Friday, March 30, 2012
Me on Immortal City
Author: Scott Speer
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)
Jackson is the hottest young Angel in a city full of them and he's days away from becoming a Guardian. People around the world are hoping to be watched over by him. Everyone is obsessed with the Angels, except for Maddy. She's possibly the only girl who doesn't watch the TV shows or read the gossip blogs, so when she first meets Jackson, she has no idea who he is. But he's captivated by her. Maddy's quickly caught up in Jackson's world, a bright flash of glamour, red carpets, and now murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for police to find. Even the Guardians are powerless, and it might be up to Maddy to save Jackson.
Immortal City was interesting to say the least. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, I'm not a fan of books that focus on fame, reality TV shows, gossip, and paparazzi, but there was enough mystery and intrigue to keep me reading. It also didn't hurt that there were some unexpected plot twists, those are always appreciated.
But I'm torn between taking this book one of two ways in terms of the fame and popularity aspect. I can either take it seriously, like this is how the world treats its celebrities and reality stars and fawns over them for doing nothing but look good, or as satire because of the outrageous antics of the reporters, gossip columnists, and Angel fans. I would love to take it as satire, as the author poking fun.
There's a clear class distinction in this book between the privileged and the rest of society, the haves and have-nots (to borrow a cliché from high school). There will always be more than one side of any situation. In this book we have Jackson who's always had everything handed to him and everything expected of him, and we have Maddy who's as normal as can be and struggling, maybe not struggling to stay above the poverty line but struggling all the same. Everyone has their own opinion of normality, about a normal life and what's normal to them, but when you try and force your way onto someone else, someone who doesn't want it, you run the risk of ruining what someone's worked hard for. Both Jackson and Maddy have to learn this.
The purpose of the Guardians is to watch over normal humans and protect them, but only the rich humans, only those who can afford it. I'm curious if the author was making a comparison between the Angels saving lives for money and the heath care system.
The idea of fame is interesting, of being recognized wherever you go. Not everyone wants it. Jackson's always had it, but Maddy's happy enough without it, with living a normal life with normal struggled and high school and college. There's no pressure in her world, but in his, it could crush him if he's not strong enough.
It was good that there was some intrigue, some action in terms of the dead Angels' wings and the murders, the questions that kept arising, and the honest life or death aspect. Without it, it's possible I wouldn't have finished this book.
I'm sure there will be some who liked it and some who didn't, some parts I enjoyed and others I found impossible and outrageous, some I expected and some I didn't. A certain crowd will enjoy this book, those who enjoyed L.A. Candy and the popularity aspect, those who enjoyed Hush, Hush and its angels, romance, and mystery.
(I received an advance copy to review from Penguin Canada.)