book review

Review: Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1)

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall

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.

Warning: Spoilers for the beginning of the book ahead. Actually, they’re in the description, so nothing big.

Angelfall is the first book in the series Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee. The book is about Penryn, a teenager who is trying to protect her family during the angel apocalypse. My first thought when I saw those words together was Supernatural but that’s possibly just me. Anyway, this book was recommended to me by two good friends who tend to enjoy the same books as me. I decided to give it a go, and I did rather enjoy it.

Cover

It’s so pretty! I do really like the cover of Angelfall, and I think I must like blue covers or something because I seem to be drawn to them. Anyway, this cover makes it really obvious that wings are important in this book, which they are, and I really like the way they’re the one bright thing on the cover. This is a really pretty book cover and I wish I had a physical copy of it now, because some covers just make me want to own them.

Plot

To start with, I wasn’t really sure what was going on. The book starts once the apocalypse is in full swing and it’s dangerous to go out on the streets and stuff. When I started reading, I was slightly worried that I’d picked up the sequel because it did feel like it was in the middle of the action. Once I’d checked that I was reading the first book, I carried on and started to get into the book. It starts off with Penryn, her sister Paige (who is in a wheelchair) and her mother trying to leave their house and making sure they get all the essentials. The beginning isn’t insanely exciting, but it’s more of an introduction to the world and how it is now. Angels have taken over, a lot of people have died, and now everyone scavenges and steals to survive. Penryn and her family witness an angel fight on the road as they’re running and, obviously, they go and hide. There’s a five(?) against one fight, Penryn joins in and one of the “bad” angels (the majority of the angels in this book are villains) kidnaps her sister. So, Penryn’s only choice is to team up with the injured angel on the floor so that she can save her.

The plot in this book is very strong, with plenty of twists and turns. Also, about half way through, you get to the point where you just cannot put it down. When the action really starts, it’s impossible to stop reading. It’s just so tense at times, and there are some many revelations and it’s such a brilliant book.

Characters

Penryn, our main character, is a badass. She’s amazing. She’s grown up having to look after herself and so she adapts well to the apocalypse. She’s ready to do anything to survive and she doesn’t care who she hurts (unless it’s her sister). I’d compare her a little to Katsa (from Graceling by Kristin Cashore) with her will to survive everything, and the fact that she just carries on so that she can rescue her sister. That’s all that is important to her. Unsurprisingly, she does begin to fall for angel Raffe, but romance is a given in most books and there’s no love triangle to distract Penryn from her sister.

Raffe is adorable. At the beginning, he’s very much the “strong and silent” type and he is a brilliant fighter. He does begin to open up a bit around Penryn, and starts to have feelings for her. Except he’s an angel so he’s not going to let anything happen between them – there’s a whole forbidden love storyline. It’s done very well though, and it doesn’t take over the plot at all. And the ending of this book didn’t have me crying, but it was heart breaking. The amount that Raffe cares for Penryn is obvious and their relationship is so perfect. I love the fact that it starts out as friendship and grows from there without going too far in the first book.

The side characters in this book were also a lot of fun. Dee-Dum, a pair of twins who in my head looked a lot like the Weasley twins, were wonderful characters. Although they didn’t appear in the book that often, they were a lot of fun when they were around and yet were also very serious agents. Penryn’s mother was also a very interesting character with her paranoia and belief that demons are real (and they easily could be in this universe). It’s down to her that Penryn is so capable in looking after herself, but if she was sane I think Penryn would have had a far better childhood. So, Penryn’s attitude towards her mother is definitely important in this series.

The Little Things

There was some humor and sarcasm thrown around between characters, and there was just the right amount. The twins provided some of it, and there was a lot between Penryn and Raffe. I loved their interactions with each other, and the way they were slowly able to open up to each other. The language occasionally bugged me in the book, but that may just be me.

Overall, I loved Angelfall, and will definitely be reading the rest of the series. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of fantasy, angels, apocalypse’s and dystopian novels.

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