Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee


Author: Susan Ee
Release: May 21st 2011
Genre: Angels, Supernatural, Post-Apocalypse, YA
#1 in the Penryn & The End of Days trilogy
Sequels: World After (#2), End of Days (#3)


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.


Wow. Just, wow.

I didn't expect to like it this much, I really wasn't. I bought this back in January, I think, but I only picked it up yesterday and let me tell you, I finished it the same day. Or well, the same night. I started at around 5pm and I was done by midnight because I was held by the story in an irongrip.

The plot was ... well, it was angels, which wasn't that original in itself, but what she did with her angels was creative and interesting: The apocalypse brought by angels. It's usually a zombie apocalypse or natural disaster, but avenging angels is something new. I was really into that right from the beginning.

Now, this book has an amazing premise and it does something with it. The pace is really perfect and the plot is always moving forward and things are happening. There are storylines that are picked up along the way and skillfully brought together in the end. The structure was clear, there was a climax during the beginning, the body and the conclusion, which made for an even more awesome and intriguing read.

The characters really made up a lot of the novel. Without them, it wouldn't have been half as amazing. Penryn, our heroine, really has heroine-like qualities and can fend for herself. She is determined, loyal and kickass and I absolutely loved her, also because she undergoes a lot of development and changes of heart (mostly about her opinions about the angels), and you could feel the changes in her. Raffe is very witty and smart, I loved his complexity and Penryn's uneasiness about him (at first). Raffe and Penryn's dynamic is really wonderful, especially the romance that comes later, it was so natural and sweet. There was no unnecessary melodrama or tragedy about them, just the desperation that you could really feel both of them have because of their starcrossed-lovers-romance. (Angels can't be together with humans, otherwise they'll fall).

Susan Ee did her research, and she got her facts straight, so there aren't any "wtf" moments, as was in, say, Fallen. The world-building is sound and not that far-fetched, if you don't consider the whole supernatural aspect, of course.

Writing is very decent, at times even very beautiful and nice, but what I really love about Ee's writing are her witty and sassy dialogue. I think she excels at that, and it fills the bleak and disastrous atmosphere of the apocalyptic world with a bit of comedy, lessening the seriousness, but in a good way. That is extremely well done.

All in all, I can't fathom why I waited so long to read this. Although I have to say, I do wish I would have waited a bit longer, because now I have to wait until November for the sequel... But anyways, it's only 283 pages, so really not much, and definitely worth reading.

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