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Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1)…

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) (Penryn and the End of Days) (edition 2012)

by Susan Ee

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9871288,696 (4.24)31
Title:Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) (Penryn and the End of Days)
Authors:Susan Ee
Info:Amazon Children's Publishing (2012), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 290 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites

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Angelfall by Susan Ee

  1. 00
    The Changeover by Margaret Mahy (Anonymous user)
  2. 00
    The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones (Anonymous user)
  3. 11
    Sunshine by Robin McKinley (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both feature a plucky teenage heroine and an atypical love interest. Neither involves sappy eyeroll-inducing romantic dialogue. As I read Angelfall, I was immediately reminded of Sunshine, however Angelfall is a much better book. If you liked Sunshine, you might like Angelfall. I personally hated Sunshine, but enjoyed Angelfall.… (more)

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Oh.My.God. I've devoured this book within few hours and desperately wanted to know more.

I knew Angelfall would be good. There are just that many awesome reviews on this book from the blogs I love...

What I got is a story of post-apocalyptic world destroyed by angels. The cities are in ruins and overrun by gangs. The angels are scary-ass mother f*ckers, dark, cold and twisted. They snatch people off the streets and take them God only knows where. There is lack of food, corpses everywhere and rumors of bands of cannibals...

Penryn is a young girl with a little sister in a wheelchair and a schizophrenic psychotic mother, who frequently believes that demons possess her, and who in one of her moments of clarity makes Penryn learn all sorts of martial arts so she could defend herself from dear mom.

One night when the family tries to find a safe house, they stumble on to a fight between angels. Accidently helping one of them, Penryn enrages the other who snatches her sister and flies away.

Now she has only one goal, - find her sister no matter what. Penryn half enlists half forces Raffe, the injured angel she saved to help her, and while they travel through dark deserted lands and fight for their survival, an unexpected friendship develops...

There are a lot of horrifying moments in this book, it's very intense and action-packed. Penryn is driven by her rage, fear and love, and she makes a very strong and appealing character.

Raffe is more of a silent, enigmatic kind. You can hear more in what he doesn't say than in what he says. I can only guess the whole purpose behind the apocalypse in snatches of info you get from this book, and frankly what I can guess is terrifying.

What if the angels had their own agenda? What if the Messenger of God wasn't actually delivering God's will by destroying the world? Why would angels snatch people?

You have to read for yourself to find out. *evil laughter*

It' was a fantastic read and my only complaint was that I would have loved more descriptions of Penryn and Raffe. I still can't see them clearly in my mind. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]


Six weeks after the angel apocalypse destroys human civilization, Penryn decides to escape from her home in Silicon Valley with her schizophrenic mother and her paraplegic sister, Paige. However, on their way out of town, they witness an angel fight, and the losing angel gets his wings cut off. One of the winners happens to notice Penryn and her family, and poor little Paige gets snatched and taken away.

Penryn enlists the help of the losing angel, who calls himself Raffe, to help her get her sister back, and the two begin a journey to the “aerie,” in San Francisco, where the angels have created some sort of “home base.”

In their travels, Penryn and Raffe run into a group of freedom fighters who are planning some sort of organized attack against the angels. Thanks to Raffe’s new lack of wings, they don’t peg him as one, but they try to keep Raffe and Penryn at their camp until they move, just in case. Penryn isn’t having any of this, so when the camp gets attack by some freaky, tiny monsters who eat people, Penryn decides to make a run for it, much to Raffe’s chagrin.

The two finally make it to the aerie, which turns out to be a 24-hour club scene where angels dressed like 1920s gangsters use human woman as pretty accessories and…socialize menacingly. Raffe gets into contact with a couple angels who agree to help sew his wings back on, so he leaves Penryn to her devices.

Naturally, she runs off to find her sister and ends up in a freaky underground facility where the angels are doing somewhat disturbing experiments. Penryn finds Paige in a pile of bodies, all stitched up after some sort of terrible experiment. Paige can now walk, has razor sharp teeth, and is scarily strong. This comes in handy when Penryn is attacked by an angel.

Then Raffe and the evil Beliel show up. Turns out Raffe got backstabbed, and instead of getting his wings back, he had a pair of demon wings sewn on him instead. Beliel got Raffe’s pretty angel wings. It seems the whole scheme is controlled by Uriel, who’s trying to get voted in as the next Messenger — the humans gunned down Gabriel the day the angels attacked, so the position has opened up. The whole demon wing thing is yet another method of discrediting Raffe, who is actually Raphael.

Uriel and Beliel get away, and Penryn gets stabbed in the neck by one of the freaky experiments, leaving her temporarily paralyzed. Unfortunately, Raffe thinks she’s dead and gives her back to the humans before flying off with his new demon wings.

