October 25, 2011

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

So, the world as we know it is ending and there’s no one else to blame but the Angels. Six weeks ago some kind of war between Angels and the human race started and we are losing big time! It’s the Apocalypse, modern technology has been destroyed, and the survivors are starving, turning feral, desperate and mean. But it is war, so all those feelings and reactions are justified.

This new world is scary; angels, the lovely creatures that we have learned to think of as our friends and our connection to God, have turned against us. As if this were not enough, there’s looting in the streets and the worst of humankind has surfaced: murders, rapes, fights, the list is long and depressing.

It’s in this world that we meet Penryn -a seventeen year old with the best skills to survive-. She is trying to move from her condo to a safer place, along with her schizophrenic mother and paralytic younger sister. That’s when she witnesses a fight between angels that ends up with a wingless, gorgeous angel and a kidnapped sister. This new situation forces her to make an alliance with Raffe -the angel- and start a journey to recover Raffe’s winds and find her little sister.

I have to confess that at the beginning of the book I was a little annoyed by the plot. If you have read The Hunger Games you will easily see the similarities: a teenage girl with enough skills to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, a little sister who is in the middle of the entire plot and a strained relationship with her mother. Fortunately I kept reading because that’s where the similarities end. If you thought The Hunger Games was dark and gory, Angelfall will show you what dark and gory really means.

This is not an easy book to read, Penryn’s mother is one of the most credible and scary characters I have ever read. She gave me the creeps and made feel really uncomfortable. Towards the end it gets even worse, a lot of blood, a lot of dark creatures and a bittersweet ending for Penryn’s goal of finding her sister. I don’t want to spoil anything but be ready for the worst.

This dystopian world is beautifully constructed, it’s easy to imagine the despair, the desolation and the hate over what's happening. Then, when you get more into the story, the plot gets more complicated because the angel’s world is a political nightmare. Save for the strength and wings, angels are not that different from humans. There are good ones, bad ones and greedy ones, the latter being the most dangerous. Pernyn finds herself immersed in a world of strategies, deception, evil and madness; and she can only follow her instincts and act accordingly.  Does she make the right decisions? That is for you to find out, but trust me, this is a must read.

The romance in the story is scarce. The enticing aspect is more the promise of a romance than anything else. Although at this point, and after discovering more about Raffe, I’m not completely comfortable with the idea of a romantic relationship between those two. There’s love between them, that’s for sure, but is that love romantic? I’m not so sure about that, mostly because there’s a lot of drama there and the dynamics between humans and angels is complex and strained to say the least. I don’t want to get ahead of the story, so let’s wait and see how the author works it out and makes believable a relationship between them, but I’m not yet convinced if it’s possible or if they will make it.

In sum, Angelfall is a story that will appeal to all kind of readers. It’s well written, original, heartbreaking and impossible to put down once you start reading it. I’m seriously considering changing my name to Susan, it has to be a magic name that gives you writer powers! My rate is 4.5 just because the story took me out of my comfort zone for a while, which is good, but does not make for an easy read.

Review by Marie
Grade: 4.5
Sensuality: McDreamy


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.
Feral Dream; May 21, 2011.


  1. I'm loveing the cover! I like a lil gore so we will see if I like it :) thanks for the review!

  2. Ooh I Loved this book! I actually enjoyed the lack of romance I found it was more of a slow and deliberate build up which was fun and refreshing. Glad you enjoyed this as well.

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I agree with Giselle, the cover is beautiful.

    But why all these YA Dystopian novels have to be series? Isn’t it possible to write a standalone? Maybe make it longer if you want to, but stop with the torture of waiting. This one sounds interesting but the second one comes our next summer…

    Should I blame this on Twilight? I wonder if before Twilight YA books were standalones instead of series…

    Great review Marie!

  4. This sounds like something I'd really like. I've searched, does anyone know if I can get a print copy vs electronic?

  5. Hi Jenn!

    I just checked and unfortunately the book is only available in e-format. I actually think the book is self-published, either that, or Feral Dreams is a brand new publisher and this is their first book, it might be both...

  6. If you go to the author’s website you can read the first five chapters. Here is the direct link Check them out and see if reading the book it’s worth it, even if you have to do it on your computer…

    I really like it when authors do that because sometimes you can’t tell if you will like the book just by reading the first chapter.

  7. Thanks Brie! I'll go check it out. I don't enjoy reading a book on my computer, but sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

  8. You're welcome! Let us know if you read it and how you like it.

  9. This cover is eye-catching! I'd never heard of Angelfall before, but now I'm on the lookout. I'm not sure if I'll be able to hack it if it's as gory as you say--but your review intrigued me. I'll at least have to pick it up and read the first few pages next time in the bookstore.
    Have a good one,
    Ninja Girl

  10. This actually sounds a lot like THG. Even the romance part. I'm glad to know the author did go in a different direction, but the similarities in what you described is stunning. I am curious to know how this story develops though. It would be cool to know what direction the author takes with all of it.

  11. Hi Ninja Girl!

    Long time no see! Hope your blog is doing well.

    The cover is beautiful! I’m really considering reading it even though YA is not really my thing… This book only comes in electronic version, so you won’t see it in the library, but you can read the first five chapters here and see how you like it.

  12. Hi Jade!

    I agree, the premise shows a lot of promise and for what I can see the author is really talented. I do hope she knows exactly where the story is going and sticks to the original idea because I keep reading series that get longer than they should just because of their success and it never ends well…

  13. Great cover! This sounds good,

    new follower here :-)


  14. Hi Ttoria!

    Thanks for stopping by, I'm following back!

  15. It's not the best book I've ever read, but it's definitely one of the better ones. Definitely it's the most unexpectedly enjoyable.


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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.