Sunday, March 18, 2012

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Title: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Publisher: Feral Dream
Release Date: May 21, 2011
Pages: 255 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.

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.


For months now, I've been watching all my friends read Angelfall and fall in love with it one by one (with an exception here or there). I haven't seen them hype up a book like this since Anna Dressed in Blood and Divergent, both of which failed to impress me, so I was fearful of reading the book. (Also, I always get to a fad at least two months after it's over. No real reason; it naturally happens that way no matter what I do.) So here I am, getting to Angelfall two months later than everyone else. The curse is broken! My friend hyped up something and it was actually worth it!

 Penryn is just the kind of heroine I like: stong-willed, able to do what she has to do, but still a teenage girl with insecurities and all. It seems a little convenient she had a form of survival training already thanks to her paranoid schizophrenic mother, but it never felt that way. It just felt right. Though the book was not about her dysfunctional family (the aforementioned mother, absentee father, sister who can't walk), the effect her lifestyle has had on her shows and guides her actions like it should.

One of my most common complaints about books is pacing. I have a short attention span anyway, but most books don't have what it takes to keep me going. They're too long and spread out action too far apart (or have no action at all, in rare cases), or too short and nothing happens at all, or they may be trying to make everything happen at once and cause a train wreck of sorts. Not Angelfall. Fights, interactions with other characters, and traveling are equally interspersed and even when I wasn't reading, I never lost interest.

The descriptions are not always picture perfect and could have used some work, but they feel raw and in the last quarter of the book, they get downright powerful. I felt myself getting a little green in the face at the mental images of... I can't even tell you. It's one of those things you have to discover yourself. I can say this much: It's horrifying, it's grotesque, but it well-written and it's fantastic. If you get squeamish easily at descriptions in books, you may want to keep a baggie or a trash can close.

So why am I being greedy with my stars and giving it only four instead of five like most of my friends have? Well, the descriptions, as I mentioned above, got a little clunky at points and gave me a mental image that ruined the mood, like when Raffe's back was compared to raw hamburgers with a metaphor. It's a valid description, but the image it conjured up made me giggle when I really shouldn't have been giggling. I wasn't a fan of how almost all the female characters were portrayed negatively if they weren't related to Penryn. The "all unrelated females are rivals/evil" mentality is so obsolete.

If you need me, I'll be in line with everyone else, impatiently awaiting Angelfall's sequel and occasionally rereading my copy during the long wait.

4 stars!

What am I reading next?: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

1 comment:

  1. Love your review. I reviewed this one too. I am very excited for the sequel to come out!


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