Angelfall by Susan Ee
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days (#1)
Publisher: Feral Dream
Publication Date: 5-21-11
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
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.
Going into this book, I was a little skeptical. “Angels? Are you kidding me?” But, considering that I recently read (and loved) a romance novel starring werewolves (Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright), I figured that I should at least give this one a shot.
One thing that I do have to mention is that I noticed a lot of grammatical/punctuation errors in the ebook version. Granted…I’m an editor. But, still. I’m pretty good about not letting that part of my brain affect me too much when I’m reading for fun, but it was noticeable enough that it was bothering me quite a bit, starting pretty early on in the book.
Another thing that I noticed right off the bat is that the characters are sort of similar to those in The Hunger Games — badass, teenage female; younger, helpless sister; irresponsible mother; nonexistent father; and a hot guy. I was a little bit wary of how similar the character structures were at first, but this book turned out to be VERY different from The Hunger Games, with that being the only similarity.
Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m really not quite sure what to say about it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I’m glad I read it, though, because it was interesting, and also a new genre for me. Apparently this whole dystopian angel theme is a “thing” now, so it was cool to get a taste of it. But there were a lot of things that I didn’t like about this book…
First of all, the relationship between God and the humans, as well as God and the angels, was so confusing in this book. The author was trying to get the reader to question what we normally would think of as an “angel,” but the book left me with tons of actual questions and zero answers at the end. I know that it’s part of a series, but there needs to be some kind of resolution, and there really wasn’t.
Going along those same lines, this book had an immature vibe to it. The writing style was amateurish, and there wasn’t a lot of character development. We learn literally nothing about Penryn’s life before the whole dystopia thing happened, and nothing at all about Raffe. While it seemed like the story could’ve really gone someplace, as there was a few surprising moments and lot of interesting twists that I’m curious about, it was, again, very confusing. We start the book not knowing anything about this strange world that angels have apparently destroyed and claimed for their own, and the book ends without having cleared any of that up. I think I do want to keep reading the series, mostly just to find out what the heck is going on, but I’m frustrated by the fact that this book that had zero resolution on its own.
There were some parts of the book that I did really like. I thought that the dynamic between Penryn and Raffe was intriguing, although it did seem to be kind of the cookie-cutter teen novel relationship at times. I also really liked a lot of the scenes towards the end of the book, where lots of stuff is going on and we get to see things happening with the angels (trying to be nonspecific here). And some of it was seriously downright creepy. I was not expecting the book to go to that dark of a place, but it really goes there…and I liked it.
This book had a lot of potential to turn into something great, but ultimately I wish that the author had spent a little bit more time on it, in order to turn it into something more whole and leave us with a better understanding of this world and its characters.
**I originally read this book back in April of 2013, but that was before I started this blog. I decided to post it now, because the second book in this series, World After, is about to be released in a few weeks!**