Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia
Published (UK): 23rd May 2013 (Hodder and Stoughton)
It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.
Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.
When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back...
Angelfall throws you straight into a world in which angels have come down to Earth and essentially destroyed it. Penryn now lives in a society with intermittent (at best) electricity, food shortages and where going outside not only puts her at danger from the angels themselves but also humans who have to fight and steal to survive. If all of this wasn't bad enough she has to care for her wheelchair bound younger sister, Paige, and her mentally unstable mother. When Paige is taken by angels, Penryn helps one of them survive against a street gang, panning to get information from him about where her sister has been taken. This leads to an unlikely collaboration between the two as they journey to San Francisco.
Before reading Angelfall I was really excited about the concept but also a little concerned that it might not live up to expectations. Thankfully it did and I really enjoyed reading it. Okay, so the world building was a little sketchy in places - I'm not sure society would degrade quite so quickly - but as the plot was fast paced and the characters draw you in so I was easily able to look past it.
Penryn is a good protagonist, tough enough to survive but vulnerable enough to make it interesting. Raffe, the angel, could have come across as a little bit too perfect - but y'know, he's an angel. However, there's much more to him and at times when you aren't quite sure why he's helping Penryn - or even if he really is. The relationship between the two is an interesting one; they should hate each other but they have to learn to work together to survive and get to their destination.
I think one of the things I like best about this book was that the angels were basically proper angels in that they were warriors first and foremost. In other angel stories I've read they aren't very often portrayed in this way and it made a nice change.
I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequel to this one.