Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Title: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: Fantasy, young adult, dystopia
Summary: On Goodreads
Pages: 255
Reviewing: Style, dialogue, characters, plot
Rating: 9/10

OH MY GOD, I LOVED THIS BOOK SO SO MUCH! Everything about it was just made of so much win! The more young adult books I read, the harder it is to find something that I truly like, so now when I do find something that manages to break past my wall of apathy, I will well and truly engage in fangirl mode. So be warned.

In Angelfall, we are introduced to a world that six weeks ago, was a world that you and I could relate to. Now though, it's a post-apocalyptic mess. An army of angels attacked, bringing down cities and causing destruction worldwide. Now, anarchic gangs rule the day and things that go bump rule the night. It's a free for all.

Meet Penryn, a seventeen year old girl who is out with her clinically paranoid mother and disabled seven year old sister Paige one night when they find themselves in the middle of a fight between one lone angel and a group of them. Pen's mother runs away, but Paige gets snatched by the angels, so Penryn rescues the lone angel Raffe, who has had his wings cut off. From there onwards, a wary truce is formed between the two as they both have a common goal - to find their way to the angels' base so that Raffe can get his wings sewn back on, and so that Penryn can find her sister and bring her home. Cue ensuring chaos.

The introduction and set up for the plot was swift, we were thrown straight into it, and we had enough running commentary from Penryn to get everything we needed to know and to picture about the world without overdoing it on the descriptions. Everything was witty and fast paced, a style that was consistently carried through the entire novel. I loved Penryn's smartass comments - often I found myself laughing aloud at her observations or choice of vocabulary. And don't get me started on the amazing dialogue interplay between the two leads...!

“Why were the other angels attacking you?" 
"It's impolite to ask the victim of violence what they did to be attacked.” 

“Here, I’ll show you how to use it. Let me see your foot.” 
“That’s a pretty intimate demand in the angel world. It usually takes dinner, some wine, and sparkling conversation for me to give up my feet.”

You can really tell the author is having a lot of fun with this, and, hey, good snappy dialogue makes for some class A character interaction. With a lot of other books that I've come across, I couldn't really feel anything for the mains and for their romantic interests, just because so much of the chemistry that occurs has to be conveyed via dialogue. But in Angelfall, the dialogue sparkled, lifting the characters from the pages and bringing them to life in my mind.

Penryn has this tough sarcastic survivor chick edge going for her - she has pretty honed fighting skills, having been advised by her crazy mother to take them in case she ever needs to defend herself against her mother. Yet she's also this vulnerable girl who wants nothing more than to piece her life back together. She, like Katniss from The Hunger Games, has no dreams of glory or of being at the forefront of the action. She just wants to be on the sidelines, head down, getting on with it. Meanwhile, Raffe comes across as an arrogant, cocky teen, albeit in angel form. Yet, thankfully, he is also protective, loyal and most definitely cares about Pen - these traits only manifest later on, in his wingless state when we get to see a more vulnerable side of him.

I'm not going to say too much about the plot, so that you won't have anything spoiled, but rest assured that it's pretty dark at places, and there are a few nasty shocks - things I was definitely not expecting at all when I read this.

Final Thoughts