At the same time all this was occuring, the resistance group from earlier launched a successful attack against the aerie and took it down. While they haven’t won the war, the whole purpose of the attack was to drum up support for the resistance movement, which went swimmingly since they won.

Penryn, paralyzed and thought dead, is carted off to a vechicle with her changed sister and her supposedly crazy mother.

The end.

Cue sequel.


My Take

Yet again, I’m not sure what the hype was for. I thought the plot of this book was pretty action-packed and exciting, and I thought the characters were pretty well done, but I found this one lacking in several respects. I’ll start with what I liked though.

Penryn is a decent character. She’s strong-willed, stubborn, and dedicated to protecting her family, so she drives the plot forward the whole time. Enough of her backstory is filled in that we come to understand her motivations reasonably well. Most of the characters are similarly well-characterized, even though, since the story is told from Penryn’s POV, we don’t learn but so much about them, especially the angels. However, there’s enough information given that the plot keeps flowing smoothly.

The plot, like I said, never slowed down. It was a quick-moving story, and there were no excessive lulls that turned me off. Whenever the pace would begin to drop, another important event would occur, bringing the tension back into the story. Just as it’s supposed to be. No problems there.

I had two major issues with this book though. One of them has to do with the writing, so I’m going to save it for the writing section. The other is the world-building.

Or, rather, what world-building? I was distraught when I realized how sparse the world-building in this story was. It’s an apocalypse story, so you generally expect some detail about the apocalypse. But it was glossed over repeatedly. Sure, you have the standard abandoned buildings and scavenging for food and what not, but the story never goes into any detail about the fall of mankind besides some vague references to angels attacking cities. What happened? Seriously. I would have loved to know how the apocalypse went down.

I also wasn’t quite convinced that the world would degrade so quickly in six weeks’ time. That was a pretty compressed time frame given a lot of the “fall of civilization” descriptions floating around in the story.

Lastly, the mythos concerning the angels was really confusing. I understand that Penryn doesn’t know anything about the angels, but the few details we do get are…not very clear. Why do all the angels look so different from one another? What have they actually done to the world since they “attacked the cities”? What powers do they possess? Why are they so similar to humans? What’s their endgame? What is up with the freaky stuff at the end of the book?

I’m assuming some of the answers are in the sequel, but I wasn’t satisfied with the lack of detail in this one. There was a lot that could have been included that wouldn’t have spoiled any future points — namely details about what went on for the six weeks society was falling apart.

Anyway, on to the writing issue.



My only other problem with this book was the writing. I found it somewhat…basic? There’s nothing wrong with simple writing. Not at all. But this struck me as less consciously simple and more immature. There were too many repetitive descriptions, too many references to eyes, a little too much introspection here and there. The writing style, while easy to read, wasn’t particularly engaging. I think Penryn’s thoughts meander too much too frequently. They could have been more concentrated and delivered the same amount of information in much less time, thus making room for additional world-building details.


Is It Worth Reading?

Well, it’s not bad. But it’s not something I would write home about either. A quick, relatively enjoyable read, but, as often happens with hyped-up books, I didn’t quite think it was at the level the hype suggested it was.



( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
The teenager falling for the handsome de-winged angel was pretty predictable, but the whole scorpion creatures part certainly wasn't. But I don't mean that in a good way. I enjoyed many aspects of the story about angels and their war with humans, but once Penryn discovered the lab with the mutated children, the story took a turn into the world of horror movies -- and I'm not sure I wanted to go along for the ride. I honestly can't believe the book is marketed as young adult!

I like Penryn and am curious to find out what's going on with her mother, but I'm not entirely sure my delicate sensibilities can take another tour around the horrific chamber of nightmares where the angels are experimenting for a reason that's still uncertain to me. There are, after all, lots of other books to read. ( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
I'm conflicted. There are good elements to this story, no doubt, but the pacing just dragged for me. And I didn't really see the Raffe attraction. While the writing was competent, even lovely at times, there was just enough awkwardness and typos to distract me. But few enough that I was willing to overlook them if not for the pacing, which made otherwise minor flaws stand out to me.

Penryn isn't really a Mary Sue, although I was kinda rolling my eyes at how her life just keep sucking more and more. There's a sucky life, and there's piling it on - and it was pretty much obvious to me that it was piled on as a plot device. That is, I don't think Raffe would have been attracted to her as much without all her sucky life elements. While, yes, it's made out that she can survive because she's learned to in order to take care of her family, I can't help but think that this was also all orchestrated so she can have that love/hate relationship with Raffe. Honestly, either her mother or her sister's disability and her loyalty to her family would have accounted for her surviving. Or, maybe just her survival instinct.

