Angelfall by Susan Ee

angelfall-susan-eeAngelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee, published in 2011 by Feral Dream.

Author. Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository.

Source: purchased (e-book).

Genre: YA urban fantasy (also postapocalyptic? Hell, I have no idea.)

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. (Goodreads)

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My rating: a solid 4/5.

This was a re-read due to an almost complete blank in my memory when I tried to remember what happened. I first read it in 2012, I think, and I wanted to get on to World After, but never got around to it. After a first chapter or so, it all came back and I enjoyed the book very much the second time around. I think it counts as book 0 for my Re-Read Challenge and Flights of Fantasy (I re-read it in 2014 but the review will be published in 2015 so this is a sort of a test run).

Best quote: I was about to go with this one: “I’d always found kissing nice and pleasant, like smelling roses or laughter on a summer day.” And then I realized it completely misrepresents the novel, so I chose one that fits much better: “I’ve never killed anyone before. What frightens me isn’t that I’m killing someone. What frightens me is how easy it is.” Yes.

The first thing I want to mention is the absolutely gorgeous cover. I think I read the book just for the cover the first time and I still love it. Sometimes, the cover designers just get it right.

I love how dark the story is, what with the apocalypse and the angels obliterating millions of people. I’ve been reading way too much fluff lately and this book provides some very nice change to that.

The characters are morally ambiguous – both Penryn and Raffe have their fair share of flaws and questionable decisions. I like that angels are mostly seen as the bad guys – and that they are more human-like than most humans would like to admit (this reminds me of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy). Both humans and angels can be monsters sometimes and none of them are exactly sure what they’re doing on Earth.

I enjoyed Penryn very much because she’s a far cry from helpless and meek. Her primary concern is her family and she does what she has to in order to save her younger sister, Paige, who’s been abducted by the angels. Raffe, the angel with a corny sense of humory, is probably one of my favourite boy-characters of late because he’s nothing like the typically overbearing alpha-males that seem to haunt the pages of every YA and NA novel out there.

I didn’t particularly like the parts with the demon children – I have something of a weak disposition when babies and children are involved (I wrote about this here) and I felt that maybe the story could do with less gruesomeness sometimes. But it wasn’t bad enough to make me put the book down so I guess it’s just a matter of preference.

Overall, this is a really good beginning of a postapocalyptic YA fantasy series. I already started reading part two, so you can expect the review soon! :)

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If you liked this, you might like to check out my review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters or The Archived.

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Have you read this book? Did you like it?

Do you have any topics that you’re particularly sensitive about? 

I’d love to hear from you!