Review of Susan Ee’s Angelfall


I picked up a copy go Susan Ee‘s YA novel, Angelfall from the KDP free list.

Description from Goodreads:
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.

I thought that this was a pretty good read. There were some really great parts. Such as the paranoid schizophrenic mother who forced her daughter to take numerous self-defence classes, in case the daughter should ever need to defend herself from HER. That does something moving to my insides. I also liked Penryn and Raffie, as well as Obi and his crew.

I did occasionally wonder where all the normal people were. I mean there had to be a few non-homicidal or non-victimised people out there. There just had to be. But Penryn only seemed to meet up with potential murders or completely broken people. That didn’t feel particularly realistic to me. Sure there’d obviously be some, even a lot, but EVERYONE?

That’s a small quibble though. I only have two real complaints. One is that the whole thing had a bit of a ‘we did this, then I did this, and then this happened’ feel to it. This is often hard to avoid with any first person, present tense narrative, but I REALLY felt it here. What’s more, it felt very much like we were JUST getting an accounting of what Penryn was doing, without feeling like it was also leading up to anything. It felt like it just so happened that this minute to minute accounting of her life occurred in the midst of a post-apocalyptic dystopian future, as opposed to this future angelic war zone and her contributions to it being pivotal to it in any way. Interesting, but unimportant to the whole. I’m not saying that was the case, just that it felt that way.

The second is that the question of WHY is never addressed. It’s a bit like reading a novel set during D-Day without anyone knowing or telling the reader what World War II was about or why June 6th, 1944 was important. This lack of understanding stole a bit of the gravity from the story.

On the whole, however, I read it in a day and enjoyed it. I’d even be interested in picking up the sequel at some point.

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