Angelfall by Susan Ee, published by Hodder and Stoughton on 23rd May 2013
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...
I want to start this review by admitting that I'd not heard of this book prior to receiving a copy; a fact which amazes me because I've since discovered that 'Angelfall' is an internet phenomenon and garnered more reviews that most other books. If you're as in the dark as I was, then I want to plead with you to read it now!
I love angel books but sometimes find them slightly formulaic because it's a subject which so many authors have written about. I imagine it must be hard to find a fresh approach. I thought there was very little new ground to explore but I was wrong. Wholeheartedly and completely wrong. Susan Ee has taken a subject which I'm fascinated with and intrigued me even more. She's covered new ground, developed a new angle for the genre and produced a five star, spellbinding read.
The premise of the story is that angels have attacked humanity and people are now living in fear for their lives. Penryn is trying to protect her mother and younger sister Paige when they are attacked and Paige is taken. The plot focuses on Penryn's struggle to save her sibling, whilst at the same time, trying to survive in a hostile world.
Penryn is a fantastic character. She's desperate to get her sister back and is willing to do anything to achieve that. She places herself in dangerous situations but never loses her head and never loses sight of her goal. She has to face some terrible sights in the book but she is single-minded and won't back down whatever the personal cost.
I found myself unconsciously rooting for Penryn and Raffe, the wingless angel, before even really realising how much I liked them together. Although she starts off only helping him to get him to lead her to the other angels, they develop a very strong bond throughout the book. I'm looking forward to seeing this grow further in the sequel to 'Angelfall'.
There are a couple of gruesome bits in the story which I could probably have done without, but these do reinforce the horror of the world which they now inhabit and which they have to try to stay alive in.
This was a stunning, spellbinding story which absolutely captivated me. It's hard to list all the things I loved about it but it pulled at my heartstrings and captured my imagination. Please do read it because you won't regret it!