Thursday, 2 August 2012

Review: Immortal City by Scott Speer

In One Line:  Girl who hates angels meets the super hottest of all angels and falls in forbidden love. (to be fair, I totes would too.)
Genre: Angelic guilty pleasure
The Gist:
Maddy lives in what we would call Los Angeles. But in this alternate reality, it is known as Angel City, because about 100 years ago Angels ‘came out’ and started saving people for money. If you can afford the protection, then you can get saved. But Maddy hates all the silly celebrity business that surrounds the angels. She’s too busy being poor and making college applications. Until Jackson Godspeed walks into her life. Turns out she’s a sucker for a hot bod and feathery wings after all. But whilst we have this sexy romance thing happening, someone, or something is killing angels, ripping off their wings and leaving them on the Angel City walk of fame. And of course Maddy and Jacks get involved. How could their insta-love possibly survive?
The Cover:
It’s a little bit racy fantasy, don’t you think? A little bit like those genre novels that pretend not to be blatant erotica because they’ve got vampires in them? But that’s ok. Because this book is absolutely the teen (and therefore chaste) version of that. It’s teen-porn (yes, I’m saying it). Erotica without the sex for teenagers who like their angels hot and hunky and like to imagine all the naughty things that might happen if a hot and hunky angel appeared in their bedroom but don’t actually know the technicalities of the deed yet. Bless ‘em. In the meantime, this book cover does exactly what it says on the tin: you want hot and hunky angels falling in love? You got ‘em!!! 
Why You’ll Love This Book
  • This book is totally a mash-up of Sarah Alderson, L.A. Weatherly and Becca Fitzpatrick. And if that’s ok with you, it’s totally ok with me. We’re in full-on guilty pleasure zone here people. 
  • There’s actually some pretty witty satire going on. Like, imagine if the Kardashians and the Hiltons and whatever other Hollywood famous family has a reality show and a clothes line were actually the people charged with saving your lives? What if they were Immortal? God help us. An immortal Kim Kardashian. Anyway, I’m pointing this out as a good point. Because it is, I promise. It paints a gloriously satirical slant on the nature of celebrity, how it actually means nothing at all, and is possibly (make that probably) intrinsically evil. Excellent work Mr Speer.
  • We’re also in alternate reality realm here, which I love because it opens up so many possibilities. Similar to the Charlaine Harris and the True Blood series, immortal Angels ‘came out’ to the world about one hundred years ago and have been building on their popularity ever since. And just like the True Blood series, what this means is endless potential for alternate history, further characters, and basically, a whole series. I could see this being a TV series - if they could afford all the special affects. 
  • The superman flying scene is HOT. Seriously HOT. 
  • There is actually a pretty great twist towards the end that I did not see coming. When you actually analyse it (as I am doing whilst I write this review) then you realise that it doesn’t make much sense, but I’m going to give kudos to the twist, because I totally didn’t predict it. 

Why You May Not Love This Book
  • Ooooh there are a lot of visual cliches going on here. I think that’s because the author actually works in music videos. So we have Superman style flying, as mentioned earlier, then there’s a creeping into the bedroom thing (my most hated thing EVER) and worst of all, some sexual tension with Angel Dude half naked in the pouring rain. I’m not necessarily complaining about this stuff, because a half naked Angel Dude in the pouring rain is undoubtedly HOT, and yet... cliches just get on my nerves. Visual or not. I’m surprised there wasn’t an upside down kiss at some point really. 
  • There are verbal cliches too!!! One bit made me laugh out loud, because it kind of reminded me of the bit in the Little Mermaid when Ursula the Sea Witch goes mental and giant and tries to keep Ariel and Eric apart. If you read this book, and are familiar with this film, then when you get to The Bit you will know EXACTLY what I mean. 
  • Despite what I just said about cliches, I wouldn’t have minded Maddy having a bit more personality. Perhaps being a bit more Buffy like? She’s just a tad dry on the personality front. And on a similar note, Jacks is just a big ol’ Angel jock. Once you get past the looks (the gloriously, distractingly HOT looks) then I didn’t catch much of a personality going on there either. 

The Hypersomnia Test:
It passed - and this is because of some clever novel structuring. Sexual tension scenes between Jacks and Maddy are broken up by some actual plot stuff, so I raced through this novel skimming over the Sylvester murder plot scenes because I was just desperate to get to the next Maddy and Jacks scenes!
Final Verdict:
An enjoyable, fun, brilliant little guilty pleasure. This book won’t change your life, it won’t rock your world, but it will give you a lovely distraction from real life for a little bit. And that makes it great in my book. This is what guilty pleasures are for, after all. However, there are a lot of elements that I’ve read before, so there is something predictable about this book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasing predictability, but if you’re looking for the next big ground-breaking fad fiction, I don’t think you’ll find it here. What you’ll find is good old clean fun. 
Further Reading:

Fated by Sarah Alderson
Angel by L.A. Weatherley
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
To buy Immortal City click HERE!!!

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