Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words
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Eric Czuleger is a playwright with several plays to his credit that have been produced from coast to coast. A former Peace Corps volunteer and the son of a USA Today bestselling novelist, this is Czuleger’s first novel.
For more, visit his website.
“The San Andreas Fault is the gateway to hell. The Hollywood Hills are mass graves of angels. William Mulholland defies God himself. Satan gets plastic surgery on Sunset Boulevard. A dead boy is stuck in traffic next to a vampire who can’t sleep, and an angel who has an audition for the role of an angel. The stars are in the sky and on the pavement. The wolves are prowling. The weather is perfect. The screenplay is written. The soul is sold. This movie is going to be big- really big. Welcome to Immortal L.A. You’re going to love it here.”
Regular readers of my reviews will recognize that although I’ll sometimes read and review books with minor fantasy elements, the number of books I’ve reviewed that are clearly in the fantasy genre could be counted on one hand, probably with fingers left over. I’m almost certain this is my first time reviewing a book in the Urban Fantasy subgenre. While I think a good story is a good story, regardless of genre, this disclaimer is my roundabout way of saying that if there are any genre conventions in Urban Fantasy, I don’t know what they are. Immortal L.A. could stretch or break all the rules and I’d have no clue.
The premise of Immortal L.A. is that Los Angeles is a hotbed of the supernatural with an overabundance of beings who are part of Lucifer’s crew along with plenty of angels from the other side. The story intersperses chapters that are a “revised history” of Los Angeles, informing us of the true and complete history of the area with chapters from contemporary times. I liked how the revised history combined things I recognized as historical fact cast in a different light. For example, the alternative explanation for the La Brea Tar Pits or additional information about LA’s struggles to maintain an adequate water supply. I was surprised to discover the amount of Los Angeles history buried in the recesses of my brain so that I realized there was truth entwined with the fiction, but don’t think this was necessary to enjoy the story.
The modern day chapters told the tales of a mix of contemporary Los Angelenos that lived in this revised world. In this world, there is no doubt that actors and actresses sell their soul to the devil for success. All in all, a fun and, at least for me, much different read.
Some adult language.
A small number of typos and other proofreading misses.
Rating: **** Four Stars