Friday, May 25, 2012

YA Friday Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

by Isabelle Doan


Random Information:

Publisher: Feral Dream
Pages: 255 (Kindle)
My Format: Kindle e-book
Series: Yes, this is #1
Time to read: 7 Hours
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover

(I would say hardcover, but good luck getting your hands on one of those! Plus, the e-book is cheap.) Paperbacks were released!
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.

So this book. Where do I start?

The only reason I picked up this book, or possibly even knew about it was because of Goodreads. It seemed to have a large following,especially of 5 star fanboys.

I didn't have high expectations for this book to begin with, mostly because it was self-published.

I'm not saying that all self-published books are bad. Heck, I read Smashwords books all the time!

But it was that, usually, when one hears the words "self-published"... it sounds more than a bit sketchy. Like fan-fic, you know?

That is why I was completely blown away by Angelfall by Susan Ee.

Angelfall is about a teenage girl, named Penryn, who is six weeks into an apocalypse that has completely ravaged her world. The apocalypse was onset by angels, who had come down to create chaos. While Penryn is on her last legs, her crippled sister (Paige) and schizo mother don't really help her situation.

When Paige is stolen by an angel, Penryn goes on this completely badass journey to retrieve her, along with this angel, Raffe. Raffe tags along because Penryn saved his wings, and he owes her.

Now, in books, when two characters are thrust together by circumstance, it's almost unbelievable. Most of the time. For some reason, I was expecting Penryn to completely forget that she hated angels and go all swoon on Raffe cuz he's hot.

She didn't.

And, you know what? That's reasonable, and I liked Penryn from the start.

Not only that, but the romance between the two is on the backburner. It's not like love at first sight, but more like a bonding that occurs by mutual needs. For that, Susan Ee can play out romantic tension, setting you and I on edge, coercing us to keep reading. The woman is smart, and I could see it in the writing.

For instance, some awesome quotes from the book:

“I've never killed anyone before. What frightens me isn't that I'm killing someone. What frightens me is how easy it is.”

“Asleep, he looks like a bleeding Prince Charming chained in the dungeon. When I was little, I always thought I’d be Cinderella, but I guess this makes me the wicked witch.
But then again, Cinderella didn’t live in a post-apocalyptic world invaded by avenging angels.”

“Why would you risk treason for a mud fight?”
“You have no idea how much I’d risk for an honest-to-God mud fight between two hot women,” says Dee.”

“My friends call me Wrath,” says Raffe. “My enemies call me Please Have Mercy. What’s your name, soldier boy?” 

Just to say a few.

Perhaps the only problem with this book is the timeframe. The end of the world happened six weeks before this book took place. Six weeks? Countries have been at war for longer than that. Furthermore, a military apparently gunned down Archangel Gabriel. If we can do that, who said all 7 billion of us thought the apocalypse was upon us after not even two months?

Also, Penryn is not precisely a 2D character, but she does have some rounding out to do, as do the other characters. Their actions were predictable in some cases, especially for the abundant archetypes littering these pages.

All in all, a great YA book which you must read.

Content: There's a lot of scary and horrific moments, but nothing I couldn't stomach. I probably wouldn't recommend this for kids under 15, though. Also, a little bit of swearing here and there.


  1. I keep seeing this book- and almost everyone seems to love it. I bought it, was planning to read it because it was a BOM in one of my GR groups. But, it's my "cursed" group- almost every BOM I try to read for that group, something happens (bad) that prevents me from starting or finishing the book. I really should move it up my TBR list.

    1. You should! It's a really great book.

      And the cursed thing fascinates me. Little anecdotes like that always make my day!


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