Hi, readers! The weather is warming up in my part of the country, and I've been reading out on the deck.
And what have I been reading?
Last week I promised a review of the highly anticipated second book in the Immortal City series by Scott Speer, NATURAL BORN ANGEL. Visit Scott's website here.
While I wasn't a big fan of the book and found myself speed reading to get through it by the end, I know everyone's taste varies. I'll give my views on the book, but first, the synopsis and a sneak peek at the cover.
Life turned upside down
for Maddy Montgomery when she found out she was half-Angel and was
catapulted into the scene of flashbulbs, paparazzi, and the fervent
adulation that comes with being in the celebrity Angel world. She's
trying to juggle her ordinary life—high school, family, friends—with the
intense demands of being in the public eye as heartthrob Angel Jackson
And now Maddy must face the most
difficult choice of her life. She's been offered the chance to become a
Guardian. This means entering into dangerous and high stakes training,
with no guarantee that she can succeed. But more than that, it would
mean leaving her mortal life behind—forever—and allying with the Angels
at a time when their relationship with humans is heading for war. . .
Now that you know what the book's about, here's why I didn't like it.
I'm a writer and an editor primarily, a writer and editor who loves reading. Normally I'm pretty good at turning off my harsh inner critic when I'm reading others work for pleasure, but with this book I couldn't. Speer switches viewpoint continually without scene or chapter breaks. He tells the story rather than shows it. His characters feel wooden and underdeveloped and their motives and personalities seem as fluid as rushing water, so there's no sense of who they really are. The main character had no motivation or connection to the climatic events--Speer needed a completely separate viewpoint to carry that plot (which read more like an afterthought). And there was no climax!
How can there be a book published by a reputable publisher in the 21st century where the book has no climax?
Just as the story started to get a little deeper, to gain a little conflict that went deeper than the superficial level, it ended! Speer really shortchanges readers, and for some reason, he's getting away with it.
The main character and her boytoys have no chance to spread their wings (literally) and actually do more than just talk, talk, talk.
So now you know why I disliked the book. Do I recommend it to others? Definitely not. You can skip this book as there are so many truly fabulous books coming out this year.
For Speer's sake, I will say he does know the ends and outs of the "good life," the life of millionaires in sunny California. If you're more interested in pop culture, beauty contests, and petty teen problems than in real depth, then this book might be a fun read. But personally, even if that was what I looked for in a book, I still wouldn't be able to get past the fact that the book has no climax.
NATURAL BORN ANGEL is all melodrama with no real tension or conflict. I regret to say I gave it 1 star out of 5 on Goodreads. And being a fellow author, I really hated to do that.
But next week, look forward to a review of THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey. This book is Putnam's new HUNGER GAMES (or that's what pre-pub press is saying), so I can't wait to read it and get some feedback out there to everybody.
See you next time! Enjoy this beautiful spring.