Angelfall was a book I had heard a lot about. In 2011, the blogosphere exploded with enthusiastic reviews praising this newly self-published book about angels and the apocalypse. I wasn’t entirely convinced, but being unable to resist hype, I caved and bought the eBook. As fellow book bloggers and book lovers will know, we often cannot read books at the rate we acquire them, and so it sat left unread on my Kindle. Until now. Angelfall is published in the UK on 23rd May and so I thought it was about time to finally start reading it. Does it live up to the hype?
Seventeen-year-old Penryn is pushing her younger sister’s wheelchair through the deserted streets of Mountain View, CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley, when she witnesses a gruesome angel fight. It has been six weeks and no one knows why the angels have taken over Earth and massacred millions of humans, but it’s starting to look like they’re here to stay. When one of the beautiful yet macabre creatures flies away with Paige in his grasp, Penryn is determined to find the angel aerie, save her sister, and make the angels pay – with the help of Raffe, the now unconscious and bloody angel, ruthlessly removed wings surrounding him.
Angelfall is brutal, but compellingly so. Penryn’s apocalypse is bloody and violent, a world where humans turn on each other while attempting to stay out of the way of the menacing not-exactly-living-up-their-angelic-stereotype creatures, unless they can salvage body parts to sell. Susan Ee’s new world is terrifying, but luckily we have Penryn for company. She is strong, smart, fast, a martial arts pro (thanks to her mother’s paranoid schizophrenia, obviously), loyal, and surprisingly quite funny. She is a fantastic protagonist, as is Raffe, our injured angel. I’m not one for mythical creatures, but Penryn and Raffe make a brilliant pair. Ee’s angels are hauntingly realistic and, like Penryn, I had to keep reminding myself that they were far from human.
Angelfall was a magnificent surprise that fortunately lived up to its hype. I hung onto every word, following Penryn and Raffe’s treacherous footsteps as they made their way to San Francisco to find Paige, dead or alive. I laughed at the pair’s witty banter and jumped at every surprise. I noticed half way though the book that not much had happened – not in a bad way, I was thoroughly enjoying it – and that I was not going to be given as much of the story as I wanted, so I eagerly added the as yet untitled second book to my Goodreads ‘wishlist’. I’ll have to wait to find out Penryn and Raffe’s fate.
If you love witty banter, a dangerous apocalypse, and a cling-on-to-your-seat plot, then why haven’t you read Angelfall yet?
Published: 23rd May 2013, originally 1st May 2011
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing this book for review!