Thursday, February 20, 2014

Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days series) by Susan Ee

* * * *

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. Traveling 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.

How many stories about angels can there be and how can you tell a story that’s different enough to stand out from a crowded genre? Angelfall does a surprising job of doing that well.

As you’ve read in the description above, the world is in ruins and the angels who’ve descended to earth aren’t exactly the harbingers of peace.  Penryn is trying to escape to safer ground with her mother who’s not all there and her sister, Paige who’s in a wheelchair.  They don’t get too far when they stumble upon a fight among a group of angels. Trying to stay out of sight, they witness one of the angels beaten and bloodied and at the end if the fight, his wings are cut off. Unfortunately, the other angels notice Penryn and her family and make off with her sister.  Her hysterical mother runs off leaving Penryn to figure out how to rescue her sister.  She decides to rescue the battered angel and his wings and use him to find Paige.

An outraged Penryn feels nothing but disgust for this angel that she is forced to nurse back to health for the sole purpose of finding her sister. When he finally comes to, we get to meet a very snarky, dark humored angel named Raffe. Not exactly friendly yet not completely douchey. Holding his wings as collateral, she and Raffe form a reluctant alliance based on need – she needs her sister, he needs his wings. As they travel together, making their way through the chaos that has been wreaked, they learn more about each other but are still on their guard.

I was a bit skeptical about reading Angelfall because seriously, another freaking angel novel? But it just so happened to be there at the library and I’m a sucker for books on display. So imagine how surprised I was to find myself enjoying it! Penryn is a firecracker and when she and Raffe spar it’s plenty entertaining.  And Susan Ee does offer a fun twist to the whole angel lore where the angels are more mob-like than saviors with a penchant for sci-fi terror. There’s a political power play among them that’s hinted at but not elaborated on yet. 

Angelfall does end abruptly but with the political power struggle and infighting laid out, there’s no doubt that the second installment will see plenty of action and turmoil. Just what we asked for!

~ Bel

* Book two in the series, World After, will be reviewed tomorrow.


  1. I liked Angelfall but didn't love it like others seem to. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on World After.

  2. Hi Kristin! Angelfall is definitely grim.I had seen it around but didn't feel the compulsion to read it because I was seriously tired of the genre. It didn't grab me instantly but I got into it once I realized that it was far from what I had assumed. Thanks for stopping by! ~ Bel

  3. I read this awesome novel in one sitting! A must read. Be ready to be captivated and surprised! Loved it!

    neon power beats