Friday, March 20, 2015

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee


Angelfall by Susan Ee
Book One of the Penryn & the End of Days series
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain. 

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. 

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back...

What I Liked:

I FINALLY caved and read this one. It's been around for years, and I've been seeing so many trusted bloggers and friends love this book (and series in general), and I never bothered to pick it up. It involves angels, I told myself. I don't like angel books. Why bother? Well, Angelfall is February's Pili-Pushed novel (I know, I'm a month late), and it appeared on NetGalley (along with World After), so I figured those must be signs. And guess what - this one is probably my favorite Pili-Pushed novel, along with Stolen Songbird (January's recommendation)!

There has been an apocalypse, and angels have destroyed the world. Six weeks after the apocalypse, Penryn, her crippled sister, and her mentally bizarre mother are setting out to hopefully find a better place to live. But this doesn't work out; a group of angels are attacking one angel, and Penryn decides to distract the angels will her mother and sister hopefully run to freedom. Penryn and the attacked angel are left by the group of angels, but one of the angels takes Paige (Penryn's sister). Penryn is determined to get her back. She takes the beaten angel and all but forces him to tell her where to find the angels. Together, Penryn and Raffe (the angel) travel to the aerie to find Paige. Raffe is going to the aerie in hopes of finding a surgeon to stitch his wings back (the group of angels sliced them off).

Right from the start, I liked Penryn. She reminds me a bit of Lela from the Guards of the Shadowlands series by Sarah Fine. Penryn is fiercely loyal, tough, and unafraid of fighting for what she wants. She's skilled in martial arts and combat - her mother had her taking lessons since she was four or five (or some young age). She's no match for angels physically but she is quite a fighter. Penryn is definitely a heroine girls should look up to. She never falls for the angels' pretty faces, never loses her resolve.

Raffe, the male protagonist, is equally as likable. He's an angel with his wings cut off, a warrior, a calculating and quiet creature. He agrees to help Penryn in order to get his wings sewed back on, but he grows to become loyal to her, and looks out for her. He is very intelligent, and very good at seeing things holistically. He is haunted by the loss of his wings, but determined to get them back.

I like the flow of this story. At first I thought, here we go, cliche story of someone trying to save someone from the bad guys. This has the Guards of the Shadowlands series written all over it. Or vice versa (I read Sarah Fine's books first, but chronologically, I think it's the opposite). Whatever. HOWEVER. I didn't find this book full of cliches at all. There are many plot twists and unexpected road bumps and turns that I did not see coming - like the Resistance camp. And when Penryn and Raffe finally get to the aerie, well, I definitely wasn't expecting any of that.

The world-building and imagery is really well-written. This is a post-apocalyptic world, and the author does an excellent job with the setting, the apocalypse, the feel of doom and gloom. And the paranormal aspect is pretty cool too. I mentioned above that I hate angel books. I've enjoyed Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, as well as Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season series, but in general, I really don't like angel-related books. So I was really wary about the angel aspect. But I'm surprised and quite pleased that I really enjoyed this paranormal aspect! The angels are harbingers of doom, and they are very pretty, but very deadly. I think I like these angels so much because they're like Taylor's angels, or Shannon's angels. As opposed to Lauren Kate's angels, or Becca Fitzpatrick's angels. Less teenage-boy-ish, more immortal, timeless, male (or female).

So, I loved the story. I loved the world-building. I love the protagonists. The supporting characters were also characters I enjoyed reading about, love them or hate them. I wasn't a fan of Penryn's mother, but that was to be expected. I didn't necessary like any at the Resistance camp - again, to be expected. I'm interested in seeing more secondary characters, because there weren't too many at the forefront (secondary characters at the forefront. Hehe). This book goes by very quickly - you won't feel the pages slipping, the percentage going by. I was never bored, and I always wanted to know what would happen next!

