Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee


Angelfall by Susan Ee
Series: #1 in the Penryn and the End of Days series
Release Date: 2012
Publisher: Amazon/Feral Dream
Pages: 283
Received: Bought
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf
Goodreads Page


Summary

From Goodreads:

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 Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister, and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. Ee's debut novel is a promising opener to what looks to be a YA series worth following, one that explores what it means to be human and what it means to be a hero.

Review

Ho-lee-cow

I'm sorry if this review is incomprehensible. It's just. THIS BOOK. It makes me want to bash my keyboard with capslock and bold and italics and underlining and maybe even adding extra colors for emphasis and abuse the exclamation point like a sugar-rushing third grader.

All in a good way. No, make that all in a TOTALLY AMAZING MIND BLOWING EARTH SHATTERING WAY!!!1!!1!!  

Penryn gets ALL my BFF charms

I'm not sure if I'm cool enough to hang with Penryn, but I'm forcing myself on her because she is the awesomest ever AND she's sure to keep me alive during all the post-apocalyptic craziness.

She's tough, realistic, and extremely no-nonsense. I award her all the points in the universe on the simple fact that she knows how to stock up for survival situations. Meaning, she grabs all the good supplies and doesn't pass over the weapons (which, duh, why do characters always leave them behind?? PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU! Arm up ladies!!).

But, she's also down to earth. She's not some hardened unable to relate with warrior woman who never makes mistakes. She's just a smart, normal girl thrown into a sucky situation and trying to make it through alive (as the laugh out loud angel wings scene clearly demonstrates). Also, she's super loyal, which is a trait I definitely want my post-apoc friends to have in spades.

Penryn's life is really crappy

Her mom's not exactly stable and has spent most of Penryn's life babbling about evil demons and engaging in crazy, erratic behaviors that may or may not have led directly to Penryn's little sister's paralyzing injuries. But, hey look, now there really ARE demons (er, angels) flying down from Heaven on a mission to violently obliterate humankind. So, yay mom?

Except, even if she's technically right about the post-apocalyptic dangers, she's still off her rocker. Which is kind of a liability. As is taking care of a wheelchair-bound tween (even a saintly one like Penryn's little sister). So Penryn is basically saddled with navigating a post-apocalyptic world of massive danger with two of the WORST possible survival buddies imaginable.

And you know me. I have zero tolerance for injecting useless characters into post-apoc settings. But not here! And, ok, some of my being ok with this probably comes from the fact that Penryn's sister gets snatched by an evil angel early on and so while she's often on Penryn's mind, she isn't slowing down our odds of survival. Penryn's mom also bows out toward the beginning of the book and appears in odd but convenient ways later on. So, points for all that.

But it's not just the people making her life awful. There's also all those angels killing people and basically turning the world into a post-apocalyptic wasteland of danger and death and suck. But don't worry, it's not depressing. There's too much peril and action and ohmygoshDIDTHATJUSTHAPPEN to be depressing.

Penryn also has great internal commentary and her banter with Raffe is funny, charming, and overall fantastic.

Baby, someone call God 'cause he's missing an angel

Did I say Raffe? Oh dear lord there's Raffe.

Raffe is, well, he's just HOT. He's an angel, but he's not particularly interested in killing Penryn or, really, any people (angels though, he kills the crap out of angels). I'm not sure why yet, and while I'm kind of curious, I also really don't care. Because he's that kind of hot. The kind where he could do horrible things and then smile and say something snarky and I'll melt into a puddle of swoon.

But Raffe doesn't really do horrible things. He might have in the past, we don't know (the man's a mystery, of course), but during his time with Penryn he's pretty much gorgeous, snarky, sarcastic, devoted, protective, badass (what this man can do with a sword!), smart, supportive, and funny. And all that's wrapped up in general rugged manliness.

Also, that past? He has secrets! Secrets I can't talk about. But secrets I SO want to talk about because, eeep!! Intrigue! Politics! Warring factions!

AND, it's slow burn hate turned love! With lots of glorious, snicker and swoon inducing banter. 


Prepare yourself for gore

I'm issuing the Don't Read This In Public warning because Angelfall made me exclaim out loud (very loud) a bunch of times, and that can get kind of weird if you're in public.

