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Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1 | [Susan Ee]

Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her 17-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival.
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Publisher's Summary

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her 17-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister, and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

©2012 Susan Ee (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Ee’s debut novel is a promising opener to what looks to be a YA series worth following, one that explores what it means to be human and what it means to be a hero." (Locus Magazine)

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  •  
    Brooke United States 09-19-12
    Brooke United States 09-19-12 Member Since 2011

    Just a book fool.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Creep-tastic!"

    This is not your run of the mill angel story not even a little bit. This one will surprise you and gross you out simultaneously. Virtually no romance so if you are looking for that you might have to wait for the sequel. However, if you are looking for adventure this is your stop. Hang on it's going to be a wild ride.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katheryne MD, United States 01-08-13
    Katheryne MD, United States 01-08-13 Member Since 2009

    Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gruesomely Good"

    This book really sucked me in from the very beginning. It was action-packed from start to finish. I don't understand some of the other reviews that said it was boring or repetitive at times. Yes, there are some gory parts but nothing that was too over-the-top in my opinion.
    Like most books lately the reader was left hanging with a big cliffhanger.
    There were a few plot holes, such as the "why the Angel Apocalypse?". However, I didn't think it took away much from the overall story. I do hope some of these unanswered questions will be addressed in future books though. Overall I enjoyed this one and will read the next in the series when it comes out.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Eckert Minneapolis, MN 07-29-13
    K. Eckert Minneapolis, MN 07-29-13 Member Since 2004

    Devourer of all books fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting angelic apocalypse story"

    This book was recommended to me by one of my Goodreads friends. It sounded interesting and ended up being a decent read. I am a bit sick of post-apocalyptic/dystopia type novels right now, so take that into consideration when reading this review. This is another YA post-apocalyptic novel but with angels!

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was okay. This isn’t one of those audiobooks that was so stellar I would recommend listening to this instead of reading it. Still the narrator did a decent job of distinguishing between character voices. I had a bit of trouble with the different male voices since they sounded awkward and occasionally similar to each other.

    Penryn is trying to survive in a world where angels have recently (6 weeks ago) ravaged many major cities on Earth. As if just surviving isn’t bad enough Penryn has a psychotic mother and a handicap younger sister (who can’t walk) to take care of as well. When an angel with black wings kidnaps Penryn’s little sister, Penryn is determined to rescue her. Penryn has decided the best way to do this is to kidnap an injured angel from the scene of the crime and make him take her back to his aerie.

    This book was okay. It was pretty typical YA post apocalyptic type of fiction. In this case rather than a nuclear disaster or a plague wiping out humanity it's a host of angels attacking from heaven that wipes out all the major cities. This isn’t ever explained very well and it seems like even the angels aren’t all that sure why they attacked the humans.

    Penryn is an interesting character. She is small but tough. Penryn’s mother thinks that she (the mother) gets possessed by demons and is worried about hurting her daughter during one of her demonic episodes. As a result of this insanity Penryn has been trained to fight from a very young age. Penryn has this very practical attitude towards life and just kind of goes with everything. Her dedication to her family is admirable.

    The other main character is the angel that Penryn rescues, Raffe. To be honest Raffe is kind of a pretencious jerk through the first part of the story...then again Penryn isn’t very nice to him. As the story continues we learn that Raffe is a complex set of secrets and has a very complicated history of his own.

    There is a lot of grotesque and horrific stuff in here. Including cannibalism, genetic tampering/torture of small children, and of course angels attacking humans in brutal ways. There is actually quite a bit of talk about sex as well; the angels really love human women and Penryn is constantly in danger of being sexually assaulted. Needless to say it's an incredibly dark story with very little light or hope throughout.

    The book was decently enough written, but this book just basically sets everything up. We don't ever get any resolution around anything by the end of the book. There is no explanation as to why the angels have attacked humanity, as to why humanity couldn't defend themselves, or even much explanation about the angels' society in general.

    Then there is the whole star-crossed love thing going on between Penryn and the angel she saves. This kind of made me roll my eyes a bit. I get a bit sick of the tortured man forbidden to love a human girl thing that seems to be ever present in paranormal YA.

    Overall I didn't really love this book, but I didn't hate it either. It was somewhat engaging and an okay read. I did like the idea of angels causing an apocalypse, that was creative and intriguing....however, why all this happens is never really addressed. Penryn is an okay heroine, but didn’t really stand out for me. The world is interesting but not all that well developed. I guess in general I am just a bit sick of post-apocalyptic YA and this book didn’t change my mind about that. So if you are a huge fan of post-apocalyptic YA I would tentatively recommend this to you. I personally will not be reading any more of this series.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy DALLAS, TX, United States 06-18-13
    Troy DALLAS, TX, United States 06-18-13 Member Since 2012

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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    "Nothing Special, But Not Sappy Either"

    I'm not entirely sure why I was drawn to this book. As much as I'm fascinated by angels, most fiction about them tends to be fairly limited. Many have remarked they are this generation's vampire, and that's true to a certain extent. Like zombies and vampires, there are just too many of the same stories, many of them trying desperately to stand out by being different, and failing precisely because these beings aren't supposed to be different from what they're meant to be.

