Author: Susan Ee | Pages: 283 | Series: Penryn & the End of Days, #1 | Rating: 4.5 stars
“Sometimes, as we’re stumbling along in the dark, we hit something good.”
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister, and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
I went into this book simultaneously excited and cautious. Countless people have urged me to start this series, and practically everyone I know who has read this book has raved about it. To make the daunting pressure even higher, I rarely like YA angel books. It isn’t for lack of interest – I love the concept, I just find that the majority of them are… lacking.
But this post isn’t about them; it’s about Angelfall. And I adored it.
There were so many things about this book that I loved. First of all, the characters. Not only is there a small collection of mental and physical challenges that I rarely find in YA (Penryn’s sister is in a wheelchair and her mother is a paranoid schizophrenic), they all felt real. It takes a special author to make their characters all feel as if they have a life, motivations, likes, and dislikes outside of the main story and/or conflict, but Ms. Ee pulls it off. And I really appreciated Penryn as a protagonist: she was kickass, yes, and more than capable of defending herself, but in the end she was still a seventeen-year-old girl, moreover one whose world had recently come crashing down around her, and who was just trying to keep it together for her family. I appreciated that.
Another thing I liked was the fact that the romance, while it existed, wasn’t insta-lovey and wasn’t the main focus for either Raffe or Penryn. They barely tolerated each other at first, but came together through shared experiences. Both of them had their own motivations, their own goals, and weren’t about to let the other distract them from that.
One thing I was also pleasantly surprised by was the atmosphere in Angelfall: It was dark and creepy and fast-paced and captivating. I liked the return to the more biblical angelic figures, the “harbingers of doom”, but some with very human desires and motivations, making for a somewhat chilling combination.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and will be picking up the sequel, World After. I did dock a half star because there were a few little things here and there that bothered me a bit, but for the most part I’m hoping they’ll get explained in future books, so it’s nothing major. I would still highly recommend them, and I suppose I’m now in with the ravers.
What about you? Have you read Angelfall and if you have, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!