There were a lot of "OH MY GOSH" and "That didn't just happen???!?" and "HOW ARE BOOKS LIKE THIS??" and "I've never read anything like this!!" And general exclamations of "THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. EVER!!" and lots of mentally running around in circles screaming and flailing with excitement and fear and dread and love.

I'm lucky I read the book in a few days (and therefore didn't prolong my embarrassment) because I spent pretty much the entire time uncontrollably flailing my arms and spouting off half-sentences about the amazingness of Angelfall and how everyone should read it and how I'm in awe and similar half-coherent babbling.

And also, "EEEEEEEEWWWWWW"

Because, yeah, just. EW. There are a few things, but this one scene in particular. Oh, but wait, there was also that other scene. Oh, and those things! I don't know that I've ever read anything so horrifying, disgusting, awful, gut-punchingly sad, disturbing, and awesome. The fact that Susan Ee's writing made me feel like I was actually there experiencing everything upped the jaw-dropping gross factor by about a bizillion.

Which is all to say that I was really, really into Angelfall.

Bottom line

I will auto-buy every single book in this series (which, at present is a projected five). Why do I even have to wait? I don't want to wait, and with that cliffhanger ending, I don't know if I CAN wait. I'm not sure what to do with myself except maybe re-read Angelfall and then pace around in circles pulling at my hair and mumbling incoherently.

And, I know I'm all about suggesting people wait until all the books are published if there's a cliffhanger, but, please, don't wait. I need to talk about this book with people. I need to push it on everyone I know. I need to buy it for my library and every other library on the planet. I just. Well, I highly recommend Angelfall.  

Side note: It was Krystle's review plus the five free chapter preview that made me buy Angelfall before I actually read the whole book (and if you know me at all, you know I'm super cheap and almost NEVER do that). Obviously, I'm not regretting that purchase.



Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 



Do you have any questions about Angelfall that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!


32 comments:

  1. AHHHH MY GAWD. Everyone I know has loved this book. Everything you said resonates with me. (5 books? Wowza. I thought people were uncertain about when the sequel would be released...) The special shelf? 5 stars. An awesome, kickass heroine and hot romantic interest and "AND, it's slow burn hate turned love! With lots of glorious, snicker and swoon inducing banter." and gore and post apocalyptic and ....

    Why haven't I read this yet?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you should definitely read it! :D

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  2. I also loved this book, and I love the way you expressed your love for this book :) It's not something I would ever have predicted that I would like, especially as angel books are not really my cup of tea, but it was so dark and apocalyptic and just great.

    Great review, you captured all my feelings perfectly :)

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    1. I don't usually like angel books either, but this was SO unlike any angel book I've ever read. It reminded me more of the angels in Supernatural. I'm glad you loved the book too!

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  3. Wow, sounds like there's a lot going on here. I know what you mean about useless characters. Would Prim from Hunger Games qualify as useless? I guess she's not around most of the time though. There's Rue (was that her name?) but she did suggest those wasps.

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    Replies
    1. Hm, no, I don't think I'd consider Prim a useless character. She isn't in the book much, so she doesn't make the plot revolve around taking care of her or fixing (and paying for) any dumb mistakes or limitations. Neither did Rue.

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  4. I've seen this one around but I just thought it was your ordinary angel book so I didn't bother looking twice. After reading your review, I'm clearly mistaken. Now I'm really curious about this one and have to check it out.

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    1. Oh my gosh, it is SO not an ordinary angel book. :) I'm very curious to see what you think of this one.

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  5. Okay, seriously. THIS BOOK. It's definitely one that didn't receive much attention (as far as I'm aware), but the people who did read it SWEAR BY IT. I've never heard such high praise for a book as I've heard for Angelfall.

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    1. Nope, it hasn't received much attention at all. I think because it was self-published and then Amazon published instead of Big Six published. It is so completely amazing though! It puts most Big Six published books to shame.

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  6. I was shocked by how much I loved this one, Small! It's so good and waiting for book 2 is torture! I hope we continue to get lots of scenes with Raffe and Penryn. Lol, who am I kidding? Just give me Raffe!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad you loved it too! Hehehe I think I love Penryn and her scenes as much as Raffe! Waiting is totally torturous :P

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  7. Small!! Why do you do this to me!!
    You make it sounds like I HAVE TO READ THIS NOW
    and last time I listened to you, I ended up hooked up with a bunch of Princes Charming!!! and it was awesome, but I'm kind of in the middle of exam week at work!!!!!

