Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee (Penryn & the End of Days #1)

Title: Angelfall by Susan Ee
Published: May 21st, 2011 by Feral Dream
Format: Paperback
Source:  Library
Challenge(s):  Dystopian
Grade rate: A+

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 she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

My Review

Oh. My. Goodness.  I can’t find words to describe how awesome Angelfall is!  Nonetheless, I will try my best to describe it for you.

Angelfall has been in my TBR list for a long time and then, last week I saw a great review in another blog (I can’t remember which) that made me put it on hold at my local library.  I devoured it in no time :)   Okay, let’s start with Penryn.  First, let me say that I’ve ever heard this name before.   Penryn is an amazing character, she reminds me a bit of Katniss (from The Hunger Games), in the sense that they are survivors.   She will do anything to keep her loved ones safe in a world that’s been turned up-side-down in a very short span of time.  Due to a schizophrenic mother, she was trained in different forms of self-defense from a young age; she also feels she is in charge and the protector of her little unusual family. 

Raffe is the wingless angel that Penryn rescues in order to help her find her sister (no spoilers, this is in the synopsis).  He is physically perfect, lighter and bigger than humans and willing to sacrifice a lot to get his wings back.  Pernyn and Raffe form an uncomfortable alliance based on need and a sense of loyalty that grows between them. 

The characterization is amazing.  I couldn’t help but fall in love with Penryn and Raffe and suffer with them through every trial.  Penryn’s mom is some kind of crazy and a little abusive, I cannot imagine growing up like that, but it does make for a good survival skills.  My heart brakes for all of them, especially for Paige, Penry’s little sister.

The plot is incredibly good.  This is dystopia at its best.  A story based on angels that descend to Earth to destroy humanity.  These are celestial beings that are not fluffy or angelic, but ruthless and cruel.  The entire world goes to heck in a matter of weeks; with unreliable electricity, no food and gangs taking over the streets.  It’s amazing how people go crazy so fast!  The politics of angels is very complicated and I can’t wait to understand what’s going on (although I have my suspicions). Angelfall is not for the weak of mind.  It is dark, way dark.  The survivors have to see and suffer many horrors, not only from the angels, but from fellow humans.  The writing is astounding; so, so good.

The ending was sort of a non-ending for me.  I hope that Raffe and Pernyn find each other again and soon.  I’m still reeling from the last few chapters, it’s all so unfair.  I’m glad I read Angelfall this year, as book #2 in the series, still untitled, is not due for publication until the fall of this year (with the projected five books, it means I will be waiting for the series to end for a few more years!).

Here are some quotes for you:

“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you” I give him a wary look. “Again – Penryn to Raffe.  

“I lean into his strength until I realize what I’m doing.  I pull back abruptly. I don’t have the luxury of leaning on anyone’s strength, least of all an angel’s.  My shoulder feels cold and vulnerable once his warmth is gone.” – Penryn

“You should know” he says. His whisper is low enough that even angels probably can’t hear it beyond the background noise of conversations in the corridor. “I don’t even like you”.  – Raffee to Penryn

 About the cover:  Gorgeous!


  1. I saw this advertised on Amazon, but didn't really see what it was about, other than that it's a dystopian.

    Your review makes it sounds so good! I'm definitely adding it to my list.

  2. I loved it too! Can't wait for book 2.


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