    With this in mind, I went through this story anyway. The first 2/3 or so is pretty basic. The "rules" of angelkind are honored, which is a plus for me. It means that nephalim are the big warning about what happens if there's an angelic romance with a human, and it means the characters in the story are abhorred by this idea. Also, they have reason enough not to trust one another, so it makes for a far more believable story. There's very little about this story that's particularly earth-shattering. If you're familiar with the Christopher Walken Prophecy movies, you'll be right at home here.

    There are two standout moments for me. The first is the (no pun intended) that this whole thing is kicked off when Gabriel comes to earth and is shot by the fearful humans. I've never seen this approach before, and I totally buy it. It's something we monkeys would do. The second is the climax when we find out what the angels are doing with the humans they capture. I think this is supposed to be a nod to Clive Barker's rather disturbing prose style and twisted imagination. Most can't pull it off, and while the author is outclassed by this example (who isn't, let's be honest), she is successful enough to make you squirm with her descriptions. Kudos on that.

    On the whole, I'm not drawn in enough to want the rest of the series right now, but this was a fun read all the same. I may eventually come back to it, but I'm not that invested. That's probably because I could care less about post-apocalyptic stories, although to be fair, this story works better precisely because of that setup. The characters are solid enough to be believable, though we could see the archangel Raphael a mile away the moment the name was mentioned, so there wasn't much of a reveal there. I love the concept of the insane mother fighting her own inner demons in the middle of all this. I feel like there were some missed opportunities here as well, and some inadequate explanations about a great many things. Maybe that's left for the sequels? Time will tell.

    One point of mention... this is a self-published title, and that rarely works out this well. This writer understands something about editing, story pacing, and such, and has paid attention to examples she's studied and enjoyed. You just don't see that much. So, more kudos. On the whole, far better than expected from angelic YA fiction, but still not as powerful as the potential of the genre could be. It's early in the series, so we'll see what happens.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kinbalk Circling Western PA 10-06-12
    Kinbalk Circling Western PA 10-06-12 Member Since 2012

    Young enough to be your dad, old enough to be your son.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You know that joke about O-HI-O? Reverse it."

    That review title may make no sense unless you "read" this book. It's a story that starts and ends fantastically but in the middle, it's very repetitive. The first couple chapters really draw you in with high drama, suspense and mystery. However, in the middle it switches over to a sequence of events that goes round and round. Danger, saving, danger, saving...Repeat for about 3 hours. I'd say more about why how similar each event is but I don't wish to ruin the experience for anyone. The final chapters though, that's where the book really shines. I wonder the sequence the author actually wrote the chapters, as these final ones contain much more dramatic and vivid imagery then had used up to this point. The plot points that happen in the last hours really make you curious about what is going to happen next in the series. Though I may not have particularly relished the middle of the book, it seems like every part of the story was actually being built upon and not just added to artificially lengthen.

    This was the first I've ever heard of Caitlin Davies as a narrator and I must say, I was quite happy with the end result. I could see how so people may not enjoy her rendition of the male lead but I actually felt like it fit the character after you get some more background about him. I really hope to see her return when the second book in the series comes out.

    It may be listed as a teen series but don't fear that. I'm far from those old days but I still found it worth the credit.


    Bit of a warning though: If you're easily offended by Biblical figures (particularly of Catholic theology), you may want to stay away. I'll just leave it at that.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natasha AUCKLAND, New Zealand 09-25-12
    Natasha AUCKLAND, New Zealand 09-25-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Hunger Games but who cares?"
    Where does Angelfall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to, not for the performance unfortunately, but for the story. I really enjoyed Susan Ee's writing. The performance wasn't terrible but it was a little distracting at times.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Angelfall?

    I really enjoyed all the interaction between Penryn and Raffe the Angel. I saw one review that mentioned there was little romance in this book but I preferred it that way - because it was chock full of UST (unresolved sexual tension!). Penryn's observations of Raffe were potent but never cheesy. The ending gave me just enough satisfaction about Raffe and Penryn's relationship and still left me wanting more.


    What aspect of Caitlin Davies’s performance would you have changed?

