Monday, June 24, 2013

Audiobook Review - Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days, Book 1) by Susan Ee (3.5/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Size: 290 pages
Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: August 28, 2012
ISBN: 978-0761463276
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Penryn and the End of Days series
Source: Audiobook through
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This book was recommended to me by one of my Goodreads friends. It sounded interesting and ended up being a decent read. I am a bit sick of post-apocalyptic/dystopia type novels right now, so take that into consideration when reading this review. This is another YA post-apocalyptic novel but with angels!

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was okay. This isn’t one of those audiobooks that was so stellar I would recommend listening to this instead of reading it. Still the narrator did a decent job of distinguishing between character voices. I had a bit of trouble with the different male voices since they sounded awkward and occasionally similar to each other.

Penryn is trying to survive in a world where angels have recently (6 weeks ago) ravaged many major cities on Earth. As if just surviving isn’t bad enough Penryn has a psychotic mother and a handicap younger sister (who can’t walk) to take care of as well. When an angel with black wings kidnaps Penryn’s little sister, Penryn is determined to rescue her. Penryn has decided the best way to do this is to kidnap an injured angel from the scene of the crime and make him take her back to his aerie.

This book was okay. It was pretty typical YA post apocalyptic type of fiction. In this case rather than a nuclear disaster or a plague wiping out humanity it's a host of angels attacking from heaven that wipes out all the major cities. This isn’t ever explained very well and it seems like even the angels aren’t all that sure why they attacked the humans.

Penryn is an interesting character. She is small but tough. Penryn’s mother thinks that she (the mother) gets possessed by demons and is worried about hurting her daughter during one of her demonic episodes. As a result of this insanity Penryn has been trained to fight from a very young age. Penryn has this very practical attitude towards life and just kind of goes with everything. Her dedication to her family is admirable.

The other main character is the angel that Penryn rescues, Raffe. To be honest Raffe is kind of a pretencious jerk through the first part of the story...then again Penryn isn’t very nice to him. As the story continues we learn that Raffe is a complex set of secrets and has a very complicated history of his own.

There is a lot of grotesque and horrific stuff in here. Including cannibalism, genetic tampering/torture of small children, and of course angels attacking humans in brutal ways. There is actually quite a bit of talk about sex as well; the angels really love human women and Penryn is constantly in danger of being sexually assaulted. Needless to say it's an incredibly dark story with very little light or hope throughout.

The book was decently enough written, but this book just basically sets everything up. We don't ever get any resolution around anything by the end of the book. There is no explanation as to why the angels have attacked humanity, as to why humanity couldn't defend themselves, or even much explanation about the angels' society in general.

Then there is the whole star-crossed love thing going on between Penryn and the angel she saves. This kind of made me roll my eyes a bit. I get a bit sick of the tortured man forbidden to love a human girl thing that seems to be ever present in paranormal YA.

Overall I didn't really love this book, but I didn't hate it either. It was somewhat engaging and an okay read. I did like the idea of angels causing an apocalypse, that was creative and intriguing....however, why all this happens is never really addressed. Penryn is an okay heroine, but didn’t really stand out for me. The world is interesting but not all that well developed. I guess in general I am just a bit sick of post-apocalyptic YA and this book didn’t change my mind about that. So if you are a huge fan of post-apocalyptic YA I would tentatively recommend this to you. I personally will not be reading any more of this series.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Audio Book Challenge
- 150+ Reading Challenge/a>
- Paranormal Reading Challenge
- Young Adult Reading Challenge

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