Apr 18, 2014

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Title: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publishing Date: August 28, 2012
Pages/Format: 283, Paperback

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.

Book in One Word: GREAT.

You know what makes me happy? When hype doesn't kill a book. I'd heard some great things about Angelfall and seen some intriguing fanart and photosets on Tumblr, so I was eager to finally try this book out for myself. And YES. It was GOOD. There's something subtle and simple about Angelfall, but it works and comes together to create a not-so-angelic world full of action, adventure, and some things in between.

From the very first page I was pulled into Angelfall, and I did not want to put it down. This is story takes place in an apocalypse of sorts. But instead of there being zombies, aliens, or just plain nothing...there are angels. Angels flew out of the sky and started taking over the earth, making themselves the dominate species. But when Penryn, trying to escape with her let's-call-her-crazy mother and stuck-in-a-wheelchair little sister, finds herself stuck with an angel after another takes her sister, she learns that maybe all angels aren't bad, and they set off to rescue her sister.

Angelfall isn't exactly a world that needs building. It's virtually the same world we see today, just with a little more destruction, a lot less Twitter and shopping, and with human gangs afoot and warrior angels surfing the skies. And yet, Susan Ee has built this world that is captivating, and created characters and a story that you want to read about. Like I said earlier, something about this book is subtle and simple. It's not super action-packed; instead, it's more about the filling: banter between characters, learning what the angels are doing on earth, trying to figure out what the angels would want with a child, some sexual tension (I SHIP IT), and more.

This novel has a great cast of characters. Penryn is a strong main character who is perfectly capable of surviving on her own, even if she doesn't favor being on her own. Fortunately, she isn't: she has very occasional and sporadic appearances from her non-dependable mother, and the constant companionship of Raffe (I'm still not quite sure how to pronounce his name), an angel who lost his wings. (Thought that just occurred: I feel like wings are a big representation of angels, and since all these angels but one has wings...well, maybe you don't need wings to be good.) I loved seeing Penryn and Raffe's relationship progress throughout Angelfall, going from hesitant and untrustworthy to something more (and I don't necessarily mean romance, either). The only angel I liked was Raffe (all the others were pretty much evil, in my opinion): he was strong and obviously the dominant one, yet he had his weaknesses and bouts of kindness. Raffe and Penryn were fantastic characters that I loved to read about, and oh my gosh, I totally ship them. (And Raffe, I love you.) There are also some humans we meet along Penryn and Raffe's path to rescue her sister, and let's just say that two twins were great standouts.

I'm not sorry I didn't read Angelfall sooner, because then I would've had to wait FOREVER for World After, and oh my gosh, how could I have done that?! I loved this book, and that ending was FANTASTIC. Oh, be still, my heart. (Seriously, SO GOOD. I've already reread it a few times.) This well-praised, not-so-angelic novel is one that you--not matter who YOU are--should so totally read. It has little touches of everything and is done in such a simple yet sophisticated way that makes this book done right. Thank GOSH this a multi-book series, because, YES, MORE MORE MORE. My one quip? Why can't I own this in hardcover?

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Pretty sure!
Would I reread it? Absofreakinglutely.
Would I purchase it? I already own it, thank gosh.
Who would I recommend it to? Even if you're not a fan of books about angels--fallen or not--I'd suggest you read this book.


  1. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Your review reminded me to go purchase World After...which I did. Thanks. Great review!

  2. That was a really fun book. It had me hooked from beginning to end. I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.

    dvice blog

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'm currently on a book slump and this is the book I've picked up and haven't read since almost a month. This review made me want to pick it up again today! Great review



I've been having s-to-the-pam issues, and I wasn't thrilled with Disqus, so sorry about the CAPTCHA!