Thursday 23 May 2013

Angelfall review

Susan Ee
May 23rd 2013
Hodder & Stoughton

The official print edition of the internet phenomenon. Already over 8,000 five star reader reviews. (And counting.)

It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain. 

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. 

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back...

*Not actually spoilery, but could be considered as such, so beware  if you don't want any minor spoilerage.*

I'd heard about some of the hype for Angelfall when it was first published and it felt like everyone was reading it, but I hadn't really been that interested in it or knew what it was actually about until I was very kindly sent a copy. While I did enjoy it a lot, and I couldn't put it down, I don't think that it lived up to the crazy amount of hype that it had/that people are now trying to recreate.

The concept of Angelfall and the world building was really good and interesting - it was different from the other sort of apocalypse books that I've read and the angel books that I've read, and I can totally see where the comparisons to The Road are coming from and it was probably the part of the book which engaged me the most (which is really surprising considering how much I dislike The Road - though I think that's mostly because we did it in English Lit and NOTHING HAPPENS IN IT ugh. Sorry. I'll appreciate it when I'm older.) Back to Angelfall!

I appreciated the grittiness and brutality of the world that Ee has created, it felt a lot more post apocalyptic than other books of a similar type that I've read lately and I really enjoyed feeling genuinely quite scared at times. As you may know, I love scary books where horrible creepy messed up things happen and boy does Angelfall have a lot of creepy messed up things in it. It was gross, and I loved it.

However, most of my issues with the book came from the characters. I feel as if I would've enjoyed the book a lot more if it was about different people or if there hadn't been any romance in it. I liked Penryn, but at the same time I couldn't really get a grip on who she was. If the apocalypse had happened only 6 weeks ago, would she already have adapted to life with angels attacking and the world kind of ending that quickly? And that well? There was very little conflict in herself about the situation that she and the world had ended up in, and I don't know, it felt like they would've needed more time to adjust? I would've liked to have seen more of what she had been like before. Though I loved her drive and her determination to save her sister.

Raffe was really my main problem with the book. He was your typical sort of YA paranormal love interest, I suppose, and there wasn't anything actively wrong with him per se, I just thought that it would have been way more interesting to read if he wasn't a superhot teenage looking angel that would inevitably lead to a romance. I bought Penryn and Raffe's friendship and I really liked that, but then the romance kicked in from basically nowhere! It's like one minute there's no romantic tension and the next minute something happens to Penryn and he just goes batshit about trying to save and stuff and I'm just sat there like 'what the hell?!' Why can they never just be friends?! But that could have just been me who felt that so if you are looking for a post-apocalyptic-romancy-angel-y sort of book, then you'll really love this.

I will say this though: I could hardly put it down. It's short and the chapters are short and fast paced, and it was just completely gripping even if I didn't really understand or like what was happening, which I think is generally a good thing.

I think I will read the next book, because I'm curious about what's going to happen next and I do like Penryn and I'm invested in her story and this post-apocalyptic world, but I personally feel like the hype around it has let it down a bit and it didn't fully meet my expectations.


  1. Oh yeah, we've totally read books like this. Where you breeze through them and you're totally sucked in, yet it's not exactly something you're falling in love with. *shrug* Sometimes that's okay. But yeah, we wish the hype was more realistic.

    Thanks for the review!

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