals instead of movie stars).  Sylvester, an intelligent has-been cop, is called in to investigate.  He discovers that angels are being mortalized and killed in the order of their stars--and Jackson's star is next.

And that's what propelled me through.  In Speer's Immortal City, there are True Immortals (angels who can't die) and Born Immortals (angels who can be killed if they are made mortal by having their wings cut off).  This was where the story excelled.  Sylvester's scenes, his character, were the most well-written.  I don't know why, but the grit and the kinda L.A. Confidential-esque feel to those parts really worked for me.

I think it would make a great movie.  Some of the action sequences near the end, and even the romance sequences that focused on the use of Jackson's wings--flying with Maddy across the skies of L.A., enfolding Maddy with his wings etc.--those would be great on screen.  And I also really enjoyed Maddy and Jackson's first meeting.  It felt authentic and true.

Overall, I read through it fast and--though it did let me down a little--I still enjoyed it because of the interesting concept.  Can't say it's one of my favorite paranormal romances/urban fantasies ever, but Scott Speer definitely had some great moments.

Have you read Immortal City?  I'd love to hear your thoughts J

Ninja Girl

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