Immortal City



Celebrity angels are targets in fun paranormal thriller.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Even in this fantasy context, readers get a feel for life in Hollywood. And there are reference to many real Los Angeles locations. 

Positive messages

Good must fight to defeat evil. You must have faith in yourself. Trust, family, and freinds are the most important things in life. 

Positive role models

Maddy is a strong heroine with deep convictions and personal opinions about where she lives, her family and the angels who inhabit Angel City. Sometimes she can come off a bit gruff about angels, celebrities, and the status quo, but she also has a softness to her and a high likability factor. Jackson may be one of the hottest and most popular angels on the planet, but he doesn't let that fame get to his head. Once he meets Maddy, his world and his views about his new role as a guardian angel --to those who can afford being protected -- changes. Detective Sylvester is a positive role model within the police department. He has some secrets and his own personal sorrow, but he wants justice for the murder of the angels in the story.


Murder of angels is described briefly -- some dead bodies and severed wings. Secondary and minor characters are killed. Nothing too gory, but is described.


Flirting and romance between Maddy and Jackson is roller-coaster ride. He's very kind to her and sweet, but has to be careful because angels and humans can't be together.They share some very sexy kisses, but it goes no farther than that.


"Bitch," "ass."


Too many designers, products, and pop culture brands to mention, but here's a taste: Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban, Yves Saint Laurent, Converse, Nike, Diet Coke, Blackberry, iPhone, Twitter, YouSave (YouTube), Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Ferraris, Mercedes, and Beretta. Clever plays on popular television programs and magazine such as A! Entertainment (instead of  E! Entertainment), Angels Weekly (US Weekly), Halo Magazine (People Magazine), and Angel News Network (CNN). 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults and older teens drink. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Immortal City is the first book in a series in which  angels are celebrities and there's a serial killer who's murdering famous angels. A mixture of urban fantasy and gritty noir, it features teens and adults as main characters -- something not usually found in YA -- and will appeal to older, more sophisticated teens. Immortal City is stuffed with brand names, from designer lables to high-end automobiles to popular Los Angeles restaurants and stores to pop culture references. It's also heavy on the topics of politics, religion, fame, and money. Dead bodies are briefly described.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

IMMORTAL CITY imagines an alternative Los Angeles called Angel City, where instead of human celebrities, angels have the power and fame. But Maddy, a human, couldn't care less. Despite having strange visions, she lives a quiet life with her uncle Kevin, who runs a local diner. She has an obsessed best friend who dreams of being protected by newly crowned guardian angel and immortal celeb Jackson Godspeed. Jacks has been preparing to become a guardian his whole life, but something is nagging at him. He yearns for something different. When he meets Maddy, who questions angels and their relevance to society, he discovers there's more to life than fame and fortune. But when a serial killer starts murdering angels, and Jacks is next on the list, the tables are turned ... and Maddy becomes the protector.

Is it any good?


You don't have to be familiar with the Los Angeles area, Hollywood, and the entertainment industry to get a kick out of suspenseful, romantic Immortal City. Although, after reading it, kids may yearn to purchase the latest cell phone, visit Hollywood hotspots, or get decked out in designer duds, just like the cool characters in the book. Sometimes the name-dropping reaches overkill, but it's a "Hollywood" book, after all. Immortal City definitely has an edgy, noir vibe because of the serial killer plot and the investigation surrounding murdered angels. Viewpoints vary between Maddy, Jacks, and Detective Sylvester. It's quite surprising that an adult is one of the main characters --  adults are usually secondary characters or absent in YA novels. Due to the mature subject matter, Immortal City, has adult crossover appeal.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Immortal City's alternative version of Los Angeles and Hollywood. Would Angel City be a cool place to live, or would you feel like Maddy? Do you like the twist of angels being celebrities?

  • How would you feel if someone extremely famous or well-known became interested in you and you were suddenly thrust into the limelight? Do you think young people are influenced by celebrities?

  • In Immortal City, angels save lives, but only people who can afford protection have guardian angels. How would you feel if you knew someone had a guardian angel but you didn't?

Book details

Author:Scott Speer
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, High school, History
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:April 2, 2012
Number of pages:336
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of Immortal City was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Fallen angels are the new, more charming vampires.
  • Addictive high-society fluff with iffy messages.
  • Angel-human romance not nearly as heavenly as the cover.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass