Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Title: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)
Author: Susan Ee
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 326
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Review for #2

It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back... 

This is one of those books when, after I've finished it, I just sit there for a moment and think, "What did I just read?"

But in a good way. Angelfall was recommended to me by a ton of people over the last few weeks. Like, I'd never even heard of it (obviously very behind) and once I did hear of it, it was EVERYWHERE. I saw it on lists, I put it on lists! And every single person who I heard from was completely in love with it. So I took the plunge. I ordered it and had it in my hands in two days. And it had been read a very short time later.

Angelfall is only the second angel book I've read, the first being Fallen, and I'm happy to say that this one blows that out of the water!

I seriously can't understand why all the hype is around Fallen. There's literally no reason that I should never have heard of Angelfall before now because it's awesome. I'll admit, I was a little wary when I saw the names Penryn and Raffe (I had an old supervisor in the military named Raffy so that was a little weird for me), but I gave it a chance and I was seriously not disappointed.

The post-apocalyptic world presented by Susan Ee was just awesome. Nothing in this book was typical YA and I loved it because it was so real. No fantasy here (okay, other than the angels) - it's dark and grimy and realistic, which is really just so much better in this context than the romanticized versions that often appear in YA fiction. I could feel the hoplessness surrounding everyone throughout her journey to San Fransisco and the setting definitely contributed to the mood.

The story itself was like nothing I've ever read. Most books that are labeled post-apocalyptic really deal with the "post." Angelfall, however, is right in the middle of the apocalypse itself. And it's caused by angels. Not humans, not global warming - angels. The good guys. What?

I am so intrigued by the little tidbits about where their orders came from. I cannot wait to read more!

And then there were the characters. I could never quite tell how I felt about Penryn. I didn't have any real beefs with her, but there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on that I didn't really love. I think a lot of it had to do with her attitude, but then, it wouldn't have been the same story with her bleak outlook. Raffe, on the other hand...

Oh my god. Come on. How could I resist? Seriously though, Raffe was probably one of my favorite book love interests of all time - he's up there almost equal with Morpheus. And that's saying something. I could feel his anguish over his wings and even over his feelings that steadily grew. The romance, for that matter was so subtle and just so good! I can't wait to get to book two because I'm thinking that will probably be fleshed out a little more. Overall I feel like Susan Ee wrote her characters in such a sympathetic way. Even with the things I didn't like about Penryn, I still felt for her and didn't -not- like her.

So, in case you hadn't picked up on it, I loved this book. I loved it. I already ordered book two and I'm having kind of a fit to get my hands on it. Oh, and I'll just leave this here...

©Dominique Wesson