The incredible internet phenomenon that already has over 8,000 different five star reviews. (And counting.)
'An explosive, pulse-pounding journey' - Star
'The new Young Adult fantasy phenomenon' - Grazia
It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.
Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.
When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Including making a deal with the enemy.
- ISBN10 0983597014
- ISBN13 9780983597018
- Publish Date 1 February 2012
- Publish Status Active
- Publish Country GB
- Imprint Feral Dream
- Format Paperback (US Trade)
- Pages 256
- Language English
“Here, I’ll show you how to use it. Let me see your foot.” “That’s a pretty intimate demand in the angel world. It usually takes dinner, some wine, and sparkling conversation for me to give up my feet.”
'Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days Book 1)' by Susan Ee, is a post-apocalyptic dystopian fantasy that follows a 17-year-old girl as she makes her way through the destruction in the Bay area of California.
As the story opens, young Penryn is struggling by with her mentally ill mother and wheelchair-bound sister. The angels, having appeared seemingly from nowhere.. have rained chaos and death down on humans, leaving everyone living hand-to-mouth. Barely surviving by moving constantly to uninhabited buildings and trying to scavenge anything edible left behind, Penryn is responsible for care of her family and has no one else to turn to for help.
Hiding, not just from the angels.. but also from street gangs that move together through the new world taking whatever they want and tormenting those around them, Penryn mostly avoids others. But when she witnesses an attack she can't ignore, she goes to help and in the process.. an enemy flies away with her sister.
"Even in your Bible, we’re harbingers of doom, willing and able to destroy entire cities. Just because we sometimes warned one or two of you beforehand doesn’t make us altruistic.”
Sinking further into her mental illness with her medication no longer available to her and one of her daughters lost, her mother becomes more unstable.. going off on her own, while Penryn ends up making a deal with Raffe.. an injured enemy angel. Bound together by a common destination, if not common goals.. the pair set off for a place the others congregate. The girl trying to make her family whole again.. and the angel trying to do the same for himself.
I desperately dug into this book because a couple of my close friends love the series.. and with the new special editions on the way from Fairyloot, I thought it'd be wise to know if I liked them before kneejerk buying them. To be honest, I was hoping to dislike them and save the money.. but that's just not how it was meant to go.
Granted, this first book of the series was published almost 10 years ago. So, the approach to mental illness and physical disabilities would probably not do well in today's more hyperaware social approach to diversity. Both are often framed pretty negatively and that's something to consider before reading. If you're uncomfortable with less sensitive comments regarding either or both, this book may not be for you.
As fantasies go, there are moments of creativity.. some with more of a sci-fi bent to them. Be prepared for unusual world-building that exists somewhere between The Walking Dead, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and some seriously old world biblical mythology. Despite the fact that some of it felt a little absurd to me, I do realize in fantasy it's actually all absurd and I'm fine with that. The textures and concepts were just a bit different and I wasn't used to them at first, but they were vividly described and used innovatively to make this fantasy just a little bit horrifying.
Though the way Penryn's thought process is written seems extremely immature for my liking, I believe it's intentional on the part of the author and is more indicative of the character than the author's skill. While I never went through a phase where my brain worked like hers, I did know a lot of teens who could relate better. Did it annoy me? At times. But I got it and it makes sense for the book.
“Oh. My. God.” I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. “You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.” He chuckles. “Evolution.” He leans over as if telling me a secret. “I’ll have you know that I’ve been this perfect since the beginning of time.”
Raffe is an intriguing character and the dynamic between he and Penryn is amusing. I enjoyed reading their banter, I just would have liked Ee to lean into that a bit more. Of course, I was dreadfully displeased with the turn of events toward the end of the book, but I'm hopeful at some point over the next two.. there will be some retribution and healing.
Back to my plan to dislike the books for a moment, I've already gone ahead and purchased the rest of the series and I've added that sale date to my calendar. You win some, you lose some.
If you like a good underdog story with some good battle scenes, a hint of romantic tension, and a lot of risk, you may enjoy this too.
Onto Penryn & the End of Days #2!!!
I loved this book from start to end and now I want to take the second book of my shelf and keep on reading. But that has to wait until tomorrow. Yesterday I read til 4am and now it's 1:30am so it's not very wise to challenge myself with 'just one more chapter' ;)
What a story. Exiting, fast paced, emotional. There are only a few moments I got to breathe, the rest was like holding my breath and going through everything that was happening.
Raffe. My heart weeps :(
Interesting read, I'm curious where this is going to go.
It's the end of the world as we know it. Our heroine is bad ass. Our hero is not just unlikely, but seemingly impossible. A crazy family dynamic and the quest to save a precious loved one. Danger, fantasy, humor, and twists and turns galore! What more can you want, especially when it is all wrapped up in fantastic writing?!
It's a post-apocalyptic world that comes at the hands of the angel. It is an interesting twist on stereotypical angel lore as the mythos of the book is played out. Angels are not quite so benevolent in this world and their actions are devastating for those on Earth. Chaos reigns and it is clearly a time of survival of the fittest.
Penryn is the badass heroine and she is one of all-time favorites. She is tough because she has to be. The world has gone to hell and she has a mother and a little sister to protect. She is determined, even when she knows that that determination is likely to cause her trouble. But she doesn't hesitate in her quest to do right by her family, even if it means sacrificing her own safety.
