Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Susan Ee: Angelfall

In her debut novel, Susan Ee introduces a new world where Angels are not the guardians of men but the killers of men.

Angels have descended on Earth and reaping their own type of an apocalypse on the humans. They are demolishing everything in their path and the government and religions around the world have fallen, therefore, street gangs now rule the cities and Penryn now has made the decision that she and her family need to flee to the countryside. On the night that Penryn decided to leave is the day that the Angels decide to make an appearance in her city, but it is not to destroy it but to destroy one of their own. Penryn does something she never thought she would do, making a deal with an Angel, but if it means saving her family then Penryn will do anything to achieve it. Penryn learns more about Angels she realizes that there is more to them than what has been on the news, and that there may actually be some good in them, but Penryn knows she can never trust them, even though she desperately needs an ally in her fight for survival.

I actually did not realize that this was a YA book when I picked it up, I really need to start reading the premise better to know what I am getting into. I should have looked at who published it first too, but I am actually glad for my mistake because all of that said all I can say is WOW, Truly WOW. This book was amazing; I was engaged with the story and yes even the main character. I had no idea that YA novels could be as dark as this novel was, and there were even times that I was questioning whether it should be classified as a YA novel. I did not want to put this book down and when I was finished I went searching for the next book (coming out October 2013).

Ee really knows how to engage the reader right from the first pages and create a compelling story that makes you want to read more and more. I was also surprised that this was her debut novel. It was overall interesting, dark, gritty, well written and the world building was superb. Additionally, Ee was able to introduce something new to the paranormal genre for me, having the Angels be the cause/reason that the apocalypse occurs was a new concept for me. Furthermore, I really liked that not all the Angels were beautiful, and I look forward to learning more about their culture and hierarchy in future books, as while this information is touched upon it is not fully explained, but this fact does not take away from the book, I just find those aspects interesting.

I found the Penryn was an interesting character and did seem to have that mix of adult and youth within her personality. There were times that I would forget that Penryn was in her teens as her actions were that of an adult, and I have no doubt that this stems from her childhood or lack there of. Penryn for the most part has a very grown up relationship with Raffe that at times I wondered if Ee would take there relationship that much further, making this book not very YA in my opinion. However, there were times where Penryn showed her age in some of her thoughts and the language that she would use when talking to Raffe.

As I stated above I was surprised at how dark the book is at times considering it is a YA book. I think that Ee flirts with the line between YA book and adult book with some of the content she covers within the book as well as some of the description that she gives in some of the situations. I have not read that many YA classified books, but I do not remember any of them being this dark. I am not complaining about this fact, I like books that are on the darker side, I was just completely surprised by it in this book. I think that Ee made some great choices in where the story went and was able to get into the mindset of the dark side which makes me hopeful for the next book.

This book Blew Me Away and it was even better because I was not suspecting it at all. I think this book would appeal to both young adults and adults (but I do not think that young teens should read this book). Ee was able to surprise time and again with how dark her writing could be and she kept the suspense at a high most of the time. I am really looking forward to reading her next book, well done Ee with your debut novel you have set a new standard for me as to what a YA book can be. Dont' be surprised if you read this in one sitting, it is that good.

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  1. Perhaps her book should be listed as upper YA. Most YA books now have adult themes. My book has a 19 year old protagonist and she is in college.I describe it as Upper YA

  2. @yolandap: Thanks for the comment. I agree with the Upper YA designation, while the main character is 17 in this book, the themes are very much adult.
    Thanks again :)

  3. Sounds like a very dark book, but glad that you ended up enjoying
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  4. Hooked from the beginning! I knew I'd like this book from reading the fallen series, similar in ways but more gory. I can't wait to read the next one,, it has left me wanting more! Brilliant :)

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Can't wait for the next one, hope it is as good as the first. First I have read from this author, will definitely be happy to read more from this writer.