Book Review

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

angelfall by susan eePublished: August 28 2012

Number of pages: 283

Format: paperback

Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing

Genre: apocalypse, dystopian, urban fantasy, romance

Audience: YA

Rating: 3/5 owl hoots

Find it on Goodreads | Chapters Indigo


Six weeks after the apocalypse and the modern world is demolished. Street gangs rule the day and survivors struggle to remain alive on whatever is left. Penryn, a seventeen-year-old girl is determined to rescue her sister after angels kidnap her. But not before she meets a wingless warrior named Raffe, who she saved after a vicious fight. Travelling through North California, both the broken angel and Penryn learn to rely on each other for survival as they journey to San Francisco to rescue her little sister, and for Raffe to do anything to become whole again.


I read this book because it was selected by the YA Book Club as this month’s reading. I don’t normally read dystopian as they are not my forte, but the story included angels so that piqué my interest. Thinking about a dystopian story with angels demolishing the modern world, my first train of thought was angels + hell on Earth = Daughter of Smoke and Bone. At least those were my initial thoughts after reading the synopsis. I love the DOSAB trilogy but since this was a new series unfamiliar to me, I was cautious to begin reading with no expectations, as I had no idea what I was going to be in for.

First let’s talk about our heroine: seventeen-year-old Penryn. She is one tough chick and is trained in all arts of combat which is convenient when you are surviving after an apocalypse. Right in the very beginning, Penryn already has a lot on her plate: here little sister is handicapped and kidnapped by angels, her mother is delusional and wanders off, and she rescues a broken, wingless angel named Raffe after he is pulverized by other angels on the street. This is where her adventure begins, right at this moment when she and Raffe first meet and after some bickering they somewhat agree on helping each other for survival.

Penryn is the only human who has ever fought against an angel which is very impressive considering her age, and she has proven to be resourceful in all kinds of complicated situations, like infiltrating the aerie. I had a few minor problems with Penryn’s character like how she doesn’t ask enough questions, which I found rather unusual for someone who is calculating and cool headed and knows how to grit her teeth. Of course she isn’t always alone, after working things out with Raffe he eventually takes a liking to Penryn. Like in all YA romance, we have an attractive teenage girl who meets a dead gorgeous male, and I’m getting pretty tired of reading YA romances beginning this way. But the mystery behind the apocalypse and the angel mythos was enough for me to keep reading the story.

I love how Susen Ee grabs your attention from the first two chapters and plunges you into a different modern world that is in complete chaos, and a society were survivors are left to live on whatever scrapes they can find. This is more then a romantic YA story as there is mystery, angel mythos, and a coming-of-age story about a teenager in an apocalyptic world where everything has gone upside down. This was a pretty good read and as much as I enjoyed the ride, there were parts which I thought was awkward like the clubbing scene; seeing angels dressed in 1920s style and lounging at an Art Deco club is pretty weird to me. I also wished we could learn more as to why the war happened and what motivated the angels to strike disaster on humanity, but perhaps we will learn more about that in the sequel. A recommended read for dystopian, urban fantasy, and fans that love kick-ass heroines as much as I do.


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