My Review of Angelfall
Angelfall, first book in the Penryn and the End of Days series, is really well-written, with a lot of things to love in it. Lets start with the fact that Penryn is not helpless, but she’s not super-powered either. She’s not fantastic with a bow, she can’t kill with a touch… What she has had, though, is lots of years of self-defense and other lessons, and a strong dose of common sense. That is so refreshing to read in a young adult book with a female protagonist. I mean, I liked The Fifth Wave, but Cassie was pretty dependent on the others around her to survive, whereas Penryn is all shouldering the burden, and pushing on. She does team up with someone, yes, but its obvious she did it because she thinks its the best chance of getting her sister back. Not because she desperately needed someone to fight with or for her.
The other thing of note that I loved is that the mother is paranoid schizophrenic, and Ee writes her so well. Yes, she’s a peripheral character, but you really get a sense for the fact that she loves her kids, she fights her mental illness as much as she can, and yes – she’s terrifyingly crazy and not in control of herself. Its this weird mix that anyone who has dealt with someone who has a debilitating mental illness can look at and go “Yep. Yep, that’s pretty much perfect.”
The characters are also really well-done. Even though it obviously involves a nod to Christian mythology with the angels and whatnot, religion doesn’t play a huge part in this book. The Christian God is mentioned, but never as a character that directly interacts. Instead you’re thrust into a bit of a power struggle amongst the angels in the midst of the destroyed human world.
The only thing – pretty much literally the only thing – I didn’t like about this book is the attraction between the main characters. Why does Young Adult have to equal kissy-face? Why couldn’t they have just been reluctant allies or even grown into friends without attraction entering into it? Don’t get me wrong, its not like they were holding hands and professing their undying cross-species love at any point, but the attraction is there and its a detractor to the rest of the story! Its not necessary. Not every young adult story with a female lead has to have a romance in it! Gargh! At least this one didn’t have a love triangle.
Overall, really well done with only one thing I had a problem with (which, if I’ll be honest, is more because I’m curmudgeonly and expect more from my books than it being an actual problem), and a story that is an original twist on a plot line that’s definitely nearing “beating a dead horse” territory.
Title: Angelfall | Series: Penryn & The End of Days #1 | Author: Susan Ee (site) | Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton | Pub. Date: 2011-5-21 | Pages: 288 | ISBN13: 9781444778519 | Genre(s): Young Adult & Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: Dead kids are seen x 2. | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-1-24 | Source: Kindle Unlimited
Like the idea, but angels not your thing?