    The performance was fine but I didn't really like the voice Caitlin put on for Raffe. Also, I found her narration a little too cheery for an apocalyptic setting - it seemed too lighthearted for the situation at times.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! I couldn't 'put it down'. I was trying to make it last longer (to use for my workouts!) but I couldn't resist listening to it more often and finished it in a matter of days.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed Angelfall and am looking forward to the sequel.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audiobook Addict Plano, TX 09-02-12
    Audiobook Addict Plano, TX 09-02-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Angelic Apocalypse"

    I saw this book first on an add on Audible. I was in the middle of another series so I put it in my wishlist and only bought it after finishing that series and starting the Remy Chandler series. Now I wished I hadn't waited so long... This book is awesome! I do admit it was a little confusing going from the Remy Chandler series to this, but Angelfall is very good.

    When most people envision angels coming down to earth to start the apocalypse they probably don't imagine that the first thing humans will do is shoot the Archangel Gabriel. That is how this scenario starts out. Humans started the war and now the angels are out for revenge.

    This story follows the adventures of a high school aged girl as she struggles on her quest to reach the heart of Angel territory, however she has an unusual companion and must decide whether he is a friend or an enemy.

    My only complaints were the completely unnecessary use of an f-word, only used once. And one crude joke that was likewise completely unnecessary.

    Can't wait for the second book!!!

    23 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie West Allis, WI, United States 01-24-13
    Marjorie West Allis, WI, United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2012

    Love this site! I have a very busy job, so listening to audio books enables me to keep up on great stories!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now that's just messed up."
    What made the experience of listening to Angelfall the most enjoyable?

    A heroine who never gives up. Penryn is truly awesome.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm stunned. I just finished the book and all I can say is, "Wow, that is messed up." I liked the book, but I can't think of how to word it. It was disturbing, that is FOR SURE. Terrifying look at the end of days. Terrifying.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joki Helsinki 02-09-13
    Joki Helsinki 02-09-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Turned into Torture Porn at the End"

    This is a book with bite - literally. About halfway through, you know that unlike other YA dystopian novels, this one does not skimp on the horror and quesy set ups/scenes. It was a bit much for me - I've never been a horror fan. The book jacket lists this as gritty but I'd suggest it swerves into torture porn just a bit too much.

    That said, there are some interesting characters throughout and an attempt to blend in the mythology surrounding angels and demons. I was reminded of the Black Sabbath cover to Heaven and Hell with angels smoking. If angels smoking, in zoot suits, with hookers and lots of booze sounds contra-conventional, well there you go. But the author does manage to tie it all in and it's only after you've read the book that you start to realize just how far fetched this dystopia ends up being.

    Some plot devices are pretty obvious - who her mother is and why she's crazy, who Raffe actually is, etc. And some things just strain credibility, such as the opening scene when they are fleeing into danger but take along a noisy old shopping cart just because the heroine doesn't want to argue with her mother about it. It takes the edge off the danger when the heroine doesn't even support it. Another frustration was the interaction between guy/girl - it was just a bit too bodice ripper romance for my tastes. You could have transported them to a 1700s pirate romance, regency romance, or about any other genre romance and have the same "annoyed, flipping, arrogant, well built guy with spunky, unsure, outspoken, 'spitfire' girl. It gets old.

    In all, not a bad read at all and definitely one I don't mind recommending. Just didn't like the torture porn and obvious plot holes/points. Or the insipid characters.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 06-02-14
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 06-02-14 Member Since 2013
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    "disappointing, even by cliched teen standards"

    Well, this book has all the cliches that you've come to expect from teen paranormal romances: spunky heroine out to protect her sister, fatherless, having problems with her mother (who has psychological problems); older 'hero' who reluctantly helps the heroine and generally acts like an ass, who is considerably older than her; dystopian future. However, even going in with low standards, this book wasn't great. The entire premise was kind of disappointing. The whole 'apocalypse' thing is all fine and well but there's just no rationale behind any of the stuff that's going on. Maybe the best way to explain it is that the author seems to have some grand scheme in mind which explains why all the stuff that's happening is happening, but by the end of the book you still don't even really understand what the true conflict is, let alone how to solve anything. Maybe, if the entire angel political conflict (or its significance in terms of the apocalypse) and the whole children/monsters thing had been better explained, I might have given this book a better review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Carina Regan
    9/8/12
    Overall
    "Captivating!"

    Incredible storytelling. I was hooked from the first chapter and just couldn't stop listening!

    An angelic apocalypse destroys the world and Penryn a headstrong girl fight's to keep her family save. I've instantly fallen in love with her witty character! The relationship between Penryn and Raffe is quite an interesting one, romance sparks up towards the end a little and will sure endure into something more in the books to follow!
    Can't wait for the next one to come out :-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nadina
    London, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Enjoyable listen"

    This book is rather more gruesome than others in its class, but perhaps that is one of the reasons why it stands out. This is a new and interesting take on the world of angels and will make you want to listen right to the end of the book. It is full of suspense and I will certainly be downloading the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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