Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)Angelfall by Susan Ee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review to come because I put off about 3 hours of studying for this.

Edit-Rating: 4.5 Stars
This book is incredible. The very first sentence just sucks you in, and I swear I tried, but I could not untangle myself from this story. I had to finish it, and finish it I did, at the price of not getting any work done. But it was well worth it. Why?

Because Penryn is a badass, that's why! And because Raffe makes all the girls' hearts flutter.

So, let's think about what you get from this book. You get a heroine who can actually kick some serious butt and has undying loyalty that gets her in bad situations but simultaneously makes her endearing and not whiny. In addition, she is not willing to sacrifice her strange family even for some hot stranger with wings (Hush, Hush, anyone?). You get a dreamy guy who is all suaveness and charm but gets some serious hurt throughout the story instead of somehow being untouchable. Also, he doesn't sound like some blathering romantic and actually is not emasculated by his time near possible love interest (*cough* Daniel Grigori *cough*). And you get a plot that leaves you reeling and basically sobbing for the next book.

A bonus? There are flesh eating creatures and some Mengele-esque experiments.

I think I've already given away too much, but it's safe to see here that this story is definitely original. Susan Ee knows what she's talking about, and she's not afraid of writing it. While I recommend this for slightly more mature young adult audiences, I think that everyone would get a kick out of this book. This is the first book in months in which I have actually been emotionally invested in, and that's a bad sign about the publishing industry, if they're publishing books like Fallen over jewels like this one. While I would have liked a bit more world building, like why Gabriel was flying around in the sky in the first place, that definitely didn't affect the pace with which I devoured this book. I seriously devoured it. I put my iPod in my bathroom, and after I finished showering, I stayed in the bathroom for an hour reading.

Engrossing. If you're looking for action, stop here. Right now, I believe this is the best post-apocalyptic book out of 2011 because of the amazing job Susan Ee has done with her characters and her plot. All of her characters have weaknesses and distinguishing points, with the exception of Obi, who I was little iffy about. The love relationship develops slowly and subtly, in a way that's believable. And I loved the voice that Ee gave to Penryn. She doesn't wax poetry or complain shallowly (Juliette from SHATTER ME and almost all other heroines), and her voice comes as painfully sincere. A teenager thrust into the boots of a grown-up who is taking the responsibility but holding on to who she is the way she knows how. The fact is that nobody in this book is perfect, and that's definitely a change from the usual la-la-la the world is blowing up around me but nothing's my fault trend.

This is also the best book about angels I've read so far. Daniel Grigori, Patch Cipriano, and the Churches can all burn in a bloody hellfire as far as I'm concerned. Ee did her research. She definitely didn't mess up with the Grigori and the archangels. Somehow, she has spun it to a darker angle than most would be used to. The end definitely made me clutch my chest. I had no idea what would happen to the characters, and I zoomed through the last 100 pages because I couldn't bear not knowing what would happen to everyone. It threw me for a loop, but the book did end on a hopeful note that closed it off but had me banging my head when I realized that I don't know when the sequel is out.

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