Full Review : Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days) (Amazon Link)

Series : Penryn & the End of Days
Volume : 1 of 3
Year Published : 2011
Genre : Sci Fi – Dystopian / Young Adult / Fantasy

Edition : Kindle eBook (Available free on Kindle Unlimited)
# of Pages : 288 (Paperback edition is 326 pgs)
Time Spent Reading : 4.3 Hours


Synopsis

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.


Review

The setting is a post-apocalyptic urban wasteland, not far from present day. The remnants of humanity are scattered and struggling after bands of avenging angels have swooped down to decimate them. The conflict between humans and angels seems complex and interesting. I was immediately full of questions- what are these angels, are they angels in a biblical sense? Are the remaining humans struggling on earth in a sort of left behind scenario?

Penryn is our main character, a spry and resilient teenager from a dysfunctional family. She is protective of her disabled sister and deranged, fragile mother. I found her family situation to be sort of reminiscent of The Hunger Games, but original in its own right and uniquely developed. Penryn doesn’t have many answers about the increasingly complex world around her and is just struggling to survive and keep her family intact.

At the start of our story, Penryn’s sister is kidnapped by a group of angels- and she haplessly saves a newly wingless angel, Raffe. The two travel together to search for her kidnapped sister- and unravel his dark and mysterious past. Their foes are human and angel alike.

For being such a fast read, there is a lot going in. The survival aspect is viscerally effective as Penryn struggles to stay fed and find shelter. At some points she’s on the run or captured. There’s some light sci-fi and horror. Also a pinch of enemies-to-lovers romance that expands towards the end. The climax and finale won me over completely with its grandiosity and surprises. I’m definitely open to the sequel!

I found a lot of the dialogue between the characters to be awkward and unlikable, the characters come off as dim which is very much at odds with the mature storyline.

The story is quite dark, replete with several violent or disturbing moments that seem better suited to a New Adult novel. Penryn’s inner voice is intelligent and competent at vivid descriptions. There is creative imagery here and effective writing, so I was disappointed with the comparably lesser quality character interactions and hope the sequel will work on giving the characters more charming and memorable, meaningful interactions.

Overall Rating – 7.5/10

Why You Should Try It – Fantastic writing and editing, ambitious storyline with lots of room to grow, high stakes action that encompasses multiple genres- action, adventure, sci-fi, horror, drama. Strong heroine. Very exciting climax and and the ending that left me wanting more.

Critique – Some of the violent imagery is extreme for a young adult novel, I think this would work better as a new adult novel. Character interactions needed more charm and depth.

Click Below to check out Angelfall on Amazon.

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days)

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