Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days, #1) by Susan Ee
Published by Skyscape on August 28, 2012
Genres: young adult paranormal, urban fantasy, romance, post-apocalyptic
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Every once in a while, a book comes along that steps outside the box and leaves you breathless. It’s like a roller coaster—thrillingly unpredictable, new, and fun.
This is that book.
Angelfall masquerades as a very typical paranormal novel. But, guys, this book is better than the typical paranormal.
For starters, though the premise might make this book sound like a typical angel book, it’s actually very unique. This book is about about what happens when angels descend from Heaven to begin the apocalypse. Cool, right? I personally have always thought about the angels moderating the apocalypse, not causing it. This book offers us a glimpse into angel hierarchy and politics, and it’s as fascinating as it is unique.
Ee’s version of angels are far from the pretty-but-utterly-boring ones in Halo. Raffe is a very human, very real character…except that he’s not human. He’s mysterious and otherworldly, but also very vulnerable in a very haunted way. Ee wrote a very well-rounded character with him, and I wish there were more like that in YA paranormal books.
While we’re on the subject of characters, let’s talk about our protagonist, Penryn. This girl is amazing. Her father walked on out them years ago, and she’s been the caretaker for her family ever since. In addition to taking care of her schizophrenic mother, Penryn also cares for her disabled younger sister, Paige. When Paige gets taken by the angels, Penryn makes it her goal to find Paige’s abductors and get her sister back. She’s protective and gets stuff done, but not in a static, macho, Katniss-Everdeen-apathetic way.
Penryn has her “girly” moments, but she’s also not afraid to do what it takes to survive and get her sister back. She also knows how to defend herself, having trained in various forms of martial arts and wrestling, which is just as cool as it is (unfortunately) uncommon in this genre. Clearly, Penryn can take care of herself. She’s a great blend of sensitive and determined, and she’s proof that you don’t have to sacrifice your femininity to be a strong female. Needless to say, I really liked her.
The plot is pretty straightforward and doesn’t twist too far out of the path established in the beginning of the book, but that didn’t stop me from tearing through this novel. Its brisk, action-packed, breath-taking, and, most of all, fun. I enjoyed it immensely.
This novel is pure fun and adrenaline, and definitely fangirl material. (And it’s really under-hyped, honestly. The fandom is very small, and you should read it so you can join and make the fandom bigger! No pressure or anything. 😉 ) If you’re looking to spread your wings and try a novel that’s different from your standard YA paranormal fare, check this one out. Just like that roller coaster, you’ll finish the ride, giggle a little (or, you know, a lot), then smile and say, “Again.”