June 8, 2012

Review: Immortal City

Book Cover By Scott Speer
Available now from Razorbill (Penguin)
Review copy
"What about him?" Brad asked.
"Him?" the Angel asked.
"Yeah," Brad said, and pointed to the tailgate as it slipped under the waves.  "Him."
The Angel looked at the sinking pickup as if seeing it for the first time.
"He didn't have coverage," he said.
-p. 4, ARC
IMMORTAL CITY begins with a scene that worms under your skin.  Rich, careless Brad causes a fatal car wreck, but escapes with the aid of an Angel - aid he paid for.  The other, innocent driver dies.  And, as we find out, no one in Angel City (Los Angeles) cares.  They're too excited making the protectee a new celebrity and fetishizing the Angels.

You see, in the world of IMMORTAL CITY, Angels are celebrities, as are their clients.  Right now people are counting down the days until Jackson Godspeed makes his first rescue.  And someone else is doing what is supposed to be impossible: killing Angels.

After the dynamic beginning, IMMORTAL CITY gets off to a slow start.  Conceited, arrogant boy meets girl who is only person in city that sees through his crap.  Girl and boy are drawn together anyway.  Girl and boy fight because lo, they are from different worlds.  There are a few touches that add color to this formulaic start.  For example, the narrative is very aware of Jackson's privilege and that he needs to realize how well he has it if he's ever going to grow as a person.

But things kick into high gear when Jackson rescues Maddy, despite the fact she could never in a billion years afford his protection.  The two must go on the run to protect Jackson from the Angel's excessive punishment.  Then the Angels try to pin the recent crime spree on their golden boy.  Maddy and Jackson can only save themselves by finding out what the Angels are hiding.

The worldbuilding in IMMORTAL CITY is amazing.  At first the Angels as celebrities thing seems just silly.  But the book becomes something much more dark and complex as it reveals how the Angels first revealed themselves to the human world and rose to the top.

I waited a long time to read this one because it looked meh, but I'm happy I finally picked it up.  It was a very pleasant surprise.  I did not expect the noir edge at all.  If you like your paranormal romance on the darker side, give IMMORTAL CITY a spin.

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