So I recently finished Angelfall by Susan Ee and, oh boy, was it marvelous! Today will be my booktalk on that. I also finished Lola and the Boy next door by Stephanie Perkins and the booktalk for that will be coming later in the week. As per usual this booktalk will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.
Angelfall takes place in a post apocalyptic world where angels have come to Earth and are destroying cities and snatching children from the streets. Street gangs have formed and people are becoming a danger to be around. When Penryn Youngs sister is snatched by an angel she decides she will do anything she can to get her back. Even teaming up with one of the enemy. This book was so amazing. It was fast paced and the plot flowed and was really enveloping. It was quite disturbing at the end section of the book so I would recommend this for mature readers but I think everyone could love it. It has a little of everything: action, romance, amazing characters. The character development and depth was really incredible for such a short book. I highly highly recommend this book as a must read.
The book opens on Penryn, her mother and her sister ready to abandon their home and head for the woods in hopes of safety from the ravening angels. Penryn’s sister Paige was in a wheelchair and her mother had serious psychological problems. I loved this aspect of the story as it showed that Penryn had responsibilities from the beginning, intense responsibilities. Penryn and her family are stopped in their tracks when they come across angels fighting and that’s the first glimpse we get of them. I love the fact that their wings where all different in colours, shapes and sizes because it showed the difference in their personalities and characters. I could not believe that the angels would hack off another angels wings. That scene for me was one of the most horrible, imagining his face contorting in pain.
When Penryn’s mother ran off without Paige I was so angered. It wasn’t fair that she just ran off to live while Paige had the chance of dying, especially since she was in a wheelchair. Penryn was so strong standing up to the angels especially since they are so much more advanced than she. Paige being taken didn’t have as big of an effect on me as I thought it would. I think it was because the blurb already revealed she was going to be gone early on the series.
The chapters with Penryn in the house awaiting the angel to awaken where quite slow and the toughest chapters to get into but as Raffe woke up they got more interesting. Penryn’s mother was a presence in these scenes and I quickly found myself bored of her character, hoping she would disappear from the story. The way Raffe looked at his wings and the way he spoke about them really showed me (and other readers) just how much he loved them and how much he cared about getting them back which made the end of the story even more excruciating to read, but we’ll get to that later.
My absolute favourite part of the book happened when they were in the small house they found. I find small acts of love and compassion so beautiful and that’s why this particular part of the book stood out to me. Penryn was having a nightmare about her sister and her mother and Raffe came to her in her fitful sleep and just held her until she was okay. He just sat and held her and made her feel safe and it was beautiful.
As soon as they reached the forest the frustrating chapters of the story began. The resistance camp was such a beautiful idea. I love it in books and in reality when people band together for a common cause, but Obi was such an annoying character to me. I didn’t trust him, something bad just surrounded him. It was just like whats-his-face in the Darkest Minds (I cannot even remember his name). Dee-Dum was awesome though and did make me laugh quite a bit. I couldn’t believe though that Obi just let people pummel each other, especially in the case of Penryn and whatever. If she hadn’t had martial arts training she would’ve been beaten close to death.
Penryn and Raffe finally escaped though and then came across the half eaten children. I ad to look away from the book for a minute when I read this part, it was just so horrific. The thought that two young girls had been strung up to be eaten and the idea that the eldest had tried desperately hard to save her (I’m assuming) sister.
Reaching San Francisco was hard to digest. The entire city had been decimated and the people where scattered and terrified. The idea of human slaves and women basically being prostitutes for angels was a hard idea to wrap your head around.They got in though and Penryn was able to enter the club. Raffe had to hide his face after reconstructing his wings. One of my other favourite parts in the book was when Raffe leaned down to Penryn to hide his face and she kissed him. Then it was just heartbreaking when he turned to her and said “you know I don’t even like you”. I didn’t believe it for a single second but the sting still hurt.
Eventually Raffe got the chance to get his wings sewn back on and Penryn went to find her sister, finding her mother along the way. When she entered the room and found the mutated beasts eating people, I felt physically ill. The idea that those beasts where feasting on people with families, with lives, was just too much. The worst was yet to come however.
Seeing the children piled high on the floor, scars running the entire length of their body was just the final thing I could cope with. I had to put the book down and step away for a few minutes. It was just so awful and unfair. Then Paige surfaced and she was a cannibal maniac that could actually walk.
Raffe came out and he had sharp and dark wings sewn onto his back. It was so upsetting to see him like that, to know his own wings where on someone who didn’t deserve them at all. The Penryn was petrified or something and had to be taken back to Obi’s camp, away from Raffe. This part made me the maddest. They will not be better separated, they need to stay together.
This book was so amazing I cannot even. The plot was so rich and enveloping and I loved Penryn’s strength and Raffe’s character development. The whole book was amazing from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to everyone.
Signing off, Charlie