    Now all I'm going to be able to do is think about this book rather than grade exams!

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    Replies
    1. haha you DO! Just, know that this one is crazy violent and disturbing and so not at all like the Princes Charming (or is it Prince Charmings? :P) IF you do get hooked though, fair warning, you'll want to drop everything and just read!

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  8. Eeeeee, you loved it!! Isn't is amazing? I'm so glad you FINALLY got around to reading. I can't wait for the sequels.

    And you are totally cool enough to hang with Penryn in my book. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Ep yes!! Haha it took me forever to read it! Far too long, though I can't imagine having to have even more time to wait for the sequel.

      Aw, thanks! I totally want to hang out with someone like her.

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  9. Oh, this book is on my shelf, and all your underlines, exclamation marks and bolded caps locked words - I MUST READ IT!

    AWESOME review!

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, read it now! :D I hope you love it as much as I do! I left it on my shelf unread for faaaaar too long.

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  10. The paperback is $3.65 on Amazon! I am SO buying it!

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    1. Oh my that's even cheaper than when I bought it! It's so worth that price!

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  11. I've had this on my TBR for quite a while now...I keep wanting to read it but review books get in the way! I am definitely bumping it up on the list now! Great review!

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    1. Ugh, I hear you about the review books. I had this book for a while before I finally made time to read it. I hope you find the time to read it soon, and then I hope you love it as much as I do!

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  12. Woah, slow down!!! You sound all amped up. I can't believe you enjoyed this one as much as you did. I think I've had this one on my kindle FOREVER and never read it. I heard from a couple of my favorite reviewers this was goo - but I had no idea it was fantastic - special shelf even. WOW! I'm so swamped with my review list, but this review makes me want to slip some time in for this one. I don't think it will happen, though.

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    1. hehe I'm totally amped up about this book! It's just so different and more what I wish for in this type of book, but rarely actually get. I'm not sure how you'd feel about it overall, but I definitely think you'd at least enjoy some parts of it. It's brutal.

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  13. PS wasn't this a kindle freebie for a long while? How did you get turned onto this one?

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    1. I think it was, or at least I know it was 99 cents or something super cheap like that for a long time. It was Krystle's review and the five free chapter previews (both linked toward the bottom of my review) that got me hooked.

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  14. Yours is the review that has convinced me that I should read this one. I had been avoiding it for whataever reason but trust your judgement so....it's being reserved at the library!! Great review, thanks!

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    1. I hope you love it as much as I do! It's definitely a brutal book, but, wow, it's so many things I wish more books were like.

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  15. YESSS!! Small, you are the absolute BEST cheerleader for the books that you love! Not sure if I've ever told you that before, but it's so true. You're also a horrible tease! I mean, I want to know more about these things that caused you to exclaim so! I know it's awfully morbid, but I'm always up for some good, gory scenes that keep you on your toes and totally gross you out. I've been wanting to read this book for quite a long time now, from back when the first extremely positive reviews started coming out, but I kind of forgot about the book and now you've just made me so dang excited about it all over again! I need to move it up my tbr!!

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  16. ....I own this book.....WHY HAVE I NOT READ IT SOONER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! OMG!! OIENFSDLKFJOEWIRNASDFKLAW I NEED THIS NOW!!! RAFFE!!!! PENRYN!!! ACTION AND HATE TURNED LOVE ROMANCE!!! WHY CAN'T I STOP USING CAPS LOCKS!?!

    Okayyyy...that's embarrassing. But considering you love this book, I feel like you could relate :P I can't wait to read this book because I want to gush right alongside you. Heck, I haven't even read it yet and I'm beyond psyched! And I have a feeling I'll be a blubbering, swooning mess. And I need someone to be a blubbering, swooning mess with me. I'm signing you up. Definitely coming up on my TBR! I vow to read it before summer's end!!

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  17. I thought this book was excellent and have already pre ordered the next one which comes out in October. Nice to finally see a strong female character!

    Maycee Greene (SEO Seattle)

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  18. I simply loved “Angelfall”. It was intense and racy. I particularly enjoyed the conversations between Penryn and Raffe. I actually finished the book in ONE WHOLE DAY, not a day more or less.

    http://moviesbooksandmoreblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/book-review-angelfall-by-susan-e-e/
    :)

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