It's a catch-22. A lot of the stuff was necessary to the story as written, but as written it seemed contrived to me. But the pieces of the mystery all fit into place. I'm sort of left with the same feeling as after seeing the end of Lost. Yes, everything fit together, but in a way that left me rolling my eyes and feeling unsatisfied. Then again, I think this might have suffered from the same problem that Lost had. Much like Lost built its own hype, only to not be able to live up to it, I think I've heard how awesome this book is so often that my expectations were unrealistically high. And so my rating of this book may change from 2.5 stars to higher if I re-read or change my mind, but for now? For now, I'm just left a little like... eh.

What's a shame is that the ending is so amazing. It's not until the last fifty or so pages that it seems like everything - just how twisted this really was, for example - came into play. Honestly, if you got there sooner? I'd have given this a much higher rating. And I really, really hate to say this, but I really feel like this could use a story editor. The pacing is just dead at times, and then goes into hyperdrive, and then gets slow as molasses again.

There are some good ideas that come into play earlier. Like the angel swords; I like what she did with those, and felt I hadn't seen it in play combined with the angel factor before. (Although I have seen the idea done before in other mythologies; it was the combination of the two ideas that made it stand out to me.)

I had a really, really, really hard time finishing this book. Then again, I'm glad Susan Ee has had the success she's had. She, at least, has the basics of the English language down. ( )
  All_Hail_Grimlock | Oct 25, 2015 |
Angelfall is a YA novel that takes place six weeks after the beginning of the apocalypse, when angels began attacking the world. I don’t regret listening to it, but it did fall into many pitfalls of the YA genre.

Penryn is out on the streets with her wheel chair bound sister and schizophrenic mother when they see an angel getting attacked by some other angels. Penryn’s sister accidentally draws their attention, and they take her before leaving. Desperate to get her sister back, Penryn carts off the now wingless angel who was the victim of the attack to convince him to help her.

I wouldn’t have read Angelfall if it hadn’t gotten good reviews from a couple of reviewers I follow. At this point I’m tired of all the YA dystopia and post-apocalyptic books and how they all feel the same. I also don’t care for the focus on romance and tropes surrounding it that I see crop up in these sorts of books. While the romance subplot in Angelfall never derailed the main plot, it did fall into tropes and make me roll my eyes more than once. It is abundantly clear that Penryn is going to end up with the angel Raffe, who has that added “bad boy” appeal of being in a group trying to kill all the human race. Oh, and he’s also shirtless for a good hunk of the book, because that’s how these things go, I guess. The narrative constantly describes how attractive he is. His voice is described as “husky” at least twice. I felt like I was being beat over the head with descriptions of how blue his eyes were. As a result I was mildly irritated for numerous sections of the book. As a character, I don’t think we’ve seen much of Raffe besides snarky, brooding, hot guy. I certainly didn’t care about him.

Penryn has plenty of admirable traits, but she feels like a protagonist I’ve seen before. Her motivation is saving her little sister (hello, Hunger Games). She doesn’t know she’s beautiful, but of course she is. She’s a starving, waifish teenage girl with amazing fighting powers, although this one is actually justified for once by the fact that she’s been training for five years. While I can think of reasons I should like Penryn, I find her largely forgettable.

I’m not sure about how the disabled characters were handled. For one, Penryn’s little sister no longer needs a wheel chair at the end. The schizophrenic mother… I’m not sure how much she moves beyond “crazy” but that could be the fault of the book’s abysmal character development.

I’m also not sure about how Angelfall treated the female character’s besides Penryn, who had shades of “Not Like Other Girls” about her. The mother is the most common reoccurring secondary female character, but see above. The younger sister exists to be rescued. The two other named female characters are both mean girl stereotypes who are described as blond and super attractive. Penryn gets in a mud fight with one of them (after she flirts with Raffe), for negligible plot reasons. I hope these two characters become more fleshed out in the sequels, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Not to sound all negative, I did think the final section of the book was better than the beginning and middle. There were finally glimpses of world building! I started to care more. The ending almost makes me want to read the next one, but my gripes with other parts of the book make it unlikely.

I should note that while Angelfall uses Christian mythology, the book itself isn’t religious or pushing any sort of Christian message. One of the angels even says he’s an agnostic. Whether this is a positive or a negative to you, know it going in.

Concerning the audio book format, I had no issues. The voice actress did a fine job, and her voice was easy to listen to and understand.

I know I spent most of this review complaining, but for what it was – fluff – Angelfall was alright. I’m probably not going to read the sequel, but if you want something entertaining to pass the time you could do worse.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Oct 12, 2015 |
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Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious.
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Book description
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.
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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." -- P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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