December 16, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

susan ee-angelfallAngelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee
August 28, 2012
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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.


First sentence: “Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious.”


This is an incredibly top book!

What Angelfall did with me was swipe its leg, making me fall on my face before it blasted me out of this world by the sheer awesomeness of the story and the characters. Seriously. It’s that good. Who would’ve thought I’d enjoy angels? I’m just in awe that Susan Ee convinced me that angels can be awesome.

This book was very much post-apocalyptic with a huge dose of sci-fi (that’s almost like an alien invasion) in it by the end. Instead of the typical alien invasion, we have an angel invasion. It’s beautiful, really. What happens in Angelfall is absolutely horrifying in the best way possible! This book is dark. Gruesome shit happens. You will cringe. (At least, for me, I did.) Prepare yourself for those scenes. It’s horrible, but Susan Ee writes in a way that is simply great.


  • Non-cliché angel tropes! 

Absolutely very few angel clichés are in Angelfall. I find any YA books about angels to be annoying and frustrating. They are usually plagued with a lot of stereotypes like the MC falling madly in love with the angel dude because he’s super attractive and ignoring all logical thought when the angel dude is trying to kill her or the angel dude being a big time asshole or the MC discovering she’s a vessel for Lucifer or whatever. However, Angelfall avoids it well.

Angels aren’t romanticized. Yes, they’re insanely beautiful, but they do pretty horrifying things. They aren’t underestimated. They are to be feared. They can get tempted by human females (even though they are forbidden to procreate with them).

I love that the cause of apocalypse is because of angels. Not zombies or an asteroid hurling itself to Earth. Angels, who were sent down from the heavens to enact the will of God. And it’s not because human beings were being horrible so God decided to punish them. Interestingly enough, these angels have no idea why they’re even on Earth doing this; they just do what they’re told. I like that we get to see how utterly clueless they are in their situation.

Of course, there are a couple of typical angel tropes in Angelfall, but it didn’t bother me because of the way it is portrayed.

  • Penryn, the badass heroine & Raffe, the swoon-worthy angel!

Penryn is a heroine of my heart. You can’t help but admire her strength. She is extremely loyal to her family – her crippled sister and her schizophrenic mother. Her relationship with her mother is complicated. Penryn could abandon her mother, but she doesn’t because family is everything to her. You have to admire her loyalty to her family, especially to someone who is “crazy” and entertains dark thoughts. Penryn can be stubborn because she’d do whatever it takes to get her family back together, even if that means she has to rely on an angel to take her where she wants to go. She’s strong and knows how to fight well (because of her martial arts training). She can hold her own. She is all around amazing.

I don’t swoon for angels, so it’s a pretty big deal when I say that Raffe is pretty swoon-worthy. Let’s disregard his physical appearance because all angels are insanely gorgeous (and I find that unbelievably cheesy), and talk about how he is not your stereotypical angel. Usually, all the male angels I’ve read come across as aloof and moody, but Raffe is nothing like that. He’s sarcastic and witty. He helps and looks out for Penryn when he doesn’t have to since he could easily overpower her. For reason, what thrilled me was the fact that he’s [spoiler]agnostic. Who has heard of an angel not sure about the existence of God?[/spoiler] That is kind of awesome. That gives him so much depth because he’s just as clueless as humans.

Of course, we do get gratuitous shirtless scenes of Raffe. Extremely cliché. I couldn’t help but laugh. It would be amazing in a film. Just saying. ;D

  • Romance is not the focus.

The romance isn’t the main focus. There is a hint of it between Penryn and Raffe, but it isn’t the driving force of Angelfall, which I love. Penryn and Raffe have a very lovely rapport. They are a good team. They banter really well together (and I like that Penryn sometimes can’t think of a good retort). It’s not wit being thrown back and forth in an unrealistic way. They can handle each other – both in the way they talk to each other and in the way they fight each other. They’re well-matched.

One of the things I love about their relationship is that it’s a slow build of trust between them. They have their reasons not to trust each other, Penryn more so than Raffe. Penryn doesn’t fall madly in love with him, which is a big thumbs up from me, but she is attracted to him because he’s fucking gorgeous. (Who wouldn’t tbh?)

  • The post-apocalyptic/sci-fi world + horrifying stuff.

Angels totally fit into the whole post-apocalyptic idea, but sci-fi? That totally blows my mind. It’s very weird. I hadn’t expected the book to veer into something that is very sci-fi, but it did. The angels were—I don’t know how to describe this in a way that won’t spoil things, but wow. Fucked up shit happens, especially to people’s body, and it was so fascinating to read. A look of horror was semi-permanent on my face. The thought of people’s body totally desecrated or eaten is an image I would not stomach if I saw it in person. (It’s expected though since the world is terrorized by angels and street gangs.)

Also, Angelfall is set in the Bay Area! So, I was obviously happy when I recognized the places, specifically in San Francisco, that were mentioned. I could clearly imagine it all because I’ve been there.   The aerie, which is in the Financial District and where the angels frequent, is a weird place – only because the club the angels hang out in is like they took a time machine back to the 1920’s. I kind of like it. It’s interesting to see how angel treats human beings as subservient to them.

By the end, you’ll find yourself questioning what the fuck the angels were doing. (My mind still can’t process it.) I would not survive in this world.


There are plenty of things I’m leaving out because I don’t want to spoil anything. You have to read this book to find out. It will totally blow your mind and possibly scar you. Angelfall proves that angels can be awesome.gradeA-


5 Responses to “REVIEW | Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee”

  1. I don’t think I’ve really read any angel books. I’m not sure why. This sounds amazing though!! I really want to read this! I’m glad that this one wasn’t annoying and cliche or anything. So cool that it’s in the bay area! My sister lives there! I love it when I see places I recognize in books. =) Totalyl going to check this one out!!

  2. Nikki says:

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Seriously amazing right?!?! You are going to love the sequel, too. There is so much more awesome to come!!

  3. Nara says:

    I loved this book too! It was so great to see a book where there weren’t the typical angels! I loved Raffe, which made that ending so much more terrible :'(
    hahaha Raffe shirtless scenes ;)

  4. Seriously I need to read this damn book!!! I keep seeing person after person rave about it, but to be honest the hype scares me. I have an aversion to angel books, so I’m glad to hear that it’s not cliche (*coughs* Unearthly). AND I’m very glad to hear that romance is not the focus. That will definitely make it better for me :)
    AND I love post-apocalyptic and science fiction! I want to go read it now….but I have other things I need to read first *sigh*

  5. Let me say first that I read your discussion about annoying comments and that’s probably why I started following (and well, because of REASONS) but please do excuse while I

    OMG OMG you already know how much I fangirl about this book but JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH I LOVE IT. Like this was the book that sealed my deal with YA. And…and…and…I mean…RAFFE. Like c’mon. Screw romanticizing, I need some sexy times from him and Penryn. Well Penryn or me. Why aren’t I fictional? ;_______________;

    So yeah, I hope we both love the World After and asdfghjkl

    I die.

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