Thursday, January 26, 2012

REVIEW: "Angelfall" by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee
(Penryn and the End of Days #1)

Urban Fantasy-Angels and Demons
Feral Dream--May 2011
E-book, 255 pages 

Rating: 5 Stars -- Loved It!


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.


In the influx of angel books out there, it is sometimes difficult to find an original premise.  I was recommended this book by a Goodreads friend and am so happy for the suggestion of Angelfall.  The concept is fresh, the action is adrenaline-pumping, and the characters are fantastic.  I absolutely adored it and cannot wait for more from this author.

Penryn is a teenager who is trying to help her family survive the direct aftermath of the apocalypse.  This seemingly impossible task is made even more difficult by the fact that her sister Paige is wheelchair-bound and her mother is a paranoid schizophrenic.  After witnessing her sister's kidnapping, she discovers an injured angel without wings and decides to use him to find Paige.  The action begins from the very beginning and keeps your interest until the conclusion.  There are quite a few twists and turns as Raffe and Penryn experience the aftermath of the angel attacks. 

--Main Characters--
Penryn is a resourceful and admirable heroine is completely devoted to her sister.  I love how she took a bad situation (her sister's kidnapping) and used it to her advantage.  Throughout her journey with Raffe, she remains aware of her true purpose and never strays from it.  She also doesn't become a damsel in distress and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty.

Raffe is an intriguing hero who takes some getting used to, but is fascinating throughout the book.  His strength is decreased by his lack of wings, but he remains extremely powerful.  I loved watching the layers of Raffe's character get peeled back as the story moved along though there are still many unanswered questions regarding him and his role in the apocalypse.

The relationship between Raffe and Penryn is difficult to decipher at first.  They both need each other to achieve their overall purpose despite their glaring differences.  There is a lot of tension between them that causes some interesting scenes especially inside the angel's stronghold.  While the relationship did not reach the level of romance, there is some hope for future books.

--Secondary Characters--
Most of the story concentrates on Penryn and Raffe's adventure and relationship, but there are quite a few side characters that intrigued me.  Paige, as the catalyst for the main events, is described in a very loving fashion by her sister, but her re-emergence is terrifying and will set up quite a conundrum later in the series.  Penryn's mother is a mystery as well and is an interesting choice by the author.  The members of the resistance army and the angels of aerie are all detailed characters that add more punch to the overall storyline.

The world that Ee conjured is creative and thought-provoking.  The idea of seeing how people react to the apocalypse aftermath is fascinating and handled well.  There is enough of a hint of the modern world alongside the fantasy aspects to grab readers' attention until the end.  Ee does not go deep into the hierarchy of angels, but I was intrigued by the little tidbits she did offer. 

Overall, a fascinating read that takes the angel concept and gives it an appropriately dark twist.  The characters are multi-dimensional and sympathetic while the plot moves along rapidly through gripping scenes.  Highly recommended!!


"I knew from the start that your loyalty would get you killed. I just never thought it would be your loyalty to me that would do it." --Raffe


Penryn and the End of Days
1. Angelfall
2. Untitled (To Be Released 2012)


1 comment:

  1. I'm reading this right now! It's such a page-turner and seriously moves fast through the story. Every chapter leaves you wanting nothing but to read the next one. It's great, even though I'm only just starting it.

    Great review!


Yeah comments!! Thanks for visiting my blog. I will try to reply to your comments as soon as possible.