Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: Angelfall

Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days #1)
Published By: Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication Date: August 2012
Page Count: 283
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal

When I saw the ratings for Angelfall, I just had to read it. It has a ridiculous number of 5 star ratings! I was completely unsure about reading another angel book, but this one is so different from all the rest. The angels are not just the bad guys; they really couldn't care less about the human race. Well, that’s not exactly true... they are systematically trying to exterminate them.
Angelfall follows Penryn, a girl who is just trying to keep her frayed family together. Her father is nowhere to be seen, her mother is basically a violent psychotic with a streak of dark humour, and her younger sister Paige is wheelchair bound. As if that wasn't enough, the apocalypse happened about six weeks ago and the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. Food is so scarce that anything is fair game, and gang violence rules the streets. Penryn and her family have to keep moving to avoid being found, and during one such moment they happen across angels fighting. The aftermath of this is that Penryn’s mother vanishes, Paige is abducted by angels, and Penryn is left with a wingless angel. As her only chance to find out what happened to her sister, she takes him prisoner and tries to extract information from him.
Raffe, the angel, and Penryn strike up a very uneasy truce and set out in pursuit of Paige, and someone with the skills to reattach his wings. What they find along the way is deeply disturbing. It seems that angels are not the only extraordinary new inhabitant of the world, and the things lurking in the darkness might just be even worse.
I found Angelfall really gripping. Penryn doesn't really know much at all, and Raffe is very good at blanking her questions when she probes for intelligence. As they both discover more, I found the pages whizzing by, and the unknown terrors in the dark added another level of tension which I thought was brilliant. I would warn potential readers about the horror though. This book doesn't pull its punches; all are fair game when the apocalypse comes to town and both young and old experience some nasty things. Speaking of nasty things, Penryn makes some freakish and gruesome discoveries about what the angels are up to that just about grossed me out to the maximum. I take my metaphorical hat off to Susan Ee for her fertile and rather creepy imagination.
I really liked how the interaction between Raffe and Penryn grew. There was a good exploration of each character, and they grew together in a believable manner. There was plenty of internal conflict to fuel the forbidden fires, and the snippets of sexual tension were delicious. These two have potential. By far my favorite character though was Penryn’s cackling and deranged mother. She is scarily self sufficient and resourceful for a woman with a screw loose! She ghosted through the pages of the book, rarely directly featuring but very much present in little signs and Penryn’s thoughts. For me, she was the star of the show and truly fascinating. (Definitely not someone I’d like to meet though!)
This was as good as all the ratings suggested; truly unique, incredibly readable and seriously gripping.

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.


  1. Oh, I've had this sitting around for a while. your review makes me want to move it up the list. I'm always a little apprehensive about angel books -- there have been several that I haven't really fallen in love with. Thanks!

  2. GREAT review!! I'm definitely moving this one up higher on my TBR!! I've had it for ages as well!!

  3. OOoh fab review! I soooo need to read this one as I have had it in my TBR pile for so long now! In two formats too!

  4. This was SUCH a wonderful review!! I read Angelfall a couple years ago and have been so very eagerly awaiting the sequel. I agree with you about the interaction between Penryn and Raffe, I wish more YA relationships began with this kind of slow build. I'm hoping that mom becomes a more prominent part of the sequel, that beneath and entwined with her insanity & cryptic statements is some kind of hidden knowledge or something.

  5. Thank you for the praise ladies! This is definitely one to get to sooner rather than later. :)

  6. Well, Jen , this is the first review I read of Angelfall and it sounds absolutely amazing
    Angels were always the good guys in the books I read, so it's strange to read about the opposite
    Your reader,

  7. I have this one but haven't got to it yet. I may have to move it up in my TBR pile.

  8. This novel is sitting on my shelf-- I'm so glad to hear it's as amazing as it sounds!

  9. It really is a unique twist on angel lore and it's awesome the characters are so wonderful:)

    Lovely review:)

  10. Though you loved it, and it does sound like a great story, I just don't know if I can read it. As I stated in another review, angel-themed books are hard for me to get into.
    Love your rave review though.

  11. Cant wait for read it… sounds amazing

  12. Angelfall was a such a fantastic suprise. I picked it up because I love anything to do with the apocalypse and found it totally gripping!! Love Raffe to bits.

  13. It's so awesome when angels are recreated in a unique way! And I love how the characters are complex, and how she has a sister to care for and difficult family circumstances.

    Lovely review :)

  14. I loved, loved, loooved this book! Great story and characters, amazing writing. Just one of those books that you can't stop reading until you're finished.
    So happy that you loved it as well, great review! :) By the way, in my opinion 2nd book in series, Ever After, is even better. :)

  15. I love your review :)
    I've been wanting to read this book for a long time now.

  16. I've been into angels lately because of Cassandra Clare's work. I think I would like this book too.


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