Okay okay, let's talk romance. There is no love triangle, no insta-love, none of that mess. In fact, the romance is barely there - which is a wonderful thing! As in, it's THERE, but it's a slow, progressive build. Penryn and Raffe don't just see each other and fall in love, or lust. It takes the whole book, nearly dying, saving each other, being separated at short intervals, etc., for them to develop feelings for each other. It's more about building trust and loyalty - but they also care about each other, and there is definitely an attraction between them. But it's all very subtle, very slow burn, very delicious to read. I can't wait to read the next book - for so many reasons, but especially the romance.

This book doesn't end on a cliffhanger, though it does end on an uneasy note. It's okay, because we know there are two books to follow, and I've waited forever to read this book, and am now completely prepared to binge-read the series. I've got World After to read next week, and End of Days comes out in May, so I am ready!

What I Did Not Like:

There's just one thing, and it's probably just me, but I thought the climax and ending were a tad bit too fast and perhaps a bit confusing. I was confused as to what I was supposed to be seeing, in terms of all things revealed and bad guys and the Resistance striking - it just felt like everything was thrown together at once, and it was a bit much to wade through. Perhaps I just need to reread the ending. Anyway, it's a small thing, because I certainly got the gist of everything.

Would I Recommend It:

YES! I totally recommend this one! I loved it a lot! I don't regret waiting so long to read it (it was almost inevitable that I would read it, with literally everyone else reading, raving about, and LOVING it). Even if you don't like angel-related novels, give this book a chance! I don't like angel content, but I really enjoyed that aspect, and this book in general.

Rating:

4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars (only because it doesn't quite feel like a 5-star read to me. Those are few and far between, from me). I'll be reviewing World After on Friday, March 27th (next week)!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

38 comments:

  1. This is one I haven't read either because I'll admit I haven't had much interest. Mostly because the synopsis doesn't tell you much and all I knew was that it was about angels. But I do believe you've convinced me to try this out! (Especially when you mentioned there was no love triangle or insta-love. I'm sold.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was how I felt too, Zoey! The ebook is pretty cheap so I think you should give it a shot! Trust me, you and I were probably in the same boat. I needed the right push and I LOVED this book, so perhaps you will too!

      Delete
  2. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!! You cannot imagine how super happy I am to hear that you loved this one SO MUUUUUCH!!! *does happy pushing book dance*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank YOU for recommending it so hard! What would my life be without you :)

      Delete
    2. We might miss out on awesome books for sure! And I'd probably be in a deeper emotioonal pit and not as well as I am today! *hugs*

      Delete
    3. Agreed - Stolen Songbird and this series to say the least. And OMG MASSIVE SQUISHY HUGS *tackles*

      Delete
  3. YAY!!!! Go Pili for pushing this on you. I loooooove this series *hugs books* so happy you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw you're reading End of Days - I haven't read World After yet, but I am jealous!

      Thank you!

      Delete
  4. I'm so glad Pili pushed this book on you! This series is one of my favorites and I'm currently reading End Of Days. It only gets better from here and you're in for a treat, I promise. Great review and can't wait to see what you think of World After! *crosses fingers that this gets posted because this is my 3rd time writing this one*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! I'm glad to hear that! Hopefully the ending isn't torturous and tragic O_O And thank you so much for your efforts, I appreciate it! <3

      Delete
  5. Isn't it great when a hyped book actually lives up to expectations?! I'm glad you finally read this one. Two of my favorite things were definitely Penryn - love the way you described her. She's so fierce, no nonsense and low on drama, basically,not the typical YA heroine. Of course Rafe was amazing too and their slow building romance was my other favorite. Often that produces the most swoon. This world is crazy and very brutal at times, but I can't wait to dive back into it in the final installment. So happy you tried out this angel book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! But actually though! I'm so pleased about that. I hope you love the third book, Lauren! More Raffe and Penryn, I hope. Kristen (previous commenter) really enjoyed it, but was sad to see the series. Hopefully that means it wasn't disappointing! :D

      Delete
  6. I have no excuse for not having already read this one. It's been sitting on my shelf forever. Loved reading your thoughts on it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The plot kind of reminds me of The Fifth Wave in a sense of things far beyond earth taking over and destroying everything. The only difference is that one is on aliens and the other angels really. Great review!
    Naomi @The Perks Of Being A Bookworm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Huh. I never had any desire to read The Fifth Wave, to be completely honest. I might, once the series is over :D

      Thank you!

