Book Nerd Review by Sarahjane
If you haven’t heard of Angelfall by now, may I seriously ask where have you been? Even if like me, before I picked this up and started reading this, you have no inkling what this book is about you must have heard about it. It’s been in numerous magazines as “The One to watch” or “The Next Big Thing.” It’s been advertised on Facebook and Twitter, the amount of 5 star reviews is astounding… this was a book I just had to check this out for myself.
In the beginning, it starts with a single feather drifting slowly down from the sky. This ephemeral thing however is not a symbol of hope, but one of dread and despair. Angel’s aren’t all their cracked up to be in Susan Ee’s debut novel. The novel follows Penryn, a 17 year old trying to help her frayed family survive in a post-apocalyptic California. But her mother is what I can only affectionately describe as a mad-hatter and her younger sister is wheel chair bound. Caught between a rock and hard place, in a war she doesn’t understand, she witnesses the barbarous stripping of an angel’s wings, she makes the decision to intervene to help the angel, and in doing so she antagonizes the angels to the extent to where she is forced to watch, hopelessly, her sister being taken. Now, I know what some of you are thinking of, this is a Suzanne Collins, L.A. Weatherly mash-up. But this so much more.
The relationship between between Penryn and the wingless angel Raffe is at the heart of the novel. As they form a slightly precarious truce in order to help each other out. Penryn’s arrangement and the alliance is a gripping element to the story, as she is torn between her developing friendship to one of the harbingers of death and pumping him information. Though not a typical romance story, like that of Twilight of Shiver, Penryn’s feelings are completely relatable. She’s new to the world of romance, and besides as Raffe is keen to point out and Angel and a Daughter of Men is deadly mix, and as they slowly discover that Angel’s aren’t necessarily the worst thing to hit the Earth, despite the utter forbidden nature of any romance, the reader wants something to happen. And as Raffe and Penryn are both so totally stubborn and witty, you’ll find pages being eaten away very quickly as they fight the horrors of the world trying to reach Paige (Penryn’s sister) and a surgeon capable of reattaching Raffe’s wings and wade through the confusion that their alliance brings.
The relationship on reading, is not centre stage. Primarily because Penryn the protagonist refuses to acknowledge potential feelings and resolutely refuses to believe that an angel could have feelings for her. But the snippets of sexual tension, so clear to the reader, are excruciatingly tantalising. At times, I just wanted to bang their heads together, force them onto the same page… but at the same all this builds to a truly heart-wrenching finale, in more ways than one. And I wouldn't change a minute of it.
Even the spookily deranged mother who is rather disturbing. Her character adds some truly black comedic moments, and I hope there is more of her to come. Her reaction to Raffe and Penryn, especially, I can’t wait to read.
This book is truly worthy of each and every one of its 5 star reviews, and I sit in eager anticipation for the next installment.