Saturday, June 29, 2013


Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Release Date: 23/05/13
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback
Source: Goodreads First Reads
Buy the Book: Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Angelfall by Susan Ee
Description from 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.

Angelfall completely blew away all my expectations (although admittedly they were quite low in the first place). YA paranormal books about angels have easily been a huge disappointment for me in recent years, with prominent offenders including Fallen, Hush Hush and Halo (however Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an exception, along with Unearthly which I haven't read yet but have heard good things about). The point is, I was very sceptical prior to reading Angelfall due to its cliché sounding title and blurb and I honestly thought that it was just another one of those "angel books" that were all the same anyway. However it was due to the plethora of 4 and 5 star reviews from my Goodreads friends that made me pick this up. Clearly I was completely wrong as now I am forever in their debt for introducing me to this amazing piece of work!

Angelfall is a thrilling, fast paced post-apocalyptic story where angels have taken over the earth within the span of just six weeks. Set in the chaotic aftermath of the attack, humanity has sunk to a new low as gangs scrounge the streets and compete for survival. In the midst of it all, sixteen year old girl Penryn has to deal with her sister Paige being taken away from by angels for reasons unknown. She will do anything to get her back, even if it means allying with one of the enemy. I still can't believe that this book was formerly self-published. The quality of the plot and characters is exceptional and really puts certain traditionally published books mentioned above to shame. The first few pages immediately sucked me in and I was hopelessly hooked in no time.

I admit that the setup was nothing special at first, especially with the whole 'girl-looking-for-missing-sibling' trope that seems to be popular with many other similar YA novels. Her writing style is simple but easy and quick to read which is useful during intense action scenes (think The Hunger Games). Angelfall isn't a deep, mind-blowing book that will leave you contemplating the meaning of life or the nature of the human condition. It's pure, unadulterated fun and adrenaline that will leave readers both satisfied and ravenous for the sequel. I literally could not put this down and I was eventually forced to question the necessity of sleep. However a warning to any students out there; Angelfall is the worst book to read during exams as it has a dangerous capacity to seriously extend your procrastination levels. Fortunately I found it to be a quick read and I was able to devour it within a day.

I loved Penryn as the main character. She was a strong, engaging and likeable person and it was a pleasure reading from her perspective. I found her vulnerable moments to be realistic as she screws up and makes mistakes just like any normal person. There were a number of times in the book where she had made plans that SEEMED great at that time but of course things don't always work out which makes the story all the more interesting. Otherwise, I liked how she was smart and resourceful, if not overly harsh at times although I'll let that slide due to her extremely dire situation. It was also refreshing to read about a YA heroine who was not a Mary Sue or Too Stupid To Live and not once did I want strangle her throughout the entire book. Success!

The other characters in this book were also well developed and fleshed out. It was interesting to read about Penryn's mother who had paranoid schizophrenia and strangely enough, I quite liked her erratic antics and unpredictability. However at some moments, there were certain things she did that I felt were a little TOO convenient for the plot, but nevertheless she was an intriguing character that I can't wait to read more about. And finally there's... Raffe. I refuse to say anything more about him as it is something you should experience for yourself. All I can say is that he is NOT your typical YA 'hero' (if you even call it at that) and frankly he was quite an arrogant, self-aggrandising jerk at times. However I can guarantee you that there is no insta-love or a love triangle in this book. All I can say about their relationship is that it was realistic given the post-apocalyptic angel invasion situation.

The only slight flaw in this book (as many others have pointed out) is the lack of background information behind the angel attacks. Ee could have even afforded to add a little info-dump here and there as the plot was very fast paced and she barely gave me any downtime to stop and catch my breath. For those who prefer a book with very detailed and solid world building, you may be slightly disappointed although I still believe Angelfall has enough redeeming qualities to win almost every reader. The plot twist at the climax was very disturbing and shocking as I was anxiously sitting at the edge of my seat throughout the whole time. Ultimately I thought that the ending was perfect and while there was a lot of things left unsaid, and there was certainly enough resolution to bring the book to a satisfying close. Thank god for no cheap cliff-hangers here.