      Delete
  8. Oh yay! Your review has me even more excited now about these! :D I think Pili mentioned they were good to me too, so yay! I'm super excited that you mentioned that Penryn was similar to Lela, because I love Lela to pieces! I am excited to meet Raffe too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! The Guards of the Shadowlands series is one of my favorites, very much in part because of the female (and male) protagonist!

      Delete
  9. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this one! I've had this on my TBR for a really long time but I can't seem to make myself read it, haha. Likable characters are definitely a good thing and you have me intrigued by the lack of cliches!

    Great review, Alyssa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! You totally should give it a shot, Cyn! Especially if you have a copy (I don't know if you do or not). Perhaps wait until the series is over!

      Thank you <3

      Delete
  10. YAYY!! You liked this one, I love all of the covers of this series, they're amazing. This has been on my TBR for the longest, I hope it's as amazing as your review :) thanks for sharing x Benish| Feminist Reflections

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy to hear that! You should check these books out, maybe when the third one publishes in May :D

      Delete
  11. Yay, I'm SO glad you loved this one! It's one of my favorite series, and I can't wait to finally get to the conclusion. Raffe and Penryn are one of my OTPs - I loved their slow burn romance. Plus the plot is just creepy and amazing. <3

    Great review, girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooo! Of this I had no idea! I can't wait to read book two, at least to find out more about this romance ;) Thank you!

      Delete
  12. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! It is one of my fovourites! Sadly, I didn't love World After as much as this one, but I can't wait to read End of Days!
    Hope you give the others a chance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will indeed be reading World After, as you can see in my review. I'm sorry you didn't love it as much, but hopefully End of Days redeems the series for you!

      Delete
  13. Goorgeous review Alyssa. <3 SO HAPPY that you loved this book :D I am dying to read it too. Fingers crossed I will love it as much as you did :D I just need to have book three before I start :p Waaants it. Anyway. Yay for gorgeous romance :D But slow? Hmph. But yay for loving it even so, and for liking both the characters :D I'm so curious. Sigh. Soooon. <3 Thank you for sharing sweetie :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am quite sure that you won't be disappointed! And "slow" as in "slow burn" as in AMAZING.

      I hope you read/enjoy at least Angelfall, Carina!

      Delete
  14. Wait, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Bone Season books are angel books? I had no clue! I don't do angel books as a rule, but I have both of these series on my the list. Hmm.. maybe I should read more about them before I commit. The angel factor was one of the reasons I didn't read the Angelfall books. Well, I will probably give one of these series a try. Most likely The Bone Season because it is Adult. Thanks for the review. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! It most certainly does. And I'm basically the same way - I don't read angel books. Except for like, the two series that I mentioned (and you mentioned here). And now Angelfall. They have to be REALLY good for me to even try the first one. So far, for the three series, I've loved them!

      You're welcome!

      Delete
  15. YES! I love this series Alyssa :) I'm glad that you gave it a chance. Like you, I'm a bit hesitant about angel books, they are usually a hit or miss of me, but I adore this series. I already pre-ordered the last book!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear that, Liza! I'm seriously one of the last to succumb to the pressure, in the bloggy world. I hope you/we love the third book!

      Delete
  16. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one, Alyssa! It sounds like a fantastic book. I'm especially glad to see that the romance takes a while to develop. I'm not a fan of instalove. I'll try to read this one when I get the chance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me either! This one definitely is NOT insta-love-y at all :D I hope you give this book a shot, Kris!

      Delete
  17. I'm generally not into angel stories, but evil angels taking over the world and little to no romance? I could be talked into that. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! I thought so too! Thank you, Kel!

      Delete
  18. A smashing first book to this series, and I have just joined the mounds of eager followers that need the next book pronto! Ee is definitely an author I'll keep my eye on.

    Mica
    iphone 6 cases

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! I will always try and reply to your comments, as well as leave some comment love on your blog! :)

Also, this an award and tag free blog. While I am flattered that you would think of me, I really do not have the time to follow up. Thank you!