Book Review: ‘Angelfall’ by Susan Ee

August 6, 2015     Holly     Reviews

Book Review: ‘Angelfall’ by Susan EeAngelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Hodder and Stoughton on May 23, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 326
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
5 Stars

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.

Woah. Just…woah. That’s the only logical word that I can give to describe my thoughts on Angelfall by Susan Ee. I feel like I’m always saying “This is my new favorite book ever,” but seriously…this is my new favorite book ever!

For one, the world that Ee created for Angelfall is beautifully imagined. It’s exactly what I picture a world that has just fallen into apocalyptic chaos to look like. Looting, violence, and gangs infest streets that once seemed safe. You can feel the tension and fear that Penryn has every time she has to face this new world that has been thrust upon her and the rest of the human race. But it’s not just the setting that makes the world so realistic. It’s the idea of the people who are living in it, and what different groups will do to survive. Everything from banding together and creating a resistance to offering themselves up to the angels as a way of trying to provide for their families is described in this novel, and it truly makes you wonder just what the world might do if the apocalypse really did rain down from the sky.

The way Penryn molds herself to this world is flawless, only because of how flawed she is. Even though she is strong, resilient, and courageous, Penryn still makes decisions that are incredibly harsh, cruel, and often times selfish in order to save her sister and survive among angels who would like nothing more than to kill her. Penryn is such an awe-inspiring character that I still want to simultaneously hug/punch her. (It’s why I made her number one on my “Literary figures I’d name my future children after” list.)

And, of course, there’s a love story involved. And while Penryn and Raffe are the first love story to come to mind (and that I adore), it’s not the one I’m referring to. The love story I want to discuss is the one between Penryn and her mother. Ee could have made a huge mistake by giving Penryn’s mother a mental disorder in Angelfall, because it could have fallen apart so quickly. However, Ee obviously took the time to truly flesh out the mother’s character and make her relationship with Penryn real. Penryn’s fear of her mother, combined with her sense of obligation and constant love, made their seperation throughout the book necessary but heartbreaking. And the ending scenes between the two made their entire relationship even more touching.

I just got the last two books in the Penryn & the End of Days series in the mail today, and I am so excited to read them. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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