Penryn & the End of Days #1
by Susan Ee
Published on August 28, 2012 by Skyscape
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal, Young Adult
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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.
Angelfall has been on my radar for a while now but it didn’t occur to me to sit down and read it until more recently. Although I think the book is over-hyped, I’ll definitely pick up the sequel.
The first thing I noticed was the writing style. Some authors have a distinct voice. Some use lots of flowery language. Some are attempting to create the next great paperweight. Susan Ee kept hers light and easy to read, flowing from one scene to the next with little resistance but plenty of tension. The story moved along at a fairly quick pace but never seemed to lack anything.
I’ve determined Penryn is exactly the kind of person I’d want on my side at the end of the world. She’s resourceful and has a will to survive. If angels were to suddenly descend and attack the earth, you bet I won’t survive without someone like her. As to her mother… that woman needed to just go. Hated her through and through. I understand that she’s family but it seemed a smarter move to make sure she was safe and just leave if you’re going to leave. But Penryn only has her family and it causes her to go on quest with the enemy — an injured angel named Raffe — to get back the third member of her blood, her sister, taken by angels.
Now Raffe, he was an angelic god. Lethal but with an ease about him that read like the bad boy trope so common to YA (angel) books. Thankfully it didn’t progress into the cliche romance between him and Penryn, though they definitely held each other in a certain regard and I can see something happening in future books.
Poor Raffe (and his wings).
Raffe’s brethren, as I mentioned, took Penryn’s sister, sparking the entire plot of this book. The plot was solid enough but I couldn’t help but think throughout the entire book that from a survival aspect it would be smarter to accept her sister as dead. Heartless, I know, but like I said, I’m thinking in terms of survival which is a main factor driving Penryn’s actions.
One of the things I docked stars for included the blatant sexism that appears later on in the story. Women designated to laundry while the men soldiered about. Women reduced to nothing but pretty faces and slutty attire to please men (angels). It was unnecessary but at the same time fitting. This book isn’t afraid to get dirty when it comes to the darker aspects of living in an apocalyptic world. Especially considering what Penryn discovers about the angels and the “work” they’ve been doing.
I loved that this book didn’t focus on everything that seems to take over in young adult novels about angels. Off the top of my head, I can think of three sitting on my shelves and none of them stand out from the other. To be honest, I don’t even think I could tell you what happens in them anymore; they all blend together. But not Angelfall. I picked this book up as an eBook along with the rest of the series but I’ll definitely be investing in physical copies because these books are keepers.