Angelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Feral Dream on May 21st, 2011
Shelve It: 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 came very highly recommended, from several different bloggers. My only disappointment is that I waited until now to read it! With destructive and vindictive angels, a strong and capable heroine and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, Angelfall had me desperate for more from page one!
I could not get enough of Penryn and Raffe, and not because I felt sexual tension between them. (I mean, it was definitely there! But it’s not the reason I love them together!). Their casual banter and quick wit remarks had me chuckling and in some cases, out right laughing.
You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.”
He chuckles. “Evolution.” He leans over as if telling me a secret. “I’ll have you know that I’ve been this perfect since the beginning of time.”
He is so close that his breath caresses my ear.
“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you.” I give him a weary look. “Again.”
I pick up my pace, trying to discourage the smart comeback that I’m sure will come. But it doesn’t. Could he be letting me have the last say? When I look back, Raffe has a smug grin on his face. That’s when I realize I’ve been manipulated into feeling better. I stubbornly try to resist but it’s already too late. I do feel a little better.
I loved how hard Penryn worked to resist Raffe’s natural charms, constantly reminding herself that he was the enemy and merely a pawn she was using to serve her own personal goals. It made her feelings for him surprising and genuine when she began to see him as more then just an angel of wrath. She kept berating herself for harbouring any kind of feelings for him, other then hatred for what his kind had done to humankind, but his loyalty to her was definitely chipping away at her armour. It was interesting too, to see Raffe lower his defences, just to later remind Penryn how un-human he was, as if to prove to her why they couldn’t be together even if they wanted to. It didn’t stop me from hoping against their odds though!
It is not the gentle kiss of a couple on a first date, nor is it the kiss of a man driven by simple lust. He kisses me with the desperation of a dying man who believes the magic of eternal life is in this kiss…
…what I just experienced with Raffe was another animal. This was a knee-melting, gut-twisting, vein-tingling, nuclear meltdown compared to other kisses I’ve had.
The secondary characters were also fantastic! Penryn was constantly reminding us of Paige’s frailty and childlike innocence, and it was with a heavy heart that I continued to read (for fear of the worst). My fears for the worst were unfounded however, as her fate seems to be worse then death. Her re-appearance at the end of the book is one of the most haunting scenes I have ever read, and I can’t wait to see what role she has to play in the future! Penryn’s mother added in a psychologically thrilling element that I was pleasantly surprised with, as her constant battle with her inner demons lead to some of the more frighteningly disturbing scenes. Together, they add an element of mystery and intrigue to the overall atmosphere of the book, which made for a thrilling read!
I also loved the world Susan Ee has created. Living in fear of street gangs and raiders, as well as the constant threat of an angel attack, has forced many people off of the streets, in search of a place to hide – if only temporarily. Well-known cities have been destroyed, yet houses in the middle of the suburbs remain mostly untouched. Your next meal depends on whether or not you find a house that hasn’t been picked through and heading out after dark is a death sentence. Once we reach Aerie, it’s like reverting to a time before the apocalypse. The angels have managed to carve out a space that has remained completely untouched from the surrounding devastation, and have made an upscale hotel their sanctuary – complete with room service, electricity and running water. Susan Ee manages to weave these two completely different worlds with ease and grace, their co-existence somehow making sense in this apocalyptic world.
I do wish there had been more explanation about the experimental surgeries that Penryn stumbled upon, and a little more history about the angels, their political situation and their reasons for attacking the humans. But my enthusiasm and excitement for everything else that was going on easily overshadowed any nagging concerns I might have had, and I took solace in the face that this is only book one of a planned series.
This review isn’t doing Angelfall justice. Even a day later, I can’t properly formulate my thoughts into coherent enough sentences to explain just how FANTASTIC this book was! I can’t recommend it enough and encourage everyone to pick up a copy!
Disclaimer: I originally posted this review in April of 2012 on Radiant Shadows. In an effort to have a comprehensive list of all of my reviews on Pretty Little Reader, I will occasionally be reposting older reviews, usually before I review its sequel (hint for what’s to come tomorrow!). They will always be accompanied by this disclaimer, in order to remain transparent!