Bookanista Review: ANGELFALL by Susan Ee

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Jan 5, 2012 Under Bookanistas, Young Adult


Official 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


ANGELFALL is a self-pubbed book that I stumbled upon via twitter (thank you, Dreaming in Books blogger John Jacobson!) The premise sounded interesting, and for 99 cents I figured, what the heck?  Worst case scenario, my kids get 50 less cents each to buy Squinkies from those machines at the food court. Actually, maybe that’s a best case scenario. Anyway.

What this book is not:

A cuddly, feel-good, paranormal romance about a human girl falling in love with an angel. If you’re looking for that, you’d best search elsewhere. THESE AREN’T YOUR MAMA’S ANGELS.

What this book is:

A dark, gripping, visceral post-apocalyptic tale complete with the types of angels that will haunt your nightmares, a kick-ass heroine who won’t let anything deter her from her goal of saving her sister, and enough gore to satisfy even the most bloodthirsty reader.

The author drops you right into the story, and between the savage angel attacks, the vicious gangs that troll the ravaged buildings and whatever the unknown third horror is that shreds humans to bits in mere minutes, Penryn has her hands full just keeping herself, her crazy mother, and her wheelchair-bound little sister alive. But before the story barely gets started, a lone angel’s (Raffe) wings are severed by a flock of hostile angels, and Penryn’s sister is snatched by the attackers. What follows is Penryn’s journey as she uses Raffe’s wings as collateral to get him to lead her across the perilous remains of California to the angels’ nest, or aerie (A word I actually had to look up! Hey, ask me a dog word, and I guarantee I know it!)

Ms. Ee paints a world that is terrifying and bleak, yet not completely hopeless. The touches of humor provided some much needed comic relief, and I found the crazy mother to be one of the most fascinating characters in a long time. Also, while the main plot is tied up at the end, there are plenty of unanswered questions to make me want the sequel NOW NOW NOW. I love that while there’s a hint of romance brewing between Raffe and Penryn, it’s not the main thrust of the book—but I totally look forward to their relationship expanding in book two. Despite a few quibbles here and there, this was a compelling, if more-gruesome-than-average, read.

A couple of quotes that stuck with me, for different reasons:

“I’m an ant in the battlefield of the gods. There’s no room for pride or ego, and barely enough room for survival.”

““You’re like a little girl demanding answers to questions during a covert operation. Why is the sky blue, daddy? Can I ask that man with the machine gun where the bathroom is?

Readers who like their YA fast-paced, scary, and angel-laden should love this one!


Check out the links below to see what other Bookanistas are talking about!

Elana Johnson offers musings on her Bookanista moments

Jessi Kirby savors HOW TO SAVE A LIFE

Stasia Ward Kehoe delights in FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB

Nikki Katz is crazy for ASHFALL

Shelli Johannes-Wells celebrates January Bookanista books–plus a DISCOVERY OF WITCHES giveaway

Lila Roecker shouts for joy over SHATTER ME.


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