Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer

Natural Born AngelNatural Born Angel by Scott Speer
Series: Immortal City #2
Published by: Razorbill on April 23, 2013
Genre: Angels, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: ARC From Publisher
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★

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 Godspeed's girlfriend.

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. . . .

My enjoyment for Natural Born Angel is all over the map, and that’s one of the reasons why I was so unsure about how to rate it (and I’m still kind of unsure). That means, it’s time to whip out the ol’ Enjoyment Graph so you can get a sense of how I felt while reading the book:

My Enjoyment Levels — Monitored

Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer - Enjoyment Graph

As you can see, things started out strong. I was really excited to dive into the book, and when Maddy decided to become a Guardian, I was pumped! But any time the book swerved away from Maddy and onto Detective Sylvester, I lost interest. I just couldn’t bring myself to care about his investigations or the Angel politics. But then when we would go back to Maddy’s (or Jackson’s) chapters, my interest would spike again. But towards the end of the book, I started to even dislike Maddy’s chapters.

One of the main reasons why I’m so unsure about this book is because Maddy and Jackson start to have relationship problems. Jackson has lost the ability to fly (possibly forever), so when Maddy decides to become a Guardian, Jackson is jealous. He’s not only jealous because she can perform Guardian duties and he can’t, but also because she is now the center of attention media-wise. I do think that these doubts and problems are realistic, but they still made me not enjoy the book as much. It completely makes sense that Jackson would be upset when his whole world changes, and would resent Maddy a little for stealing the spotlight from under him. But I hated that it had to come between them. Just because it’s realistic doesn’t mean I enjoy reading about it.

And with a wedge driven between Maddy and Jackson, we get…. a love triangle. See that huge drop off at the end? That was the love triangle (I don’t really think that’s a spoiler because it’s pretty obvious that it’s developing from early on). Honestly, it was just RIDICULOUS. I could sense the love triangle from the moment Tom was introduced, but it never actually went anywhere.. until the end. Then, suddenly, at the end, Tom was declaring his LOVE for Maddy? What the hell? Except for one kiss, they had zero romantic involvement or chemistry (even the kiss was super random). The book itself made it seem like they only met in person three or four times, but suddenly he LOVES her? It was ridiculous.

I think that the only problem writing-wise is how much Scott Speer relied on television news announcements to explain the politics and other big events. Because news is essentially “telling” or reporting, it felt like we were always being told what was happening in the world rather than being shown what was happening. A few news announcements now and then would be fine, but it seemed like every big event was given to us in the form of Maddy watching it on TV and the author writing out the television announcement. We never saw anything develop in the actual world around us.

Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer - Neither angel nor man can escape their destiny

But despite my annoyances, there were still some interesting points in the book. Once the investigations and all that jazz got “solved” I was actually really interested in it (see huge spike near the end of the graph). There were some extremely intense moments and things overall really got amped up a notch. Prior to this point, the book felt a little slow moving, but suddenly it was all a whirlwind, and I loved it! I feel like the series is headed in a very cool direction and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. I particularly like the role that Jackson will play!

There is definitely a good vs. evil war coming, and people are picking sides. Maddy, in particular, is torn in the middle. As half-human, half-Angel, she doesn’t know which side to give her allegiance to.

View Spoilers »

I do feel like this book shows how much of a grudge holder I am. The humans (specifically the president) decide to ban all Angel activity. They’re not allowed to fly, use super strength, make saves, or use any other supernatural powers they have. Then, suddenly, the demons invade the earth and the humans are like, “Lol just kidding. Now that we’re in trouble, please use your super powers to help us!”

Good people like Maddy believe that the Angels should help the humans, because otherwise they’ll all die. I say: screw the humans. They basically banned Angels from existing… until it was convenient for them to have Angels around. What douchebags. They dug their own grave and now they can lay in it.

Yes, I hold grudges.

Natural Born Angel wasn’t a perfect book, and I definitely enjoyed Immortal City more. But at the same time, I don’t think Natural Born Angel was particularly a bad book. The problem was simply that it was riddled with problems and information that I personally did not care for. I’m one of those girls that hates it when relationship problems dominate a book. Have one or two fights—fine. But to have the whole book be one distanced relationship? That’s not for me. I really fell in love with Maddy and Jackson in Immortal City and I just hate that they were so separated throughout Natural Born Angel.

But I am super curious to see how things play out. Assuming the horrible love triangle gets shot down fairly quickly, I am confident that the third book will be better than this one.

The Verdict


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  1. Oh yeah, the news announcements are a sneaky way of telling and now showing. I haven’t read the first book in the series, so the sound of the second book is not making me want to pick either book up. Hopefully the next book is better and then I may pick the series up. I will wait and see.

    Jennifer Bielman recently posted: Excerpt & Giveaway: Damaged by H.M. Ward
    1. It’s kind of a bummer because I LOVED the first book. Fingers cross that the series redeems itself with book #3!

  2. Like you I get really annoyed when a book is basically one big relationship mess. I’m not here for that. Have your issues and fix it so I can get on with the story. But I guess with this being the second book you can’t have everything all happy and dandy? I’m assuming the author thought that something had to happen to make the reader stay interested and come back for more in the next book. I get the reasoning, but it’s still nerve racking.

    1. Yeah a lot of second books seem to have that “Let’s cause a problem to keep readers hooked so we can bridge into book #3” problem. 🙁 I do think it’s definitely the case here, especially with the love triangle. It feels more like a “Conflict-causing tool” than a feature that fits in well with the plot (at least in this instance!).

  3. I was so excited to buy this book and actually sit down and read it… I read it in four hours and when I finished I was deeply disappointed… I sat there and said “That’s it?!?! I waited all that time for this?” I fell in love with the first book…and the second book wasn’t at all what I hoped for but I am hoping the third book pulls me back in (whenever it comes out)

  4. Enjoyed the first book, but the second book in the series turned it into a drama series. The love triangle really put me off. I had expected the second book to involve the Dark Angels(By that i mean the war between the Angels). Boy, was i wrong!

    1. Yeah I totally agree! It did sound like book 3 was headed in that direction, but book 2 was just drama drama drama.. sigh.

  5. I more like the book two than the first one. I think the Immortal City is great. I like the story so much but I love the Natural Born Angel. When I finished reading the book two, I was like “can’t wait for the next book”. Sometimes I make my own ending for it that Maddy will choose Tom Cooper instead of Jackson, but big part of me tells me that Maddy is for Jacks because they are destined to each other… I’m giving two thumbs up for the series. Can’t wait the next book. Scott Speer please finish your book quickly

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