You know those books you read that make you forget to live? Where you finish the book and you sit there for an extended period of time contemplating life and wishing you had short-term memory loss so that you could read the same book day in and day out so that it has the same devastating effect on you every single day? Except, when you read the book for the second time in that same day it still has that effect; it clings in your mind and it turns you into mush. Angelfall is captivating, it’s fast-paced, twisted, lovely and oh so perfect. I read Angelfall about a year and a half ago and expected it to rise to fame, but a year and a half later I’m still horrified that it hasn’t even got its own page on Fangtastic. [Ali’s Edit: EEK! It does now] If that isn’t a life crisis then what is?
Angelfall is your not-so-typical post-apocalyptic romance. It starts of with the timid yet surprisingly badass Penryn whose world has been taken over by menacing, wild and destructive angels who have made Earth their home for the time being and have torn it to shreds. Early on in the story Penryn’s sister (who was crippled and could not use her legs, by fault of Penryn’s schizophrenic mother) is kidnapped by a gang of angels. Through these circumstances Penryn meets an angel named Raffe who joins Penryn in her adventure to the aerie(where the rest of the angels sip champagne, enjoy the company of human females and gossip about heavenly politics) where she intends on rescuing her sister.
From the beginning of the book it’s clear Raffe and Penryn have some serious sexual-tension even though they have a strong dislike for each other’s species and, more importantly, each other. As you can assume this leads to a very interesting dynamic between the two who love to hate and hate to love, which will send romantics(such as myself) into a frenzy. The romance between the two is not what hooked me though, instead it was the strong independence of Penryn who is determined to get what she wants and is quite different from your typical “I need him, he’s my everything” lass. Penryn being such a strong female character is that Raffe LET’S HER KICK-BUTT alongside him and the only thing that ever gets in the way of this is her human strength in comparison to his other-worldly strength, otherwise he sees her as an equal.
While it’s clear I’m always more affixed on the romance than every other thing, I also can’t handle a story that isn’t going anywhere. Angelfall is full of surprises diverse characters who have an “I’ll save myself before I begin to attempt to join/begin a revolution” which is not found in most stories. These characters, even though they’re schizophrenic, crippled, wingless, etc, are realistically human. In terms of an apocalypse most of us will happily live day to day, selfishly and safely, as opposed to fighting for the rights of humanity in an odds against your favor scenario.
Angelfall is filled with action and it has a dash of side-humor that adds to the character-building and helps you feel more attracted and attached to the characters. I’ve said this before: I love reading a book and wondering about the rest of the character’s stories. With every passing character, even the underdogs, I want to know what interesting stories Susan could have created for them because clearly they have something to say and something to listen to. Angelfall is busy and constantly changing, nothing stay dull or the same or constant; you can’t even rely on Raffe to stick around (mild spoiler). A book that’s not predictable, that’s complex and pushes the boundaries is a book worth recommending because it’s a book that’ll twist your heart in ways you don’t ever predict.
I have a challenge for anyone who reads this review, then reads Angelfall and loves it. I want you to spread the word about this book as hard and as fast as you can because it is a book worthy of five-stars, it’s a book worthy of Harry Potter style fame, it’s a book better than any other I have ever read and it deserves to be read by anyone and everyone. I recommended my boyfriend read it and he’s that “I don’t read, ever” type of reader and he loved it. This book isn’t specifically attractive to one gender, it isn’t specified to an age group and it attracts simple-readers and complex-readers alike. I promise anyone who reads this book will love it and you will feel so much physical attachment to the book that you may just want to grab some tissues, a punching bag and something to cuddle because it’s a rollercoaster of a book and I can’t promise you won’t have a mental breakdown in the process of it all.
Format: B-format paperback, 336 Pages
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 28, 2013