Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: Immortal City (Speer)

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AUTHOR: Scott Speer
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Razorbill
PUBLICATION DATE: April 3, 2012
ISBN: 9781595145062
PAGES: 336
SOURCE: publisher's ARC
GENRE: paranormal romance
GIVE IT TO: teen girls who really love angel romances
SUMMARY: Years ago, guardian angels began offering their rescue services only to the highest bidders. As a result, angels will save only the most wealthy, most famous Protections. As residents of Angel City (formerly Los Angeles), the angels are more famous than Hollywood stars. Constantly in the limelight, angels are trailed by paparazzi and even have their own TV network. Angel history is taught in high school, where teen fervor over all-things-angel is a major distraction from real life. Jackson Godspeed, a hunky angel from an influential and wealthy archangel family, is about to become the youngest Guardian in history. Maddy is a high school girl just trying to finish her college applications and work her shifts as a waitress in her uncle's small diner. When the two meet, their instant attraction causes big ripples in their very different worlds. But when angels turn up murdered with their wings severed, many believe Jackson Godspeed may be next.

REVIEW: Aaannnddd...I'm done. No more YA angel novels for me, at least not anytime soon. Immortal City was my fourth paranormal romance featuring angels, and I just can't take anymore. So many of my library girls have gone angel-crazy over books like Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush, Smith's Eternal, and Kate's Fallen, so I am constantly on the lookout for well-reviewed angel romances. But while I am hardly a spiritual person, I can't help but wonder, what does God think about all these reckless angel-hunks shirking their heavenly duties and falling for the wrong girl? Does He condone guardian angels selling their services to the highest bidders?

I had hoped Immortal City might be different from the other angel romances I've read. In alternating viewpoints (love!), readers learn about Maddie and Jackson separately, within their own lives and relationships, before their fateful first meeting. I love the uniqueness of the whole angel-for-hire program. Non-altruistic angels? Um, okay! Despite the interesting premise, Immortal City ultimately put me to sleep. I had to force myself to finish it, and then only by skimming the last 75 pages.

Characters and events are typical of the paranormal romance genre, complete with beautiful immortals, a "normal" human girl, love-at-first-sight, an annoying best friend, a vindictive ex-girlfriend, a spoiled little sister, and no parental guidance to speak of. I'm really getting bored with the "instant, inexplicable love connection" stuff going on in recent paranormal romances. Maddy and Jackson's courtship begins abruptly and smolders despite the fact that neither character really knows anything about the other; in fact, the pair seems more interesting separately than together. The predictable murder mystery seems tacked on simply to add intrigue to a plot that features too many angel-crazed teenage girls and reads like an extended episode of TMZ.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Slow-paced, shallow, and predictable. Recommended only for the most die-hard angel romance fans.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We don't have it, and I have no plans to purchase it. Content-wise, middle school librarians have nothing to worry about beyond a little language.

READALIKES: Fallen (Lauren Kate); Hush, Hush (Becca Fitzpatrick); Halo (Alexandra Adornetto)

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 1/5
  • Creativity: 3/5
  • Characters: 1/5
  • Engrossing: 1/5
  • Writing: 1/5
  • Appeal to teens: 3/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 2/5

CONTENT:
  • Language: mild
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing
  • Violence: mild; angels are murdered
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium; teens drink alcohol at parties, protagonists refrain

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