Author: Susan Ee
Release Date:August 2012
Angelfall for me was a random cover read that ended up making an unexpected impression. All I knew about it was that it was originally self-published (which I admit, generally makes me a little wary) and the Goodreads synopsis (which, these days, also make me wary [you can never sort out the good ones from the bandwaggoners when all the synopses are the same]) I was oh so pleasantly surprised when I not only became addicted to this book (like read-the-whole-thing-in-one-sitting addicted) but also found some genuine quality in this humble self-pubbed gem.
After a war between man and angel destroys modern civilization, main character Penryn witnesses angels attack and cut off the wings of another of their kind, an angel named Raffe. They leave him to die, but not before kidnapping Penryn’s helpless, wheelchair-bound little sister. Penryn, determined to rescue her, kidnaps the dying Raffe and his wings, with the intention of using him to find the angels who took her sister.
This book is an insta-love-free zone.
Even if there’s romance in the end, it sure doesn’t start out that way. I appreciated how their relationship in the beginning was very true to their setting and situation – she is trying to survive and reunite her family. He is vulnerable from his near death experience. They are enemies. They will use each other to get what they need. It was only over time that they earned each other’s trust. There were times when I questioned their motivations in staying together when it seemed that Raffe could overpower Penryn easily, plus his life debt to her was quickly evened out, but it never went so far as to be unbelievable. The romance was almost just a very deep friendship; it wasn’t flawless, but for the most part it was natural and made sense.
Penryn’s a tough cookie.
Ee was masterful in creating a fast-paced but well-balanced plot and writing the action in a way that wasn’t confusing and that made Penryn come out all the stronger. She had her girly moments, but she was a tough cookie – admirable, likable, stupid in a brave way, true to herself and knowledgeable about how to survive in her world.
Some people should beware of the gore – personally, I thought it enhanced the reality of the post-apocalyptic setting and the situation. I wouldn’t call it gratuitous. But it’s definitely there. Also: prepare to get addicted.
Angelfall isn’t a masterpiece – it has its snags (character motivations, sparse setting) but for its genre and intent, it does the job and does it very well. I was highly impressed. Publishers can polish up anything they think will sell, but it doesn’t mean it truly sparkles – and Ee’s book may have its rough spots, but her genuine talent shines through. 4 stars.
Order Angelfall from Book Passage HERE