Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee
Release Date: May 21, 2011
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 255
Source: Purchased Copy
Rating: ★★★★★ 
Buy It: Amazon | B&N

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. – Goodreads

This is one of those books that I could write “OH MY GOD” over and over again and I still don’t think it would be sufficient enough to capture my excitement over it. And to think I almost missed reading it! I’m completely embarrassed to say that I’m one of those readers that will, 99.9% of the time, look past the self-published/indie books in favor of novels from the big publishers. Shame on me, I know, so thanks to all the good buzz happening on Goodreads, I snagged this for my Kindle and absolutely fell in love.

Susan Ee effortlessly made Angelfall a gripping, addictive read from the very beginning. It opens six weeks after the arrivals of angel on Earth and their massive destruction on the world and humanity. After having holed up in their condo, Penryn, along with her sister and mother, attempt to make an escape to a safer location. Immediately, Ee was able to set the scene by evoking the feeling of fear. A single feather falling from the sky turns Penryn’s blood cold and things go from bad to worse as a fight between several angels happens right in front of them. Even worse yet, Paige, Penryn’s sister, is taken away and her journey to find her depends on one very injured angel, Raffe.

As far as characters go, Ee has a winning combination with Penryn and Raffe. They‘re an unlikely duo, forced to work together in order to reach their own goals. They each lost something in the fight and they share the same determination to get it back. Though there is an initial mistrust between them — and a lot snark involved — they do come to be a great team together. There is a hint of a romance between the two, but it wasn’t overdone. Underneath all their back-and-forth bickering, there’s a sweetness and growing trust between the two. I can’t wait to see that continued in the following books.

Individually, Penryn is brave and kickass, but it never felt contrived. There’s nothing more annoying than a heroine that can do it all, so it was good to see layers and depth to her character. Her relationship with her schizophrenic mother was realistic and, of course, her love for her sister really resonated with me. As for Raffe, there’s a certain amount of arrogance about him, but he’s mostly just charming. Though he didn’t lose his sister, his own plight is just as heartbreaking and it would be impossible not to feel for him after what he endures.

While there was a tiny degree of predictability at first, Ee still took her story to unexpected places. As someone who attended Catholic school for most of my life, I was especially surprised to see her take on the darkness of angels I had come to be (somewhat) familiar with in my education. There were names I recognized and they were definitely “harbingers of doom, willing and able to destroy entire cities” in this book. I do wish I had been able to experience more of the destruction, rather than just the aftermath, but Ee did a great job making the angels intimidating beings. In addition to that, there was some dark and terrifying imagery and, towards the end, there was a sci-fi twist that only gives the series a different edge from the norm.

Angelfall is easily one of my favorite books of 2011 and I’m so thankful to the powers of Goodreads for bringing it to my attention. You can preview the first five chapters here and the book’s awesomeness in its entirety can be yours for only 99 cents on your Kindle or Nook (or computer or reading app of choice). 99 cents! There’s no reason at all to pass up on this deal because I think the quality is worth so much more. I can only keep my fingers crossed for its success and count down to getting my hands on a physical copy once they’re released.

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About the Blogger

Stephanie is 20-something. From Los Angeles. Gryffindor. Professional procrastinator. A repeat button abuser. And many other things. You can find her on twitter. You can also subscribe to the blog!


  1. Great review!! This is the first Kindle book I ever bought so I’m pretty stoked to start reading it. :)

  2. I thought I wanted this book before but now……. damn you and your amazing reviews!! This sounds incredible and worth so, so, SO much more than just 99 cents! I really need to get myself an ereader soon, but I might be tempted to just try reading off the computer because you’ve completely sold me on this. The darkness of the angels, kickass heroine and the relationship bettween Penryn and Raffe which I’m loving already. This is definitely going high on my wishlist now. Brilliant review! <3

    • Ahhh, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you end up getting around to it soon just so I can read an incredible review from you for it! I am pretty positive that you’d love it, so don’t delay too long. ;)

  3. I’ve seen Angelfall so much in the past couple days and it sounds epic! Like you I’m a little wary when it comes to self pubbed books but the reviews have been so gushing I can’t help but be super curious. And the fact that these angels are definitely bad sets this one apart for me. I don’t have a kindle or nook but I might just read it on the kindle app if I can’t get my hands on it!

    Awesome review Stephanie!

    • I really hope books like this one, and Larkstorm, are a game changer in the self pubbed area. They are honestly better than a lot of the stuff from traditional pubs.

      I hope you do get to read it! I know paperback copies are in the works so hopefully that won’t be too long now.

  4. I hadn’t heard of this one before, but your review sold me! This book sounds very epic, and I love addictive reads like this.
    Awesome review, Stephanie!

  5. I admit that I’m also one of those people who prefers to read “big name” publisher books rather than self-published, but I’ve slowly become more open as I realized that there are quite a few gems out there that are self-distributed. Plus, the cover for this book is eye-catching, which is something else I look for. I’ll definitely be checking out this book, it sounds like a thrilling read!

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