I am often very specific with my book choices. I usually read books that have either been recommended to me, are renowned, or have been well-received by readers. However, every so often I pick up a book that I have heard nothing about and decide to read it; examples would be Charm and Strange or Under the Never Sky, both in which I randomly picked up at my local library and thought I would give them a try. I came across Angelfall when I was reading some reviews on The Forever Song; Goodreads had recommended the book in the ‘Readers Also Enjoyed’ section. Completely oblivious to the glowing reviews of Angelfall, I thought what the heck and read it.
A point that many others and myself can agree on is that Angelfall is an enjoyable read. Though it has a shaky start, once it takes off Angelfall is certainly entertaining with enough intrigue and action to keep you interested. Penryn is a likable main character that is multidimensional and well-written, and she was my favourite aspect of this book. Despite having all attributes of the ‘badass female character’, she also has insecurities, fears and anxieties with substance, and flaws. She was also fiercely devoted to her family, regarding them with the utmost love and importance, and never for a chapter does she forget her overarching goal and why she sets out on her mission in the first place.
Though the writing for Angelfall is decent as a whole, when Raffe, Penryn’s unlikely companion who is an angel, is described, it reads like soft erotica. The superfluous descriptions of his contoured, muscular, athletic body read a bit like that one erotica book that I read. There was an astounding amount of description of his body, how perfect and Adonis-like it was. The energy devoted to describe Raffe’s muscles should be devoted to developing his character. Raffe may not be human, but from Angelfall, he has shown to have human-like qualities and emotions. He is lofty, and pretentious, but who is he under that facade? (I have no idea. I want to know.)
In extension to my qualms regarding this book, like some of the other reviewers have pointed out, it seemed strange to me that most of the world has been decimated in a short six weeks. Angelfall takes place in the United States — I find it unbelievable that the nation known for its military-industrial complex and excessive spending on military was somehow destroyed in such a short time. I understand that Angelfall is an urban fantasy, so it necessitates suspension of belief, but the lack of thought with this aspect inclined me to believe that this important plot point was contrived and haphazard.
This ties in with the exposition in the novel – in which there is hardly any. I understand that the condition in Ee’s world is intended to remain mysterious and therefore ethereal, but it was a detriment to the substance of the novel. Though midway through the book we gain a little insight in what happened and why things are the way they are, even that was unsatisfying. For what, I assume, was intended to make me more curious made me feel frustrated. Angelfall is a great story, but as the background or history is unknown to the reader, it requires the reader to take too much of the story on faith. For me, it felt shallow – the unfortunate part is that I know it isn’t.
Nonetheless, Angelfall was a good read and I will give the second book, World After, a go in the future. My hope is that Ee will delve further into the history, nature, and condition of the angels; I loved reading those small, sparse parts about them, so I hope we will learn more about what they are, and why they are on Earth. Angelfall has a lot of potential, so I sincerely hope that this is just a small start to a fantastic and great finish.
Book Name: Angelfall
Book Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Author: Susan Ee