Immortal City by Scott Spear

(8.9/10) At times it is tongue-in-cheek, others serious with powerful dialogue.

What if angels not only walked among us - but were our celebrities? What if they saved people for money? That's the reality in Angel City, where hot young Jackson Godspeed is the angel everyone's dying to date. Everyone except for Madison Montgomery, that is. She's too busy studying and waitressing to pay attention to the gossip blogs. Then Jackson tumbles into the diner where she works, and they forge an instant, unforgettable connection. But as Maddy is reluctantly drawn into Jackson's glamorous world, Jackson fears he's exposing her to more than just the paparazzi. A serial killer is murdering one angel at a time. Not only could Jackson be next - but it seems the killer's got sights set on Maddy...

As everything seems to revolve around fairy tales at the moment, this seems a welcome diversion from the norm. Maddy Montgomery has to listen to her friend, Gwen talk about the angels. In this novel angels are real, handsome and beautiful and part of an organisation to look after the people of Los Angeles. In Scott's novel, the first in a series, the angels have shown themselves to mankind, but though every girl in the city, as well as the world, adores them, the angels have been elevated to nothing more than glitzy celebrities who are far too spoiled for their own good. Think of popular US celebrities today and you will understand.

Maddy wants to lead a normal life as a high school kid, she doesn't have any expectations, she's bright and chatty with the right friends, but isn't as academic as some of her peers. She is the only girl who doesn't get hot at the thought of the angels, and one in particular has caught Gwen's eye, the ever handsome Jackson Godspeed. He is soon to become a real Guardian Angel after he gets his commission and once this happens, he will enter the top echelons of the angels. No doubt he will gain more fans, but the underlying reason for their existence seems to be nothing more than cold, hard profit.

From the beginning of the book, Jackson has the choice to rescue two men, but decides to rescue a young man as he has insurance, so he, rather than the other one was saved. The stark reality of the story is that the angels will let people die who don't have this form of life insurance, and each save the angels make nets them some serious profit. This for anyone who has a rose tinted view of angels from Christmas cards will find this a shocker. Demons are also a reality, but it is hard to distinguish the two of them in the story as they are both using others for their own gain.

Jackson doesn't think everything that the angels do is right or just, and has issues with those above him in the hierarchy who make all the decisions. He seems to want to know more about what is going on, but dare not tip the equilibrium the angels have.

Scott starts out creating a Hollywood style drama where everyone admires the angels, then something happens that moves the story into a fast paced mystery where Jackson and Maddy are on the run from the real criminals. At times it is tongue-in-cheek, others serious with powerful dialogue.

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