Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Released: May 23rd 2013
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.
Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.
When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back... (from Goodreads)
Well. The journey has been long, my friends. I have read my fair share of angel books. Hush, Hush, Halo, Fallen...they all disappointed me. Then Unearthly and Angel came along, which I raced through, and I was finally starting to believe that perhaps angel books weren’t all bad after all. Recently, there was Hidden, which had so much potential but was a bit of a letdown. I was losing faith again. However, fear not, fellow book-lovers. Angelfall has blown all other angel books out of the water. I might even like it more than Unearthly, and I really liked Unearthly. And to think, had I not been sent this book for review, I probably never would have read it. I hadn’t heard much about it before a few months ago, and the thought pains me! All YA fans need to read this book. If you, like I, have had trouble with angel books before, then Angelfall is the perfect thing to restore your faith in them.
The first thing you need to know about Angelfall is that the angels in this book were not cutesy little feathery friends, or do-gooders sent to give humanity a helping hand. They were the source of mass death and destruction – they killed and destroyed and some even performed horrific experiments, seemingly just for the sake of it (though I’m betting we’ll get more explanation in the future books). They used humans like they were toys and didn’t give a damn about their lives. They weren’t just evil though. Much like humans, there was more to it than that. Half of them were carrying out orders, but they didn’t know why they were even on Earth in the first place. There seemed to be a divide in loyalties. Disagreements about what was going on. To be honest, the angel world was left a little bit of a mystery. But this being the first of five (or maybe even more) books, I’m not surprised. The angels were so intriguing because although they were much stronger and lighter and faster than humans, they weren’t completely separated, otherworldly, celestial beings either. They weren’t so different from us in some ways, as much as they would hate to admit it. I really want to find out more about them and where they come from (and who gives the orders, because I’m feeling there might be some kind of conspiracy – but then I tend to get carried away with things...I always think there’s a conspiracy...), but I guess I’ll have to wait for future books!
Penryn was just...awesome. I loved her. I really did. She had adapted to this new and dangerous environment so quickly because she knew she had to in order to keep her family safe. She loved her little sister so much that she was willing to do anything to save her, and in this book I had faith that Penryn really could save her, because she was actually really clever and had good instincts. She already knew how best to survive, even though she used to lead a normal teenager’s life. She also had a sense of loyalty to the people she cared about, which I admired. She stood up for herself – there was one scene with a despicable sexist horrible disgusting oh-my-God-I-hated-him-so-much man called Boden, and he really was a piece of work that had no trouble attacking people for practically no reason. I was so glad that Penryn was able to fight back and teach this guy a lesson – thank God she could. What scared me most was that there were plenty of people in that compound who weren’t as strong as Penryn and who had to live with that terrible man on a day to day basis. I felt so bad for them. Though I have to admit, it was satisfying to see all the shocked faces when Penryn won her fight – everyone thought she would lose. She earned their respect after that, but really, it shouldn’t have taken a fight to get people to respect her. It was sad in a way. However, Penryn’s sense of humour throughout the book helped make the gloomy scenes a bit more bearable, and her interactions with Raffe were just so funny at times!
Raffe was...ah. Can words describe him really? He was mostly a mystery, there was a lot about him left unrevealed. But he was essentially an angel who fought to destroy the dangerous offspring of humans and angels. Humans were really nothing to him at first, he tried to stay away from them as much as possible. But then he fell out of favour with some other angels and had his wings cut off. Enter Penryn and the start of their rocky relationship. I just loved the way their relationship developed. They started off really not giving a crap about what happened to the other. Penryn just wanted to find her sister, and Raffe just wanted his wings back. They argued and fought but eventually had to come to a reluctant alliance and work together. And as they got to spend more time together...well. It was complicated. Really complicated. After years of despising human-angel relationships, Raffe couldn’t exactly give in now. And Penryn was too preoccupied with saving her sister than to worry about weird feelings. Except there was this undeniable THING between them both and it was just...ah. I loved it. I loved how this relationship was written. No insta-love. No “love will make everything okay”. And the ending. The ENDING. It was... Brilliant. I mean, I loved the plot in general, the way things were unravelled, how the ominous and sinister lives the angels led were explored, how the humans were treated as mere toys for entertainment – it was disturbing and horrific – but then the ENDING. Oh my God. I don’t even know. I don’t know why. I NEED the next book I tell you, I NEED IT!
Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. And I am really, really desperate for the next one (why such a long wait, why!). Recommended to all YA fans (I know a lot of people have said the gruesome scenes may put people off, but guys, I usually hate horror/gore or anything like that, and while some parts in this book were unsettling, I still loved it overall), but especially to those who think the angel genre is a lost cause, because I am positive this book will change your mind.