Angelfall by Susan Ee
I picked up Angellfall solely based on recommendations and many 5-star reviews on Goodreads. I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book and, in all honesty, I was a bit skeptical about how I was going to like it, if I was going to like it. As the name suggests, this story involves angels and my experience with this genre has been mediocre at best. I've read a few angels books before, all of which either fell flat or were very hit and miss. Because of that, or in spite of that, I went into this book without no expectations and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
The story follows a girl named Penryn who forms an alliance, an iffy one, with an angel named Raffe in order to save her sister from the rest of the angels who happen to reside in San Francisco. The thing is that humans have an anti-angel sentiment due to the mass amounts of destruction the angels have caused since their arrival and the angels have an anti-human sentiment for whatever, still unknown reason. This, obviously, causes complications in the alliance and makes it difficult for Penryn to totally trust Raffe. On top of that, Raffe happens to be an exiled angel so he isn't exactly on good terms with the angel community that they are trying to infiltrate.
I really enjoyed this read. It was surprisingly fast-paced and to the point. Considering that this book is the first in a series of five, I would have expected there to be so much introductory information in this novel. I would have expected lots of setting up of the story, establishing the characters, introducing the main plot, etc. This novel cuts through all that fluff. It gives you the information you need in order to understand what is going on at the time and the rest comes in bits and pieces along the way as needed. I loved this about this novel. Not many books can do that. Not many books have done that. This one does it perfectly.
Throughout the course of the book we are introduced to several intersecting characters. Aside from Penryn and Raffe, of course, Penryn's mom is the one that fascinates me the most. She's a very strange character and I'm excited to see what role she plays in the remainder of the story. There are the twins, Deem and Dum, who are hilarious and almost seem superhuman when it comes to their spying abilities. (They kind of remind me of Fred and George Weasley)
The novel itself is a bit dark, particularly towards the end, but not in an overwhelming or overly-scary way. I liked the dark elements, especially because with the background story and with all that was happening in this world, those elements needed to exist for the sake of the story. The dark aspects were balanced with plenty of funny moments thanks to the quick-witted humor provided by many characters, mainly Raffe and Penryn. I was constantly smiling.
There is still a lot of unknown but that's to be expected. The next book will also, probably, introduce new subplots that won't be explained or resolved until later in the story line. I'm very excited about this series and will definitely be reading the sequel, World After(which I hear is even better than this one), and eagerly anticipating the rest of the books to come.
Angelfall is an exciting, fast-paced novel with well-developed characters and a captivating story line. It is a must-read for all fans of young adult fiction.