Monday, 27 May 2013

Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days #1)

Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 23rd 2013 by Hodder and Stoughton

My shelves: angels-demons, apocalyptic, better-than-expected, books-i-own, dystopian, fantasy, horror, really-good, sci-fi, series-or-companions, young-adult
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads

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.

If I'm being honest, I was a little weary of reading this book. It seemed to appear from nowhere, it was first self published and it was only available as an eBook for a long time. Sure, none of these things mean that it will necessarily be bad, but it didn't endear me to the idea of Angelfall - I'm one of those people who likes physical books. When I heard that it was finally being made into a paperback, I was delighted! I found that it was a real treasure and in fact far better than many other post-apocalyptic young-adult books that have been commercially released recently and in the past few years. It is evident that Ee has a talent for writing and it felt as every word had been carefully thought out and was important in this book.

The story does feel slightly commercial in the way that I feel as though it will appeal to many people. It seemed like an amalgamation of factors from other released books, but adapted. I certainly don't mean that this feels like a copy of other books, but that it does certain familiarities to several other things that I have read. However, the story is new, fresh and exciting. I have never read a book about Angels that has gripped me or that I have enjoyed as much as I did with this.

From the first page, I got thrown into the post-apocalyptic setting which was both fascinating and frightening. Ee has done a wonderful job of making everything seem very vivid and as though we are seeing things through Penryn's eyes. The writing and emotion feels authentic, raw and bold. From start to finish, the book is very eventful and had me on the edge of my seat. There was a certain addictive quality, just wanting to know where Penryn would take us next and what she would see. Most of what Penryn does see is gruesome and Ee creates some extremely macabre, horrifying and unsettling scenes.

Nothing seems to stop Penryn from the search for her family. We are given a strong protagonist, a fantastic heroine. Around her are many more curious characters, including her abducted sister, Paige, and Penryn's mother, who is mentally unstable and claims to talk to demons - these both seem to be especially complex characters that I'm interested to watch develop. Raffe, the angel that is alongside Penryn for the majority of this book, is shown to have ethereal beauty and a strong personality, without any flowery writing, which was refreshing. The relationship between Penryn and Raffe was interesting to read about, as Raffe is essentially one of the enemies, simply by being an angel. I found Dee and Dum to provide some joviality to the harsh background of the apocalypse and I absolutely loved them.

There are a few things that if revealed would have helped me to understand things more, such as a little more information about the mythology and the reason of the apocalypse, but this is the first in a series and so I hope that, and assume it will be, explained further on in the next books which I simply can't wait to be released!


  1. Oh I love the cover! Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I'm always game for an angel story! Great review!

  2. This doesn't really sound like my kind of read but I'm glad that you liked it, I too can see that a lot of people might.

  3. Addictive is certainly a good adjective to describe this book, which I really loved. I think that for its current price, it's definitely worth buying and reading. Can't wait for the sequel!

    Lisa O. @ The Nocturnal Library

  4. love the cover aswell
    i think i have a copy somewhere
    tnx 4 sharing you're thoughts

  5. The cover is totally wow! The story is quite interesting too. Gonna try to read it :)

  6. I hadn't heard of this one before and probably wouldn't have paid it much attention if I hadn't read your review. I'm glad it really exceeded your expectations though! It certainly sounds good!

  7. Thanks for hopping by today on the hop. Grabbed your button for my blog and new follower too. Have a great weekend!

  8. Thanks for stopping by at my hop! New follower,

    I LOVED this book so much! It was so good, and you can't beat books like this that are only 99cents!

  9. This was one of the first reviews I've read (on another website) and I wanted it so badly. So I downloaded Kindle onto my iPod and bought it! Nice review!

  10. It really was addictive. I was blown away at how well written and how enjoyable it was. I can't wait for the next book in this series!

  11. Wow, you have a lovely blog here. I'm very jealous and humbled that you visted my blog.

    I liked your review. I've heard a lot about this book. I hear it's being published into paperback so I'll look out for that. You seem to have a great thing going off here. It's wonderful. I'm rather jealous to be honest.

  12. I read this book quite a while ago, but you are the first blogger I have seen that reviewed it!
    And I agree with everything you wrote!

    There are a lot of dystopian novels out there now, but this one was Really good!!

    Great review

  13. Totally agree with you Stephanie! I really can't wait for the second in the series! The mother in it was creepy, wasn't she? She gave me a shiver or two! And Raffe, absolutely love him! :)

  14. I am so glad that you enjoyed this since I got a review copy through as well! I only skimmed your review as my copy only turned up at home and i'm waiting for my Mom to post it to my uni address.

    I was worried since I saw it around a lot as a self published free book, but now I'm excited to actually be checking it out!

    Great review Steph!

  15. This one certainly sounds awesome. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

  16. I love that cover so, so much. and your review. I've been intrigued by this book, and your review makes me want to read it like bad.

  17. I've heard great things about this book and all the reviews I've seen have been glowing. Looking forward to reading it!


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