Angelfall [ Penryn and The End of Days #1 ] by Susan Ee2
Series: Penryn and The End of Days
Author: Susan Ee
Publication Date: May 21st, 2011
Publisher: Feral Dream
Rating: 5 stars
Angelfall is a post-apocalyptic novel in which angels have taken over earth in a reign of terror. People must abandon their old lives in a fight to stay alive, so gangs roam the streets, cars are lined up on the highway, and individuals take cover in abandoned houses until someone stronger comes along and either kills them or kicks them out.
In this chaotic new world, our heroine, Penryn, is just trying to take care of her occasionally violent mentally-ill mother and her crippled little sister. When things get stressful, Penryn is usually abandoned by her mother, forcing her to be able to protect herself as well as her sister. This is how the story begins, when they witness a fight among a few angels, and Penryn rashly decides to help one of them (all on her own) after his wings have been cut off. All seems to be going better than could be expected, up until one of the angels flies away with Penryn’s sister.
So Penryn goes on a quest to get her sister back, and our lovable douchebag of an angel, Raffe, travels with her in an attempt to get his wings back.
The first half of the novel is a pretty straightforward supernatural post-apocalyptic survival story. We get to know our two main characters more, as well as meet others – primarily a human resistance group that plans on striking against the angels and taking earth back. It’s clear early on – just due to trends in young adult books, not because of any misstep on the author’s part – that Penryn and Raffe are going to end up together. Fortunately, it’s not a case of insta-love, as Penryn actually doesn’t like Raffe at first, and at times contemplates allowing him to die. No, it’s a gradual build-up, first with attraction, and then culminating into a genuine affection, although it’s never really a functional, healthy relationship. To be honest, I tend to be rather ambivalent about designated love interests, but I really liked the relationship and chemistry of Raffe and Penryn. I was rooting for them to get together, although I enjoyed all of the tension and arguments, as well.
While I quite enjoyed the first part of the novel, it was the second half that made this a five star book. Goodness, the second part of the book…we meet our villainous angels, who are as dastardly and charismatic as I could ever hope for, and things take a turn for the creepy. There’s some serious Silent Hill-esque creatures, medical experimentation, and a scary but heartbreaking twist. Everything is just perfect.
I loved all of the characters. From our main characters to our resistance members to our villains – all of which I’m sure we’ll get to know much better in the next installment of the series – the characters were interesting, engrossing, and never one-dimensional.
I never expected to absolutely adore this book as much as I do. It’s one of my favorite books I have ever read, and I plan on reading it over, and over, and over, especially in anticipation of the next part of the series. I would recommend this to anyone who reads young adult, or likes creepy things, or dystopias, or…well, anything, really. I just cannot get enough of Angelfall, and I’m seriously excited for the next book.