Angelfall by Susan EE

Amazon Synopsis: 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 Raffe, an injured enemy angel. Travelling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco, where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. 

So it took me about 4 days to read this book and that is pretty good considering I have had a hectic week and don't actually feel I did that much reading...

Beginning to read this book was the most  sceptical moment of my life. Usually I hate post apocalyptic books and, after reading Fallen by Lauren Kate, I hated books with angels in. I thought my suspicions had been confirmed when in the first 3 chapters I had no idea what was happening or why it was happening. Fortunately I read it in a free period I was stuck at school for so kept going.


 A lot of books now a days takes a couple chapters to just set up the world but Susan EE, she said no and just sent us straight to the middle of it. The book starts with main character Penryn going, with her crazy mother and paralysed sister Paige, to find some food or something at night so that they avoid the gangs that are now everywhere. Whilst they are out they have a shirtless angel smash into a car pretty much right in front of them and some other shirtless angels come down to fight the smashed demon. After a super fast paced and tense fight scene, the angel that smashed into the car gets his wings chopped off . Penryn tells her mother to run so she does but wrongly assumes that Penryn will follow with their sister. Her sister has to wheel herself after their mother and that takes a lot of pushing for a 7 year old. Penryn attempts to distract the angels by passing a sword that was lost back to the smashed angel. This kind of peeves off the other angels so they just smack her to the ground and in retaliation for messing with them, they take Paige.

This kind of sets up the entire novel. Her mother has disappeared and Paige is kidnapped so all Penryn can do is help the bleeding-out angel. What I love about this is that the main character saves the angel because she needs something. Not because there was something about him which would later turn to love. No, she needs him to get her sister back and then he can go die for all she cares. That makes her sound heartless so let me go into more detail about the characters. 

Penryn is this bad ass character who is good at fighting. Not just miraculously but because she has had years of training. She is funny with her dialogue/internal monologue and written like a genuine teenage girl. Yes, she has grown up a lot, it is the Apocalypse, but there are moments where she is self conscious, like when she doesn't want to ask questions because she thinks it annoys people. Penryn Young has to be one of my favourite female protagonists because of her genuine ability to take care of herself. 

The reason Penryn knows all this fighting  stuff is because her mother (don't know her name) signed her up for every single defence class in the area for about 5 years in advance, pretty much bankrupting the family along with it. The character of the mother is one that really intrigues me as a reader. In a lot of books the mother knows things that the others don't and acts as a mystery figure who supplies knowledge along the way. Penryn's mother does the same thing except for she has schizophrenia so you have no idea if what she rambles on about is a hallucination or not. Penryn's mother disappears early in the book but throughout there are clues that she has been there. Mutilated bodies and collecting rotten eggs being the primary ones. The thing is you still like the character because she never kills the victims she just leaves a kind of message on the body, like when Penryn sees the body that's been decorated with make-up, and she is just doing what her brain tells her is right. Her storyline is creepy as hell though because she claims to speak to demons and collects clippings of parents killing their kids. This plays an important role in Paige's story as well. It is hinted that Penryn's mother was responsible for Paige losing the use of her legs but there may be more to the story since no one was there but her.

As she searches for her sister, and mother I guess, Penryn travels with the angel she saved who is called Raffe (said like "Rahf" not "Rayf"). At first I thought this was a play on the word 'wrath' since he says people call him the "wrath of God" but then, when they get to the aerie, it is revealed he is called Raphael as is the Archangel. He kept that a secret for ages, failing to mention you are one of the most powerful angels is kind of a big deal. It makes sense though because whenever an angel tries to face off against him when they know him, they are all hesitant and scared around him so it is clear that Raffe is a legend in the angel world.

On the way to the aerie (did not actually get what it was till they got there... thought it was a person...) they end up getting captured by a group of people who call themselves the 'Human Resistance'. Original name I know. They are led by a guy called Obi who seems like a really nice guy but he has idiots like Boden working for him. When Boden tries to be all frisky with Penryn she breaks his nose and kicks his butt, another reason I like her.

When they get to the aerie things get a bit sensual, if you catch my drift. I was really surprised how obvious EE was about the women sleeping with the angels. Considering this is YA I didn't think it would get quite so dark but I think the surprise made it a more interesting read. Also there were incredibly graphic scenes involving the children which I can only imagine would be really disturbing to see on the big screen.

That is another thing I think Susan EE did really well was how you could visualise it all. There was no explanations that dragged on for eight pages. It was all very cinematic and I think that adds to the appeal. There are almost no narrative gaps and the ones that are there will be used in the next book I am sure but as they are so open it is hard to know what direction the next book will take.

So the book ends with Raffe having his wings boycotted by a guy called Beliel, who I think is a demon, and he works for Uriel. Surely to have those wings sewn onto him would have been a pain so, unless wings have magical powers, he is a  very vain man! Also, where did they get the wings Raffe now has? Do not understand why they have given him the bat wings, just makes him look more epic and scary...

Overall this book was really fast paced with great characters, good plot and amazing setup. Susan EE really knew her stuff and didn't shove a love story at the audience even though there is one developing. Take note authors, don't make the characters fall in love after 3 chapters.

Cannot wait to read the sequel!

Rating: 4.5/5


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