Book Review Wednesday: Angelfall: 5 stars

Posted: December 4, 2013 in Book Reviews

I’ve read 53 books so far in 2013. Some good, some not so good. I’d be hard pressed to choose a favourite, but if it came down to it, I think ‘Angelfall’ by Susan Ee would be the one.

Here’s the blurb:

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.

After reading that I wasn’t sure. I mean, on the face of it: warrior angels, that’s cool right? And I do love a good apocalypse. But then the doubts set in. Teenage girl protag, and a possibly angst ridden supernatural entity who is obviously meant to be a love interest. What if this girl ‘Penryn’ spends the whole book fawning over the mysterious guy with superpowers? What if he sparkles?

Well folks, I read it and am pleased to report that the nearest he comes to sparkling is when he’s covered in blood. Phew. This is a badass angel, and best of all he actually does stuff! No moping in a corner the whole book going ‘woe is me.’ Sure the angst is there, but it’s more of a ‘I’m gonna get my own back and kick their asses’ kind of vibe. I can deal with that.

And I loved Penryn! She wasn’t this passive thing waiting for a big strong man to save her. The whole book her focus is on her sister, like an actual human being. No fawning. The only reason she sticks with Raffe is to get her sister back. She hates him and is terrified of him in equal measure. Yet she fights all this to use him to get her sister. Any feelings between them are always secondary.

Now lets talk for a minute about the book outside the relationship between these two (which by the way I think is the most realistic relationship between a human and supernatural entity that can kill them at any moment I’ve read). This is a dark book. People die. Things happen that some might consider worse than death. It’s about an apocalypse, and it reads like one. There were moments I felt like crying when I turned the page to find another horror that happened. And as the book went on the horror and the mystery got even worse, until the final reveal (which I won’t reveal except to tell you my stomach rolled and my heart flipped over).

I could talk about what I liked about this book for ages. It’s just so darn good. But what I loved the very most was that the people acted like people. Penryn was the determined protective sister (which when you read her back story makes so much sense). Some people gave in, some despaired, others fought. Everyone was just so flawed and human.

My recommendation: READ IT NOW. But in case you need any further persuasion check out others reviews here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11500217-angelfall

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