Hi guys! So, just a little info on the blog in general and this review, first. I actually read this book a little while ago and wrote a brief blurb on Goodreads of what I thought. I plan to bring over those few reviews from Goodreads, as well, so that all of my thoughts/reviews are centered in one spot, on this blog. With each one that I do, I will go over the book again to update myself on it and add to the review, if need be. Kind of flesh them out a little. So, with that being said, here is what I thought of Angelfall (obviously, my general disclaimer applies here).
Warning: might contain spoilers and anger.
Okay, so I tried to read this book twice and I, twice (!), could not bring myself to finish it. DNF around 50%. I thought the first time, maybe I was being hyper-critical and acting like a old cranky book snob, so I decided to give it another go. Buuuut no. This book is just bad. Definitely not for me.
This pretty much sums it up: “When I open my eyes, the morning light makes me wish I hadn’t. Raffe lies on his sofa, watching me with those dark blue eyes. I swallow, suddenly feeling awkward and unkempt. Great. The world has come to an end, my mother is out there with the street gangs, crazier than ever, my sister has been kidnapped by vengeful angels, and I’m concerned that my hair is greasy and my breath smells bad.”
Even Young Adult readers do not deserve this level of quality and I am truly shocked/confused/disturbed at the number of high reviews this book has on Goodreads. Like, why? Compared to books that really deserve and have rightfully earned 5-star reviews, this book is pure bologna! If this is your kind of 5-star book then, I am sorry, but you are sorely deprived. I can see maybe, maybe enjoying it for mindless, albeit boring, entertainment (parts of it are humorous in an over-the-top kind of way), but at least acknowledge what it is. And oh, is it mindless.
I cannot begin to highlight all of the examples of terrible writing in this book. The inner narrative of Penryn was immature, inconsistent, unrealistic, and incredibly annoying as a writing style. The metaphors were odd, clunky, and took me right out of the (barely-there) plot. There were SO MANY CLICHES! And I was so sick of listening to her try to convince herself that she was a strong independent chick who definitely didn’t want to bone Raffe. Seriously, there are only so many times you can say a guy is hot, when you should be focusing on surviving instead, before your reader wants to vomit: “I bit my lip to focus on the fact that he’s actually giving me a plain answer to my question. He can’t help it if his voice is mesmerizingly sexy.” Or even better: “His eyes soften as though he smiles even though his expression doesn’t change from his stony look. For some reason, it makes my face heat up…When he smiles, he really does look like someone you’d want to get to know. Some otherworldly handsome guy a girl could dream about. Only he’s not a guy. And he’s too otherworldly. Not to mention that this girl is beyond dreaming about anything other than food, shelter, and the safety of her family.” Jesus.
And the dialogue (or lack of it) was completely contrived, choppy, and totally out of place. The humor I mentioned was campy and overdone, definitely not realistic in the context of the novel. All attempts at clever or witty banter fell completely flat. Why would a centuries-old Archangel involved in a violent war speak like a petulant preteen boy? Is it because he is so otherwordly? And why in god’s name would he give two craps about some obtuse human girl? I can’t even with the whole “powerful immortal falls for a lame teenage human girl” thing. That makes zero sense! Obviously, it’s because she is, of course, absolutely beautiful to everyone around her but herself. Despite us barely knowing what she looks like, her childish speech and behavior, the fact that she has been basically starving for months, and has not bathed in probably weeks. But put on a tight dress and some slutty make-up (her words), and my god every being for miles suddenly gasps at the sight of her. Please spare me.
I could say so much more. I could rant for days about this book, because I am so mad that I tried it again and could not get through it! The story did sound promising, but there was nothing that redeemed this book for me. Nada. Not. One. Thing.
Do yourself a favor and stay far away from this one! And if you are itching for a good angels-on-earth kind of story, try the Rephaim series by Paula Weston. It is an awesome, badass, well-constructed, and underrated series, which you can find here! It is what I had hoped Angelfall was going to be. And, if you must find out for yourself how impossible Penryn’s story is to stomach, or just want to prove me wrong, you can get it here.
Let’s hear what you thought, Cake!
Title: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Paranormal: Angels
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Page Count: 288 pages