“If I was good at marketing, I’d spin you an empty story that sounds profound. But the truth is that we’re all just stumbling around in the dark. Sometimes we hit something terrible.”
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.
It’s been awhile since I last read angel stories not because I don’t like these celestial being but because most of fiction stories I have read about them are a let down. I haven’t found something that really stand out or at least leave a long lasting impression. That’s why it took me long while to finally dig in to this series even with so much positive raves from the book blogging community.
With that said, I go into Angelfall with less expectations.
Angelfall as the first installment is pretty entertaining and engaging read. Susan Ee waste no time introducing this dystopian world full of fallen angels battling each others and the human race. Right from the start you will feel the panic, the danger and urgency which basically makes the story engaging and moving.
Penryn Young and her family are on their way to find a safer place when they witness a fight among angels. While the fight is happening a group of fallen angels took her sister Paige. Without much idea how to get Paige back, she help saving one of the dying angel Raffe with the hope that he can lead her to where the other angels took her sister.
Susan Ee’s wordings are simple and a bit repetitive. Coming from a fantasy read wherein the author used lots of metaphors and offers deep philosophies, I can’t help but noticed that Susan Ee’s style is so pale in comparison. But with the simplicity of writing comes an easy flow of reading and well paced plotting. The imagery is quite vivid even with little world building. The world that Susan Ee created is dark and gritty which balance well to her characters and their snarky dialogues.
Penryn and Raffe are both pragmatic individual. They are practical and straight to the point which basically create fun dialogues between them. I enjoy their banter, verbal fights and their overall dynamic. The fact that their relationship is not concentrated in romance but more on survival makes the story more engaging for me. In a bleak world where the earth is almost at its end, it is more realistic to have characters that are busy trying to survive or fights against the enemy than to waste their time finding romance or love interest. I’m really glad that Susan Ee didn’t make this so much of a love story than story of survival.
I also like how gritty and dark this post apocalyptic world that Susan Ee created. Human eating cat food or even human flesh to survive, no shower for days or water to drink – it feels more appropriate and real for a world set in its near end. If only there’s more exposition about how the the world came to its end and more explanation how the angels become ‘harbingers of doom’ who are willing to destroy the entire world I think the world building will be more solid. But since this is only the first installment of a three books series Susan Ee has more room for development. The rebellions, war from different ends, angel politics, and human turned to demons are more than enough to keep this whole series engaging and entertaining.
Overall, Angelfall is a thrilling start to this angel post apocalyptic series. Though nothing really new in terms of the angel mythology and post apocalyptic world, the danger and characters are enough to keep readers on the edge of their seat.
* This review is based on an eBook I received courtesy of the publisher, Amazon Children’s Publishing via NetGalley.