AUTHOR Susan Ee
PUBLICATION May 21, 2011 by Feral Dream
READ August 12 - 14, 2012
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.Angelfall by Susan Ee is a book that came so highly recommended to me from so many different sources that, I'll admit, I went into it with a very skeptical approach. Too often I have picked up a book that is widely raved about by my peers and found myself scratching my head at the end wondering what everyone else saw that I didn't. Well I can happily report to you, dear reader, that was not the case here. From page one of this novel I was sucked into the vivid dystopian setting and throughout I found myself sitting back and being so thankful that it felt completely fresh and new. I have not read anything like this book, and I doubt that I will ever again.
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.
We are introduced to Penryn, our MC, as she is lugging her handicapped sister down the stairs of the apartment and waiting for her seemingly mentally ill mother to join them. They go out into a world that is in ruin, street gangs are taking over buildings and it is never safe to be out and about. As soon as they head on their way they see a simple, seemingly innocent feather fall from the sky. Penryn and her sister, Paige, go into panic mode and hide as best they can. What follows is an angel attack, a group of angels is fighting with another angel and they cut off his wings and cast him off, but before they fly off they find Penryn and Paige and proceed to take Paige on their way. This is the story of a human joining forces with an angel to find her sister and get her back safely. Susan Ee has created a setting in which angels are not sweet cherubs flying around, watching over humans shoulders. Angels are vicious, and they are to be feared. They came down and they wiped out the world, they killed millions of people and sent it into disarray. I'll admit I was worried that religion would be a big part of the story and ruin the darkness of it for me, but it is not at all. It is so unique in every way and it really is written beautifully.
Our characters are what drives us in this one. Penryn is so strong and has her head firmly on her shoulders. I really admired her courage and it was a great to see a female character who did not back down from a fight, and even went as far as to start them. Teaming up with Raffe creates an intense inner struggle within her as she tries to do what she can to get her sister back, but at the same time feels as if she is working with the enemy. Her inner dialogue conveys all of these emotions perfectly and fully understood her thought patterns. Of course, this is a YA novel so there has to be a little romance for our dear MC right? Yes, but it is not at the forefront of this novel, it is hinted at throughout and you get some sparks here and there but this reads more like a survivalist dystopian tale and it is not washed away with cheesy romance.
This is a fantastic novel that has a vivid setting and perfectly developed characters. Even the supporting characters were written in a way that you fully knew who they were and they felt like really important parts of the story. The ending scene of this novel is so stunning and written so beautifully that when I turned the page and saw that it was indeed finished I was angry. Very angry. The wait for the follow-up will be grueling, but if it is anything like Angelfall, it will be well worth the wait.