Author: Susan Ee
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Length: 326 pages
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.
I didn’t expect this book to be nearly as dark as it ended up being.
I mean, when first looking at the cover and the title, you don’t expect to be a dark, or even disturbing, book- but it definitely is. I read this book back towards the tail-end of December, and, along with the Throne of Glass series, it quickly became my favorite fantasy read of 2014.
Packaging: 4/5 Stars. I read this book in eBook format, so, unfortunately, I don’t have a physical copy of it to comment on. However, based on images of the cover, I do like it! It doesn’t seem like it would be a very dark book, but it definitely doesn’t give you a cheery feeling- it resonates a “fallen angel” vibe.
Writing Style: 5/5 Stars. I loved the writing style of this book. Susan Ee is definitely very talented in painting mental images of the world of Angelfall. Her words cause heartwrenching emotions, and can leave the reader feeling very disturbed at the darkness of this world. I particularly found myself really appreciating her ability to draw out the suspense of a scene, then proceed to execute it perfectly (although it can be really nerve-wracking to read).
Characters: 5/5 Stars. I know I’m not the only one that’s getting tired of the “brave-sister-protects-sweet-younger-sibling-at-all-costs” trope in books- but I promise you, this book won’t cause any exasperation regarding that trope at all. Penryn is such a brave, strong, and likable character, and more than that, she’s very real. She’s not badass in the whole “independent, never expresses vulnerability, lethal killer that can totally kick ANYONE’S ass” way (although that characterization is absolutely fine! It’s just that people with that characterization aren’t frequently encountered with in real life). What’s so badass about Penryn is that she’s very human- she can’t win every fight (although she is an incredible fighter), and she’s not always going to be stoic. She feels emotion and pain and hurt. The author isn’t afraid to express when Penryn is feeling vulnerable or afraid, and that’s very important to me. I really ended up loving Raffe as well. He initially appears to be a very stoic character (which he kind of is), but I loved watching him and Penryn come to depend on each other. I felt his pain at the things he has to endure, and I felt horror at any misfortune that befalls him.
Plot: 5/5 Stars. The plot was absolutely fascinating, and I love all the complexities that arise. It was extremely interesting to learn about the angels, and, although I can’t go into the details without spoiling anything, it was horrifying as well. Susan Ee isn’t afraid to make things tough for our protagonists- things hardly ever end up going their way, and it’s definitely a very wild ride for the readers.
Overall: 4.5/5 Stars. Like I mentioned before, Angelfall, along with the Throne of Glass series, was my favorite fantasy read of 2014. The darkness of the book was definitely a surprise, but I absolutely loved it. Please do yourself a favor and pick up this book.