Sunday, 19 October 2014

Book Review: Angelfall - Susan Ee


I was very lucky (and I do mean very lucky) to win this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

“I never thought about it before, but I’m proud to be human. We’re ever so flawed. We’re frail, confused, violent, and we struggle with so many issues. But all in all, I’m proud to be a Daughter of Man.”

Before I even start with a brief overview of what the book is about, how it made me feel, the characters I liked, etc etc, I just need to say how amazing this book is. I mean, seriously, where is the six star button please?! Go get yourself a copy, now.

Angelfall takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where evil angels have come and shattered the modern world as humankind know it and intend to destroy it completely. Street gangs rule the day time as people are struggling for food and refuge, whilst the night holds nothing but fear and trepidation for everyone.

The story focuses on Penryn, a seventeen year old girl who has spent the six weeks since the angels descended looking after her disabled sister, Paige, and her paranoid, mentally sick mother who was fearing demons and monsters way before the apocalypse began. When Penryn attempts to relocate her family to a safer environment, the unthinkable happens. Penryn’s mother is lost and Paige is kidnapped by a band of angels who have beaten, de-winged and left behind one of their own kind. Penryn will do anything to get her sister back, even if it means rescuing and teaming up with the fallen enemy...

The story will grip you as soon as you bend back that spine for the first time. It’s a brilliant concept and the story is written magnificently. The post-apocalyptic setting works incredibly well. We get to see the world through Penryn’s eyes and witness how civilization has been ruined, people are desperate, and humans are turning on each other rather than fighting together. Susan Ee keeps us engrossed with every single page. There’s never a dull moment, the story never slows down, the characters never become boring. There’s always so much happening without it being overwhelming and Susan Ee keeps you utterly captivated from the thrilling beginning to exciting end and you will find it absolutely necessary to read one more page every step of the way.

Our main character, Penryn, is just plain perfection. She is a bad ass. She is witty. She is caring. She is determined. Penryn knows full well what she’s doing in this messed up world. She can take out fully grown men if she has to, and she’s willing to run into dark and scary places to get what she needs. She keeps her conscience by her side at all times and is not afraid to get her hands dirty. And Susan Ee makes it all so believable. If you love Katniss Everdeen, you will adore Penryn Young.

The chemistry between Penryn and Raffe leaps of the page, and the best part about it? Romance is not even a main focus of the story. Like in real life, it just, kind of, happens along the way. Penryn and Raffe are fighting their own battles and intend nothing more than to gain each other’s assistance and then head off their separate ways. Their romance takes a backseat and develops gradually and steadily on their journey without detracting from the fast-paced plot. It’s simply present, subtle and wonderful.

The last section of the book was truly incredible and moving. There was unexpected gruesomeness and I love that stuff. And I cried. I love a book that makes me cry. Even better, I cannot pinpoint what moment made me cry. I think it was just general crying at the masterpiece I had just read. I cannot stress how much anyone who has not read this book needs to go and grab a copy, now. I literally could not put it down. Cliché thing to say, I know, but I was honestly taking things out of my schedule to read a little longer; I skipped gym classes, made a quick sandwich instead of cooking, and even put aside my university assignments for a few hours. I like to think of it as productive procrastination. The second book has been promptly ordered and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I need to read more. I also need my very own Raffe – does anyone know where I can get one...?

“I never realized what a triumph it is to simply be alive.”

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