Overall, Angelfall is an addictive action-packed novel with a refreshing take on angels. I absolutely fell in love with this new series and I can't wait to read the next book World After (which is fortunately coming out near the end of this year!) For those who are still reading this long, convoluted review, what are you waiting for?! Just read it. End of story.


Francoise said...[Reply]

Sounds like a good book and I agree with you, I haven't really read an Angels and Demons book which is super good. I really want to read this book and can I recommend Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. It's Angels and Demons and it's a really good book!

letoile19 said...[Reply]

Just added it to my to-read list :) Thanks for commenting! If you haven't already read it, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is also an exceptional angels/demons book (possibly even better than Angelfall although they are both awesome in their own ways!)

Eveline @ Eveline's Books said...[Reply]

Great review! I really loved this book, and I cannot understand that no publishers wanted it (it is self-published at first). It was definitely a refreshing YA read:)

letoile19 said...[Reply]

I know right! It's definitely one of the (former) self published gems out there. At least Hachette has finally picked up the book. I can't wait until the day they finally release the sequel as well :)

Francoise said...[Reply]

Thanks I'll definitely read it!

DaydreamerN said...[Reply]

I really want to read this. It looks so good! I only read one angel and demon book and really did not like it but I think its because it was just not a very good book. Great review!

letoile19 said...[Reply]

Thank you! I agree that there are many disappointing angels/demons books out there but trust me on this that Angelfall is not one of them :) Also check out Daughter of Smoke and Bone as well if you haven't already!

letoile19 said...[Reply]

Yay! It's a great book and I'm sure you'll like like it as well then :) Penryn is definitely a kickass character haha. Thanks for dropping by!

Faye M. @ The Social Potato said...[Reply]

I absolutely agree that this this book gives something new to the angels theme, but I don't know why, but I didn't think I liked this one so much. I read it so so long ago, even before it was published, so I forgot. But I am still also looking forward to the next book ;p perhaps then we could fangirl together! :D

Faye @ The Social Potato Reviews

letoile19 said...[Reply]

I think I can see where you are coming from with Angelfall. I mean once you take a deep long look at the whole book in the general, there was nothing *really* special about the beginning or of the characters/writing. However personally I thought it was like literary crack and was thoroughly entertained nevertheless haha.

OMG I CAN'T WAIT FOR WORLD AFTER. One of the perks of reading/reviewing a book late is that the waiting period for the sequel is much shorter heh suckers! :P

Oh yes, prepare for some hardcore fangirling!

Kat Kennedy said...[Reply]

I loved this book! It gave me all the feels! But your review is right. Ee could have afforded a LITTLE bit of info dumping!

Estelle said...[Reply]

Thanks for dropping by Kat! I agree, hopefully there will be some more background info in the sequel. It's interesting how many first books in series spend a LONG time setting up the world at the expense of the plot/action. Angelfall is completely the opposite but I still love it! :)

Fly to the Sky said...[Reply]

I loved this book and I'm so glad you did too!!! Ah!! You should definitely check out Unearthly!! It's way better than I was expecting! (I'm normally not a big fan of angel books) Great review!!!

Estelle said...[Reply]

Thanks for the comment! I'll definitely check out Unearthly once my TBR pile is no longer out of control. Most of my friends enjoyed it so I can't wait :)

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...[Reply]

I normally avoid angel books, but this sounds worth checking out. I especially appreciate the 'no love triangle' part; I'm a bit tired of those. Good review - thanks!

Estelle said...[Reply]

Wow, thanks for commenting twice :) Angelfall is an amazing book and I definitely recommend it. Hope you enjoy it!

Post a Comment


Header Graphic by Inside the Kaleidoscope