Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #13: Angelfall

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #13: AngelfallAngelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Skyscape on February 14, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal
Pages: 254
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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 thatΒ  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.

Favorite Quote:

“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.”

Up Next:

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.

22 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #13: Angelfall”

  1. Yay! Glad you liked it and it lived up to the hype! Sounds fantastic and the fact that there wasn’t much romance is great too, I love me some romance like any person but sometimes it’s good to not have romance. Awesome review Christina! I cannot wait for when I get the chance to pick this up πŸ˜€

  2. Lynn K. says:

    The part where Penryn discovers the stacks of children, I imagine them looking like this.


  3. Angie F says:

    Yay! I’m glad you liked this one! It was so awesome! I don’t even like angels, but those? Scary and awesome! πŸ˜€

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

  4. Bonnie R says:

    I was thoroughly surprised at my love of this one. I tend to stay away from angel books because they tend to go too religious-y on me and, no thanks, but this! This was pretty badass. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    • Christina says:

      Me too. I was afraid it would go religious-y on me, but religion only reads like the foundation for the plot and not like a message. I can roll with that. There are good stories in religion. By all means make use of them so long as you don’t try to convert me!

  5. I read this a couple years ago and was blown away by it. When is the next book coming out? I’m dying here waiting, especially after that ending.

  6. I loved this one too. I remember hearing rumors last year about this story being made in to a movie. It would definitely be interesting to watch.

  7. Danielle says:

    Gosh I’ve had this for months and have never looked at it, it was a freebie and I thought it was probably lame(facepalm) and now your’s is the second rave I’ve read in five mins lol. When my ARC month is over I’m definitely going to try this one out.

  8. More like there’s a ship there if you wanted, but you don’t need to sail on it to have a good time.

    >inset my Bless This Post gif< Hells to the yeah! But I need those two to end up together. I NEED IT! If Ee sinks my Ship there will be consequences on a grand scale. Lol. Also, I am rocking these Sadie Hawkins. Now to throw in some Marchetta! πŸ˜€

  9. Kat Balcombe says:

    Huzzah! I’m so glad you enjoyed this, I had a feeling you might πŸ˜‰

    Now, when the hell is the next book? *waits impatiently*

  10. Amy says:

    I only skimmed your review since I plan on reading it. I have seriously heard nothing but awesome things about it. My fabulous friend Lauren bought me a copy and I really do need to get to it. Fantastic review!

  11. IT’S ABOUT TIME. Sheesh! I’m thrilled that you loved Angelfall, I’m so impatient for the next book. loved that seriously creepy shit–there had better be more of it in book two. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Evil/conflicted angels are so much more fun than all those saintly ones.

  12. meg says:

    I completely relate to feeling like an observer as opposed to a participant. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book and cannot wait for the rest of the series, but it’s not a Melina Marchetta (aka a book that completely sucks me in to the point where I feel like I’m drowning in it).

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your recommended reads!

  13. Ashley says:

    Great Review! I loved this book, so reading your review reminded me of awesome the story was. The angels in the story were so dark and powerful.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  14. Still need to read this. I hate myself.

  15. thebookwurrm says:

    When is the sequel coming out? I usually can’t stand angel YA books but this one I liked quite a bit. I LOVED Outcast by Adrienne Kress which you absolutely need to read. It’s so bloody brilliant.

  16. Amanda says:

    Awesome review, Christina, and yay for you experiencing the awesomeness that is Angelfall! I only read it myself a few months ago, but I was pretty impressed with it overall. Now if only we could get some indication that a second book is actually happening at some point.

  17. Megan K. says:

    I’m not alone! I didn’t quite feel the connection between the characters as well, which is why I had to knock off a star for the book. Other than that, though, Susan Ee did a marvelous job with the world building and angels. To be honest, I actually expected romance between Penryn and Raffe, but surprise! There was nothing except mutual attraction. Good. >:) Fingers crossed that more info about the sequel will be out soon!

  18. Angelfall aka. Angels behaving badly I’m so glad you enjoyed this. There is some scary shit in this book. Hey I used a f-word – you are contagious. :p

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