Series: Immortal City
Author: Scott Speer
Warning: Tiny spoilers below. This one's pretty safe as I don't talk about anything that gives anything away, unless it's something that's pretty obvious, like the relationship between the two main characters.
This book is more of a 3.5 than a solid 3 or a solid 4. While there were some moments in the book where I just didn't believe what was going on (as in it felt forced, and not real; like I was being told what to believe was happening), the plot was rather enjoyable overall, and I never once found myself bored. This is the first of a series, I believe, and after that ending, I am intrigued as to see where this book will go. Of course, where it ended left off at a point where a continuation is not entirely necessary. So I guess it's up to the publisher now.
I felt, at some points, like there was something missing, but as to what exactly I was not sure. There was a nice little OH MY GOD moment near the end, which I thought was well-done. And the cutesy bits were cutesy enough without making me roll my eyes. Although, I admit I was not completely sold on the love story -- I think that's where I felt something was missing. Perhaps more interaction between Jacks and Maddy would have made them more believable. I'm good with them now, it just took some more convincing. Their "insta-love" thing felt off to me, because I feel there wasn't enough in the text to make me believe in it. I have formed a ship of my own, though, which I won't give away, but I expect we will see more of if the next book does come out. I'm not yet sure if anything has been confirmed. But I have questions about some characters and happenings, so there is definite potential for at least one sequel.
I also had a bit of an issue with Gwen, Maddy's best friend. She just felt 'there'. Like the author didn't want Maddy to be friendless, so they threw in Gwen. Their friendship wasn't as believable as I would have liked. The two girls just seemed so opposite and there was never any explanation as to what their connection was. There was no development in their friendship, and this is also where I felt like something was missing. At one point, Gwen was furious with Maddy and refused to speak to her, but then later after not appearing for several chapters, she was all 'you're the strongest person I know Maddy. I believe in you.' and I was sitting there, frowning at the page, thinking... Why? When did you, Gwen, ever see her being strong enough to handle this situation? You weren't there. It just came out of no where. So the story might have made more believable sense to me if there was more background. Even a paragraph of Maddy thinking back to how they became friends would have sufficed, but there was nothing.
In a way, this book felt like it would be better as a movie script. It had a certain feel about it that made me think that. Then later I found out that Scott Speer is a music video director, and it all made sense.
I feel like this book could have gone through another edit or two. Perhaps different eyes would have caught this stuff and hopefully Scott Speer could have gone back and added more. For a 300+ word book, it felt like under 200 because it moved so fast, and not in a good way. Also whoever edited for grammar missed two glaring errors that made me wince. Easy fixers if they had been caught :/ I know this happens all the time, but as a grammar freak (who, by the way, does not think she is the master of grammar and is never going to make a mistake -- I've made lots and will continue making more), I noticed this stuff and it bothered me.
I know that most of this review points out the negative aspects of the book, but they are what stood out more to me. I did like the surprise at the end -- that was well done. I mean, I did not expect it at all, but I was never one to be the greatest mystery-solver, either. The writing wasn't bad, overall, and the story's plot was pretty interesting. Celebrity angels? That is a pretty neat idea, because well, why not? If angels perform miracles all the time, why wouldn't some want to be noticed and recognised for it? Some might argue not all would. I agree with that, and if that's your opinion, you'll find that is mentioned in the book. Several times. I am very curious as to where this story will go, because it does have potential. Hopefully in the sequel will improve.
I liked how the point of view changed so that we got to see what was happening outside of just our two main protagonists' eyes. However, this may have contributed to the lack of detail. I was left with many questions, but since this is a series, that is also a very good thing. Hopefully they'll be answered in the next book, though there was no obvious lead-in to that. For example, certain characters were acting very suspicious, but in the end, they weren't a part of the problem (for lack of a much better term) of the story; they ended up having nothing to do with it. The fact that they were never mentioned again bothered me, because that seems like a simple loose end to tie up, and I don't expect it to be addressed in the next book.
All in all, good plot line. Could have used a few more edits and some more elaboration on some parts, but I'm glad I read it and I do look forward to the sequel.