Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

     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.

  Angelfall by Susan Ee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know when you've been underwater for a couple minutes and come up for air and take the longest breath ever, and it feels a little bit like Heaven? That's what reading Angelfall is like.

I always find it extremely hard to explain why something worked for me. It's much easier to explain why something should be thrown in the trash. Still, Angelfall worked brilliantly. I spent all of New Year's Eve reading this book, and it took me 4 hours to fall asleep after that last chapter.

As with nearly all the books I read, my rating is based mostly on the characters. Raffe and Penryn are both extremely unusual and thoroughly wonderful characters. I love how their behavior is consistent with their personality, a rarity in most YA's.

World-building is a crucial part of dystopian novels, and Susan Ee excels in this regard. Penryn's world is brutal, harsh, and raw, where angels are at the top of the ladder and humans at the bottom. Nonetheless, this novel is still far from depressing. Ee has a very dark and dry sense of humor and it shows in unexpected ways throughout the story.

The only reason for the 3.5-4 stars is that I couldn't really bring myself to fall in love with this book. I loved it far more than I have most novels, but it lacked that "obsessed with" factor.

That aside, Angelfall is truly a fantastic novel well-deserving of all the hype. The long wait till the next book is certainly going to be an excruciating one after that cliffhanger ending!

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