Immortal City by Scott Speer
I must say I was mildly surprised when I picked up this book and began reading it. Considering the fact the book is about angels, I was expecting something preachy, but that is not the case with Immortal City, by Scott Speer. Speer manages to convey a completely different type of story about angels, merging fantasy and fast-paced adventure with the glitzy glamour of celebrities in today’s culture.
In Immortal City (otherwise known as Los Angeles, or the City of Angels), angels are the celebrities. They are adored by everyday people; they are the models and heart-throbs of the nation. And of course, a small portion of the American population is indifferent to their perfect looks and ostentatious vehicles.
Jackson Godspeed, or Jacks, is at the height of popularity as he prepares to become a Guardian Angel. Maddy Montgomery is a “nobody” who doesn’t really care about or pay attention to what is happening with the angels. All of that changes when the two meet and find themselves attracted to one another. Soon they find themselves in the middle of an investigation into a string of angel murders, trying desperately to solve the mystery before it’s too late.
Of the main characters in the story, I found I had a greater appreciation of Maddy’s character, mainly because she was so completely unfazed by all of the angel nonsense that captivated most of the population. She truly has no interest in keeping up-to-date with latest buzz concerning the angels.
The other main character, Jackson, takes the responsibility of becoming a Guardian very seriously. Interestingly enough, although he is portrayed as very strong, able, and smart, I found him to be very naïve in the way he thinks about angels and humans. To him, everything is black and white, and the way things are between angels and humans is just how it is. He was told how things are done and that’s that. There is nothing to question. This begins to change somewhat later in the story, but overall he keeps this narrow viewpoint of the world.
Although Maddy and Jackson fall in love, I feel there is a lack of true romantic growth between them as the story progresses. They share a moment in the beginning of the story, then Maddy is angry at him for most of the story and he keeps thinking about her. Then all of a sudden they are madly in love. It just seemed a little shallow.
Other than the lack of development in the romance area, I was impressed with the remainder of the plot and world building. For instance, instead of just telling the reader about the angels, Speer explains the appearance of the angels through Maddy’s “History of Angels in America” class. It makes it seem as if you were learning about the angels along side the characters.
Overall I really enjoyed the characters and the story. It was an entertaining read with a different viewpoint on angels. The fast-paced action scenes made the pages turn quickly and the ending left me feeling satisfied enough that I would probably enjoy reading a sequel if there ever is one.
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