Angelfall by Susan Ee
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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 was absolutely blown away by this book. I’m not sure what I had expected but this definitely was not it. I have this thing about books that have fallen angels with it…and that thing is that I just tend not to read them. Vampires and fallen angels. I just don’t do it. But just as I was proven wrong with Vampire Academy, I was proven wrong in this book as well.
I have a couple followers, including our Kat (who reviewed it in my Book of the Week about a month ago), who kept bugging me to read this book. Like, they kept asking, “Sara, have you read this book yet? Have you read this book yet?”
I think I got the message a little bit. So when I had a little extra money on my Amazon account after I purchased all of my textbooks, I saw how inexpensive this book was (5 dollars for the paperback or the Kindle version!) and I thought, okay I have to give this book a try.
I started it this morning when I got to school, read it on my two hour break, came home from school and pretty much zipped through it and finished it a couple hours ago. That’s how good it was. I kept turning the pages, not even realizing how fast that I was going through the book. The characters were so addicting, the story was so fast paced and so enticing and I was falling madly in love with Raffe, no lie.
I’ll start with the characters. I adored Penryn. One, there is just her name. I had to Google her name to see if I could find out anything about it and really the only thing I found was the town of Penryn, California, which I think she actually references in the book. However, I think its just beautiful. Its unusual but its not weird. I’m not a fan of weird names. And it really fits Penryn. She’s a very headstrong, capable and brave character. I know that this doesn’t seem to be a new concept in young adult literature but it still is. Because there are a lot of these brave, strong female characters, it becomes a challenge to make them different than the ones that were made before. I think that Susan really captures this with Penryn. Some people would compare her to others but I really think that she stands apart from them. She’s just not brave and ready, but she’s whip smart and prepared as well. A lot of these characters tend to have the bravery but then end up getting themselves into situations that they can’t handle and the boy has to come to the rescue.
Not Penryn. Penryn has grown up with a mother who has some serious mental health problems, and who would have thought that this would have lead her to become proficient in various types of martial arts. She’s also learned survival skills and first aid skills. This gives Penryn every right to do the things she does. Sure, she throws herself into crazy situations but at least she has the confidence in her skills and her ability to accomplish what she sets out to do.
I also absolutely loved, loved, loved Raffe. I loved that he was an Angel but he was so real. I loved that Susan was able to make him this real, and relatable characters with his human like mannerisms and her quick smirks and humor, and all that but just as Penryn starts to forget and you start to forget that he is an angel, she brings in that reality and you’re floored, wondering how on earth this is going to work the way you want it to. I love that he seems conflicted, and that he’s mysterious. The mysterious isn’t that normal “mysterious boy” sort of thing, but its more that…he wants tell Penryn, and he wants to answer her questions but he doesn’t have his answers to himself, so he’s unable to answer her. But I just love his personality in general; his inability to trust anyone, his quick smiles, his cockiness, his bravery, his confusion, his beauty. I was addicted to Raffe right away, as soon as those angels ripped his wings out of his back. I FELT that pain.
I also really loved the story. I think the idea of these fallen angels, these avenging angels…its not a new thing but Susan finds a way to make it so new and unpredictable. You’re so unaware of why the angels came down and became attacking the earth and tearing it apart and there’s a huge part of you that is tearing through the pages to find out why on earth this has happened, especially when you’re falling so hard for an angel like Raffe. Then when you get to the part where you are amongst the angels and you see the world they’re living in and you see what they kind of wanted Paige, Penryn’s sister, and the other children for, you’re literally sick to your stomach. Its so sick. But this is so new to me; its not at all what I expected and I found myself bringing the pages closer and closer to my face.
I’ve already written too much, so I basically want to leave you with this: read this book. Don’t wait, like I did. You don’t want to miss out on this truly beautiful book, that you’ll literally race your way through, fighting alongside both Penryn and Raffe.
I can’t WAIT for November and the sequel!
5 out of 5 stars