Saturday, January 7, 2012

Angelfall by Susan Ee

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Angelfall is the first book in what is clearly shaping up to be one amazing series. After reading the first book, I am now salivating for the next one.

From the blurb:

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.

I like a strong heroine, and Penryn certainly fits the bill. She's been more or less responsible for her disabled little sister Paige and her mother, who after Paige's accident seems to have lost all touch with reality. Or perhaps not. Mom clearly has some lucid moments and appears at the most opportune times to assist Penryn in her quest to get her sister back.


Only a few pages into the book, as Penryn, Paige and their mother are trying to make their way out of the city under the cover of night, they come across a band of angels going after one of their own. She watches in stunned disbelief as the warrior angel descend and cut off the wings of the one they're after. Unable to simply stand by, Penryn involves herself by picking up the angel's sword and throwing it to him. He manages to defend himself and the other angels leave, but not before picking up Paige from her wheelchair and flying off with her.

Her mother has run off. Penryn realizes that this wounded and now unconscious angel might be her best chance to get her sister back so she helps him into the wheelchair and takes off with him into an abandoned office building where she hides for a few days while the angel recovers from his wounds and she more or less takes care of him.

There is much distrust on her end yet she can't bring herself to abandon him. When he wakes and helps her against one of the human street gangs, she decides that he can't be all bad and they strike a pact to get to San Francisco to the airie where the angels have congregated.

Along the way, they run into a well-organized group of resistance fighters but eventually make their way into San Francisco.

The first book ends with the first strike of the resistance and the destruction of the airie. And hope.

What I liked:

- The author has done her homework and research. The information presented about the Nephilim can be confirmed on the interwebs and makes sense in the overall plot.
- The presentation that Angels are much like humans in that they have factions and political machinations, as well as sub groups that fight against each other for dominance. Where God is in all of this is not explained.
- there is no info dump. Information comes out in bits and pieces as part of the overall story flow. For example, we learn along the way that Penryn has gone through a bunch of martial arts training that comes in handy, but the information is presented as part of her inner musings as the plot comes along instead of one huge info dump.
- The dialogue is excellent. There are parts in the book where I snickered at the snarky conversation between Penryn and Raffe.
- No immediate attraction but a slow build of mutual affection that doesn't actually culminate into anything other than a single kiss and a heartbroken angel.
- strong, believable heroine. Penryn may be only seventeen but she's mature, resourceful and smart. And yet, there are moments where she feels alone and hopeless but has the inner strength to push through her doubt. She won't quit until she has found her sister. She won't give up, even in the face of adversity. She is the epitome that courage is not the absence of fear but the strength to persevere in the face of fear.
- The world building is very nicely done. Again, there is no massive info dump but information is delivered through the heroine's inner musings as well as conversations she has with Raffe
- The relationship between Penryn and Raffe was very well developed, from initial distrust to relying on one another to get through the woods, to forming a plan to get into the airie, to having each other's back and then culminating in the final scenes, where he carries her numb body out of the exploding building towards her people, and it becomes very clear that he does care for her, even if he never says anything. It's simply inferred through this actions. I loved that. His grief, even when only seen through Penryn immovable eyes, was palpable. The care he took with her when he was nearly at the lowest point in the story was heartwrenching.

What I didn't like:

- the ending of the first book did leave me hanging. Perhaps that was part of the author's plan since there are more books coming out but even though it ends on a hopeful note, I wanted more.
- I would have liked a bit more explanation of how Penryn's mother just figures out when to show up to help her daughter, as well as a bit more info on what happened to Paige to put her in a wheelchair. Due to the fact that this story is told solely through Penryn's eyes, it may not have been possible to deliver this info, and I hope that the future books will delve a little more into the mystery.
- Also, no explanation is given as to what the scorpion like creatures are, who created them and what their purpose is. Neither are we given any direct information about the children and the savage way they are treated. I can't say much more about this without giving too much away.

Parts of the book, especially towards the end, were rather gruesome and the warning in the book's blurb should be heeded. This is not a book for anyone under 16. It's not because of any sexual situations (there are NONE) but because of the gruesome descriptions of what is going on at the airie lab. Be warned.

Overall, this book was fantastic. I couldn't put it down and I was sad to see it end. I cannot wait for the next one.

View all my reviews


  1. This book has been on my list since summer when I ran across it and I purchased it for $.99 and it has been sitting on my kindle waiting for me. Now I am kicking myself for not reading it, right now it will be awhile but it is definitely going to be one of my dystopian reads! All the buzz on GR is really making me want to tear in now and your review as well!

    1. Hi there. Yes, this book was so good. I hope you'll enjoy it! :)


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