posted at Sunday, May 19th, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Sadie Hawkins, Young Adult
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Skyscape on February 14, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal
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.
Recommended by: Steph of Cuddlebuggery
First Sentence: “Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious.”
Right now, I am so happy with myself for coming up with this feature. Keep suggesting all of the wonderful books to me, you beautiful people. I’m riding high on two awesome suggestions in a row. *basks in the glory of good books*
I’m going to warn you up front that the awesomeness of this book makes me want to swear, and I believe in being true to my reactions to books, so if you can’t handle a foul-mouthed review, this is not your day for my reviews.
Obviously, I’ve heard tell of Susan Ee’s Angelfall. I mean, heck, the average rating among my friends on Goodreads is an almost unheard of 4.45, since I tend to befriend the pickier side of the internet. That’s not just based on a couple of reviews either, but over thirty. Such things do not happen often. Oftentimes such hype can end in disappointment, but I am thrilled to announce that Angelfall is still badass, more than I could have anticipated.
Susan Ee’s post-apocalyptic landscape is horrifying on just about every level and I love it so much. Like with so many, humans are scattered and suffering, surviving off of whatever they can scrounge up in houses and stores. Humanity’s doomed whether they deal with the attackers or not, because agriculture’s sort of important, yo. Also like a number of other post-apocalyptic scenarios, our heroine, Penryn is with helpless family to protect: her crippled little sister and her batshit insane mother. So, basically, she’s fucked. Some people might want to cut and run, knowing their chances of survival were better alone, but Penryn loves her sister Paige and her mom, broken though they are in different ways.
The attack that happened? Yeah, that was motherfucking angels. Pretty intense, no? Susan Ee takes the whole Christian angel mythology and does something totally awesome and horrific with it. I would like to give her a fistbump for this. These angels definitely have more of a scary Old Testament flair, and, based on their actions, if they are controlled by a god, he’s not too pleased with humanity. How incredibly creepy would that be to realize your religion was both right and wrong? Oh, look, here come the angels down from Heaven to take the good people . . . and kill them in nasty ways. Only, not so much just the good people but all of the people. Pardon me while I evil laugh at how bitching this is.
As the book opens, Penryn, her mother, and her sister stumble across this like angel showdown. This angel with white wings is getting beat down by a whole bunch of angels with colored wings, even though white winged dude is obviously strongest. How often does a series open with the romantic lead getting the shit beat out of him and his fucking wings chopped off? Not often, and I dig it. I love to see strong characters not win every fight. If they don’t, everything comes too easily and there’s no big emotional payoff and no fear that they might not make it through.
Anyway, Penryn manages to startle the angel group sort of by accident and chase them away, but they freaking swoop down and flap off with Paige like a hawk grabbing a bunny for dinner. Obviously, Penryn is pissed and determined, so she has to try to save this damn angel, so he’ll tell her where the fuck to find those other angels so she can get Paige back.
Penryn and Raffe, the angel, engage in some pretty great banter, both when they do and do not feel kindly disposed towards one another, so that’s awesome. I like how Penryn often can’t think of a clever retort, because that is so me, but that sometimes she thinks of one and I am all proud for her. Also, I love that Penryn and Raffe don’t treat one another all that differently as they grow fond of one another. Like, yes, they help each other more and are more considerate, but they don’t go from snarky to sappy at all. They stay true to their characters the whole time, which is awesome. Oh, and, just fyi, I talked about love interests and all of that, but there really isn’t much romance in this one, so don’t let that scare you off. More like there’s a ship there if you wanted, but you don’t need to sail on it to have a good time.
From this point on, I can’t say much, because spoilers are evil. BUT I will say that there’s some seriously creepy shit in this book, like a couple of scenes that join the list that haunts my brain. *shudders* Ee definitely also joins the list of authors not afraid to do monstrously awful things to their characters, which has me jumping around in malicious glee. Book two could go positively anywhere and I love that.
The only thing missing from this experience for me was an emotional connection to the characters. Oddly, I do really like Penryn and Raffe, so I’m not sure why I didn’t bond. Sadly, I didn’t. Scary things would happen and I would admire the awesomeness of the moment, but I never felt any concern for them. I was just watching, not sucked in. Of course, that’s such a personal thing, and I wouldn’t let that stop anyone else from picking the book up, because, as I said already, this book is bitching.
There’s a reason everyone’s talking about Angelfall. Go read it.
“When he smiles, he really does look like someone you’d want to get to know. Some otherworldly handsome guy a girl could dream about.
Only he’s not a guy. And he’s too otherworldly. Not to mention that this girl is beyond dreaming about anything other than food, shelter, and the safety of her family.”
The next Sadie Hawkins Sunday book will be Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons, suggested by Lisa V. Now that I know what to expect from the series, I hope that I like this installment a bit more than The Bronze Horseman! *concentrates on being in the right frame of mind*
Want to tell me what to read? For more details, check this post.