Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) – Susan Ee

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 288
Release Date: May 21, 2011

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 seventeen-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 she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. 

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Published in 2011, Angelfall follows Penryn in the Angel apocalypse as she tries to survive with her schizophrenic mother and younger sister.

I originally read Angelfall in 2014 and wanted to see if it still holds up 8 years later in 2022. I’m happy to report that it not only holds up, but is a truly incredible and epic opening novel to this trilogy.

Readers are introduced to Penryn and quickly learn that she’s had to mature far quicker than someone her age since her mother is a paranoid schizophrenic. Penryn has not only had to learn to care for her younger sister, but also learn how to defend herself. These skills come in handy as she and her family leave their condo for the first time since the apocalypse started. 

The pace is relentless as the novel opens as Penryn and her family find themselves in the middle of an Angel fight where Penryn’s sister is taken. It’s nonstop from then on as readers follow Penryn in her desperate adventure to save her sister with an unlikely ally, Raffe.

Raffe is a brooding, tightlipped, and swoon worthy Angel. Raffe and Penryn’s banter is one of the only ways Raffe’s personality shines through his hard exterior. 

The worldbuilding established in Angelfall is far from over, if anything Ee opens up the world for further exploration with the information revealed at the end of the novel. Angels are some of my favorite fantastical fantasy beings and I think my love of them came from this book back in 2014.

Overall, Angelfall still holds up after 8 years as it delivers an almost flawless opening to an action packed apocalypse story that doesn’t skimp on character development or world building. 

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Have you read Angelfall? What did you think?

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