Saturday, September 15, 2012

A short (un)paired review: Angelfall

I was trying to find a suitable pairing for Angelfall, but nothing fit quite right. Then I decided that I love this book so much that it's worth highlighting alone. 

by Susan Ee

Read: June 2012
Published: May 21st 2011 by Feral Dream (indie). Relaunched with Amazon Children's Publishing in August 2012
Source: Kindle purchase
Category: YA-dystopian/paranormal
Series: Penryn & the End of Days book 1

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.

Angels have come to earth bent on destruction. And no one knows why. In a post-apocalyptic California, Penryn will do anything to save her sister, including teaming up with the "enemy," an angel named Raffe. 

This book was gritty, gruesome. And awesome. Penryn is one tough chick. She's not above eating cat food to survive. She gets into fights. She does not pout or moan or rely on anyone else (if she can help it). She meets her equal and match in Raffe, a warrior angel that she rescues and then forces to help her rescue her sister. Oh I really liked Raffe. I can't wait for more from him.

A really nice slow building romance exists in Angelfall, which is exactly what I like. And no love triangle! But it's not the focus of the story, which I also prefer in this setting (and in a series that is likely to have 5 books). Monumental obstacles exist between the two, and I can't wait to see how it plays out. 

Information trickles out slowly in Angelfall. A lot can be inferred about what has been going on since the angel attack. But not much is told to the reader outright. I actually enjoy discovering characters and setting by subtle means, so I didn't mind that the story wasn't slowed down by an Info Dump. However, since this series is going to have many books, I would have liked more world building information. Especially, about the angles - how and why they attacked, and how the human society has disintegrated so rapidly in only 6 weeks. A very short time frame. But as this is part of a series, I'm sure everything will be fleshed out in future books. 

Seriously, I have not done this book justice at all. If you like angel stories, post-apocalyptic themes, forbidden romance, strong kick-butt heroines, cat food or mud wrestling, you will enjoy Angelfall. READ IT! You won't be disappointed. Then we can discuss the story.

Love Triangle Factor: None

Rating: 4.5 stars

P.S. I'm also aware that this review is not all that short. 


  1. I've heard this ends on a cliffhanger, so I keep putting off reading it - wanting to wait until at least one more book of the series is out.

    But all these AWESOME reviews are wearing me down! It is loaded on my Kindle...calling to me...

    1. I think endings are always how you perceive them. I wouldn't call it a "cliffhanger." I think this particular storyline resolves pretty well (and they aren't in mortal danger). I actually felt pretty good about it. BUT I still have so many questions and not everyone is in a happy place. However, I definitely understand wanting to wait to invest in the story until more books are out. I've started to become more selective about what series I begin, since I'm in the middle of so many of them!

  2. Wonderful review, Lauren! I LOVED this one and it took me completely by surprise, so I'm thrilled you enjoyed it too! I can't wait for the sequel and RAFFE!<3 ;) Penryn is an awesome protagonist and don't you just love the lack of love triangle factor in this? :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

    1. Yes. This did surprise me too. And I love the main characters. I have so many questions about Raffe and his history, so I can't wait to discover more in future books. And Penryn is great, I can't wait to continue to follow her.

      But I have sooo many questions. And a lot of crazy things happened near the end. I had a lot of moment where I was screaming WHAT???? and then NOOOOOOO!!!!!! But I still I left this book with a pretty positive feeling (despite some horrible things that happen to a few of the characters...)

      And YES of COURSE the no love triangle thrilled me. Though I'm always nervous when starting a series this long that one can pop up. I especially dislike when that happens. But at least in the first book there weren't any other options that I remember.

  3. Oh man I have had this book on my Nook forever. I really need to find time to read it. Thanks for the reminder!!

  4. Okay that is IT. I officially have to read this book. I have seen FANTASTIC reviews from one bookish friend too many and I have to do it. Does it work as a stand alone? I hate to start a series when the forthcoming books are so far in the future. D:

    1. YES. You do. BUT I've thought a lot since your 'Ranty Pants' whether or not you need to read this now. And the answer is - I'm not sure. Let me tell you my impressions of the book:

      First, Angelfall does not work as a standalone. It is clearly part of a longer series. There is still a lot about this world and the Angels that we don't know. Also, some things happen to certain characters in this book that will have major consequences for them in the future. However, I thought that this story arc ends well and I was satisfied where I left the characters (for now).

      The second book is set to release sometime next year, but there is no actual date yet. You might want to wait to read this until we have something more official. Or you could just go ahead and read it, which is what I'd probably do. Selfishly, OF COURSE I want you to read Angelfall to see what you think (and because I know you're going to love it). But I don't want to piss you off either.

      I'm not sure if I helped or hurt you here. Maybe you should ask a second opinion (I definitely didn't feel as badly about this one as I did Cinder or Daughter of Smoke and Bone, if that helps).

    2. Hahaha, thanks, Lauren! If it wasn't that bad, I probably will be okay. I don't mind a larger story and more stuff to come, as long as that particular story arc seems complete at the end. I'll ask a couple of others who have read it, but considering that everyone loves this I do think I may have to check it out. =)

  5. Okay. I am DYING to read this one. The reason that I haven't yet is because I won it (I WON IT!!!) and I'm waiting for it to get here. But I've seen the cliffhanger thing too on Goodreads which makes me nervous. HOWEVER, in this case (RARE FOR ME) I think I may go ahead and try and fit it in sometime. I'm thinking on it. I do hate cliffhangers so much.

    Seriously, though, you kind of had me at "This book was gritty, gruesome. And awesome. Penryn is one tough chick." Also, some bloggers are reading it that I NEVER would've thought would read non-traditionally published books. So I'm kind of excited to read it. But also nervous about the ending. Ugh, I'm rambling.

    1. I really think you should read this soon. It is definitely a story that you'll love. Penryn actually reminds me a bit of Allison in The Immortal Rules because they are both tough survivors, and pretty kick butt.

      On a scale of one to The Knife of Never Letting Go (10) in terms of cliffhangers this is rather mild. Maybe a 4 at most (IMO). As I said, it's not even the real definition of a cliffhanger, because the characters are all in a safe place (for now). Plus I know how they all feel about each other, which in a story like this is almost more important to me than whether or not they're all physically in the same place.

      But I can see not wanting to start such a huge series yet when only the first book has been released so far. Hoping we get more word soon on the next ones!

    2. Ok, I just got my copy of Angelfall in the mail so YAY for that. The Knife is pretty brutal in terms of the cliffhanger, so when you give it a number like that - that makes it so EASY. WOW, seriously, if all books came with a number like that I would be so much less stressed out. Why don't people do that? I'm veering off-course here.

      I loved Allison in The Immortal Rules so much, her toughness and all that. So, yeah, I'm really anxious to find out about Penryn. I'm gonna try to read this as soon as I can. Thanks!!

    3. A level of cliffhanger warning would be SO HELPFUL. My thing is that so many people call the ends of books "cliffhangers" when they're NOT. Knife is a true cliffy because the characters are in mortal danger when the book ends. But a lot of times it's just that the story stops before everything is settled and we have all the answers. That can be annoying too (I screamed at the end of Cinder), but it definitely adds anticipation. And it is something that I always expect to some degree when reading trilogies.


  6. I usually stay away from books about angels because they're just not my thing, but this one sounds like I might enjoy it. Great review :)

    Cleo Rogers The Maids Service San Antonio

  7. I love Angelfall. Can't wait for the 3rd book. I really like your blog, it's amazing. Do you rate all your books or just a few ones?


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