The story is told through Penryn's eyes, but the other characters are equally as interesting and developed as Penryn herself. One of these is Raffe, the angel that Penryn saves at the unintentional cost of her little sister. He is mysterious and often pretty surly, but even with that, we still are able to get an idea of who he really is through his interactions with Penryn. Her mother, too, is a character about whom little is revealed, but she is important to the story, even if we don't yet know what drives her to act as she does.
The book is amazing, with twists and turns and a story that turns angel mythology on its side. I love post-apocalyptic novels, although I tend to shy away from ones that may have religious themes... like angels. But this is not at all like that and the story is simply amazing. It isn't a standard HEA book, but explores the dark side of humanity through angels, demons, and the humans caught in the middle.
This is a fantastic read and I highly suggest you read it. The story line is gripping and unique!
Angelfall captivatingly blends angelic myth and apocalyptic scenarios to result in a book that is nearly impossible to put down. A strong heroine, noble hero, and unrelentingly urgent plot guide readers through a world ridden with chaos and a few bright spots of hope. Most other angel books cannot compare.
Admittedly, Angelfall begins a bit slowly. The prose is clunky, repetitive and sometimes too self-aware. The post-apocalyptic elements, the decrepit town where gangs rule the street and no one can go out at night, seem unremarkable and familiar. Then the angels come, and everything changes. Penryn doesn’t just have to face street gangs with guns; she has to befriend one of the enemy and go on an epic quest to save her little sister. Whether the prose also improves at this point or its awkwardness is just less noticeable as the plot of the novels picks up, I can’t say for certain, but suddenly the story seems fresh. Even as other tropes of the genre pop up—the rebel alliance, the streams of people seeking haven in large cities—Ee manages to put a supernatural spin on them and make them new again.
Penryn is a particularly well-drawn character for this genre. She isn’t just harsh and she isn’t just disillusioned. The end of the world scenario has certainly toughened her, but she has always been tough and bears the trait well. And beneath that, she has a genuinely good heart, which seems like just the right thing if you’re going to have to deal with angels. Raffe is a great companion for her. The two work well together, a true team, and there’s just enough romantic tension in the novel to make readers swoony and leave them hoping for more in the sequels.
The cast of side characters is equally nuanced, including the kidnapped younger sister, Penryn’s mentally unstable mother, and a whole rebel army. I admit, however, I can do without the twins-who-are-perfectly-interchangeable trope. Seriously, they call themselves Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, which is absurd enough, but eventually they just get called Dee-Dum because, you see, when you’re dealing with twins it doesn’t actually matter which one you’re talking to; they’re just the same person anyway. This is pretty insulting to twins and I do wish it would stop being portrayed in media as cute or the norm.
Parts of the backstory could also use more explanation, but the plot is so engrossing this is practically unnoticeable until the story is over. Then the questions—Wait, how exactly did angels take over the world? And when?—start coming to light. I’m hoping more of this will be answered in the sequels because, as in-depth as Ee describes the present-day world, it all seems a bit hazy when you can’t tell yourself a complete narrative about how it came to be that way.
In the end, however, Angelfall stands out as an imaginative and captivating take on both post-apocalyptic stories and on the angel/supernatural romance. I’ve seen a lot of hype for this book, and it really deserves it.
This is one of those books when, after I've finished it, I just sit there for a moment and think, "What did I just read?"
But in a good way. Angelfall was recommended to me by a ton of people over the last few weeks. Like, I'd never even heard of it (obviously very behind) and once I did hear of it, it was EVERYWHERE. I saw it on lists, I put it on lists! And every single person who I heard from was completely in love with it. So I took the plunge. I ordered it and had it in my hands in two days. And it had been read a very short time later.
Angelfall is only the second angel book I've read, the first being Fallen, and I'm happy to say that this one blows that out of the water!
I seriously can't understand why all the hype is around Fallen. There's literally no reason that I should never have heard of Angelfall before now because it's awesome. I'll admit, I was a little wary when I saw the names Penryn and Raffe (I had an old supervisor in the military named Raffy so that was a little weird for me), but I gave it a chance and I was seriously not disappointed.
The post-apocalyptic world presented by Susan Ee was just awesome. Nothing in this book was typical YA and I loved it because it was so real. No fantasy here (okay, other than the angels) - it's dark and grimy and realistic, which is really just so much better in this context than the romanticized versions that often appear in YA fiction. I could feel the hoplessness surrounding everyone throughout her journey to San Fransisco and the setting definitely contributed to the mood.
The story itself was like nothing I've ever read. Most books that are labeled post-apocalyptic really deal with the "post." Angelfall, however, is right in the middle of the apocalypse itself. And it's caused by angels. Not humans, not global warming - angels. The good guys. What?
I am so intrigued by the little tidbits about where their orders came from. I cannot wait to read more!
And then there were the characters. I could never quite tell how I felt about Penryn. I didn't have any real beefs with her, but there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on that I didn't really love. I think a lot of it had to do with her attitude, but then, it wouldn't have been the same story with her bleak outlook. Raffe, on the other hand...
Oh my god. Come on. How could I resist? Seriously though, Raffe was probably one of my favorite book love interests of all time - he's up there almost equal with Morpheus. And that's saying something. I could feel his anguish over his wings and even over his feelings that steadily grew. The romance, for that matter was so subtle and just so good! I can't wait to get to book two because I'm thinking that will probably be fleshed out a little more. Overall I feel like Susan Ee wrote her characters in such a sympathetic way. Even with the things I didn't like about Penryn, I still felt for her and didn't -not- like her.
So, in case you hadn't picked up on it, I loved this book. I loved it. I already ordered book two and I'm having kind of a fit to get my hands on it. Oh, and I'll just leave this here...