I picked Susan Ee’s Angelfall at just the right time. Coming off the high of reading and totally adoring Wicked as They Come by Delilah Dawson, another debut author, I am fully convinced that rookies know how to play with the big boys. And that’s a wonderful thing.
Susan Ee’s post-apocalyptic series takes place in Silicon Valley, California. In only six weeks the world has been brought to its knees by the hands of beautiful, yet destructive angels. There’s little order among the chaos as gangs terrorize by day, and the supernatural terrorize by night. One night, 17-year-old Penryn and her family take their chances and a brave the night to find a safer harbor. But once they witness a major struggle between an angel called Raffe and his fellow brethren, it ends with the lone angel beaten and wingless, and her little her sister being abducted by the winged terrors. They must begrudgingly team up with one another so that they can get back what they want most; Penryn, her sister, and Raffe, his wings. And they face almost any and every danger along the way.
This book would have taken me by surprise, but the high ratings and praise made me pretty confident that it would live up to the hype. Though I’m capable of thinking for myself, I have to side with the majority here. It’s a fantastic new series and it’s definitely one of my favorite dystopian novels. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for all things paranormal and this book blends both elements perfectly? I’m not going to try to figure it out, but it just works. Every time I had to put the book down, I really didn’t want to. And if that’s not a sign of a good read, I don’t really know what is.
The cover is really cool. I like the simple, but understated feel to it. It sets you up for a complete surprise once you begin to read the book because it’s filled with tons of creepy and pulse-pounding moments. Penryn and Raffe’s uneasy relationship is surprisingly endearing and it only gets better as the book progresses. I wasn’t sure what to expect since this book seems to be classified as young adult, but I found there to be a number of mature subject matter involved and the only thing separating it from an adult novel is the lack of sex, though the themes are there.
Speaking of themes. There are a number of others that Susan Ee brings to light in this book from racism, to misogyny, to religious beliefs, to human experimentation, to rebellion, to fractured family life. Each setting is structured to tackle these issues, or at least bring them to light for the reader to ponder. But it’s easy to see that it’s all under one big umbrella of deceit.
The book only lagged for me once when they reach a resistance camp. I think it’s because that’s the only area of the novel where it felt like your standard dystopian fanfare for the oppressed to strategize about how to take down those currently in power. With a book so unique, this scene stuck out to me like a sore thumb, though it’s still manageable and the book does move along to other places.
There’s very little to complain about on my end. I highly recommend this book. It’s only $1.99 right now, so you’re not breaking the bank too much if you want to give it a try. But I personally think you won’t be sorry.