Monday, 11 May 2015

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (2012) (Hodder & Stoughton)
Susan Ee
Grade: B-
Genre: young adult / supernatural
Source: bookbridgr
Penryn & the End of Days: (1) Angelfall
TBR RBC 2015: A bookbridgr title 

Six weeks ago, angels came to Earth and destroyed humanity as we know it. The streets are deserted, houses are ransacked and for those lucky enough to still be alive, it’s a fierce survival of the fittest. Seventeen-year-old Penryn is left distraught when an angel flies away with her wheelchair-bound younger sister, Paige. Enlisting the reluctant help of Raffe, an injured angel she finds on the streets, who’s been cast out by his own kind, the unlikely pair make their way across the devastated landscape with individual missions in mind: Penryn will do absolutely anything to get her sister back and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies in order to be made whole again.

I first saw this on the ‘recommended reads’ shelf in Waterstones a few months ago and was immediately drawn to the beautiful, beautiful cover. It’s even better in person, as the title and each little ridge on the wings are embossed, creating a stunning overall effect and proving that simplicity is key. I’m glad to see that the other two books in the trilogy (World After and End of Days) follow the same, simple and stunning cover design. Seeing Angelfall on bookbridgr more recently, I couldn’t say no.

This is a great twist on the usual depiction of angels as holy, pure and all-round good beings. The angels of this world are acting on God’s orders, which they follow without question. Humanity is left devastated as angels continue to roam the land and destroy what’s left. Humans are helpless against angels’ greater power and the prospects for the future of the human race are dismal. I like the strength of Penryn’s conviction and every time a hurdle falls into her path, she just finds a way around it. Raffe is a lot more reluctant to cooperate with Penryn and it makes for a funny relationship as they increasingly come to rely on the other. I’m interested to see how their relationship will evolve over the course of the trilogy.

I am highly tempted to read books 2 and 3 of this series, but I’ve resolved only to do so if they become available on bookbridgr; I simply cannot buy any more books. The world that Susan Ee has created is dark and twisted and perversely unputdownable – how can anyone want to wish for the end of the world? Raffe is a constant mystery and I can imagine that he has a huge following amongst fans of the series. This isn’t exclusively a young adult series and the darkness of the storyline edges the book towards the adult end of the spectrum and I would encourage readers of all ages to pick it up. Angelfall began life on the internet and is one of those rare-but-growing phenomena in publishing that start life on the internet before making the transition to traditional print. If that’s not a testament to how good this series is, then I’m not sure what more I can say.

Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction.

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