Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee (2011)
YA Fiction | Apocalypse/Paranormal
“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.”
pooled ink Review:
So I’ve never really read books with angels in them before but this was recommended and I decided to give it a go. Overall I really enjoyed it, I was held captivated by the story and constantly wondered where it would go next. But then I started having a few, uh, questions… Basically I was onboard until about the time Penryn and Raffe reach San Francisco, but I’ll get to that later.
There is plenty of action in this book (fight scenes, struggling to survive, etc.) and I really liked this about the book particularly as it kept the pace up. I’d definitely categorize this more as an action book than a romance namely because, well, there pretty much wasn’t any romance (although by the very end you can tell there might be some in the future). But yeah, the book itself isn’t super long and with all the action and high-stakes it made reading it that much faster.
Characters: Penryn is the main character of this series and for the whole book, no matter what obstacles come her way, her one unwavering goal is to find and rescue her little sister Paige who was snatched out of her wheelchair and kidnapped by an angel. As a mere human she knows she needs information and help if she’s going to rescue Paige and she finds herself paired with an angel named Raffe.
Raffe was a good character and I liked him. He’s an angel with his wings cut off and so his one focused goal for the book was to reach the angel’s aerie and have them sewn back on. He eventually agrees to help Penryn, as their goals dwell in the same destination, and he doesn’t remain nearly as sour at her for having held him prisoner whilst bleeding from his severed wings as Penryn does for him being an angel whose fellows destroyed her world.
Penryn and Raffe made a good team. Both able to fight, think on their feet, and hold their own. Their banter was also a definite highlight in this book.
Penryn’s mother was an unexpected character. She’s crazy but also…a force to be reckoned with. I did not at all expect how she would play in the plot but her role was definitely interesting.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book. The concept of an apocalyptic event with the descent of angels upon earth was really cool and creatively twisted to make it original. But with that comes my thoughts on the world-building and, well, I have a lot of thoughts…
The number one question the humans have (myself included) is Why are they here?? And apparently this never really gets answered. What wasn’t a question on my radar until those last few chapters was Who/What are they?? Because it was obvious, they’re angels. But once you reach San Francisco you see these humanoid-scorpion-monster things being made in a lab, there are angels in lab coats, some of the angels don’t know if they even believe in God, etc. So then my mind was like WAIT. Hold up! I HAVE QUESTIONS.
What is God’s role in all of this? Is God even real in this book’s world? If God ISN’T real in the book then where the hell did the angels come from?? Are they really just an alien species rather than a celestial one? But if they are celestial and creatures of God then I’m confused because there is NO freaking way God would just remain M.I.A. while his angels destroy his beloved earth and his beloved humans for a political power play with one angel politician freaking colluding with demons from HELL. WHICH begs another question about their origins and their purpose on earth, because the angels do believe in Heaven and Hell and demons and angels and judgment but…they’re not sure about God?? I AM SO CONFUSED!!
I get that it’s a unique idea to have agnostic angels but, like, you gotta explain it seeing as angels as a concept are distinctly celestial beings…unless you’re saying that these angels are just aliens who fit the description?? I’m all for originality and crazy ideas but you’ve got to back it up at least somewhat, yeah? I mean these are important questions as they make up the entire foundation for the apocalyptic plot! Or maybe my brain is just too inquisitive and is way over-thinking it.
Ugh. Although I really had fun reading this book overall, I feel that there are a TON of plot holes particularly in the world-building and I can’t help but feel disappointed knowing that they’ll never be properly explained or answered in the series. (Sometimes after reading the first book I like to see the general reaction to the final book in a series before committing to it and well this time it ended up shoving me down a spiral of spoilers and reviews and yeah, I liked this first book but I’m not sure I’ll read the rest).
HOWEVER, if having a well-explained premise of a book isn’t a factor for you then you might want to check this series out. It really was a good read full of chaos, enemies & allies, resistance armies, monsters, survival, and more. Plus it explored a really original take on angels.
Angelfall brings the end of days and with it comes angels the likes you’ve never read before. When the humans are dying and desperate and the angels are the monsters dealing the hand, what chance does a teenage girl and a wingless angel have at surviving the war put into motion around them? Packed with action and a focused plot, this is a book for fans of thrillers and paranormal alike.
Purchase here: Angelfall
Meet Susan Ee!
Susan Ee is a USA Today bestselling author of the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy, ANGELFALL, WORLD AFTER, and END OF DAYS. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages, and her short films have played at major festivals. She used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.