Penryn and the End of Days #1
Release Date: May 23, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton (UK)
Recommended by: Debby
Goodreads Stars: 4
Buy it: Amazon UK
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... - Goodreads
Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious.
I picked this one up during the Debut-a-Thon, despite frequently being told that it's not a 2013 debut (it totally is, guys, it was only published in the UK this year!), mostly because Debby wouldn't shut up about it. I mean it, every time I mentioned needing a new read, she started shouting about Angelfall. And I have to take this opportunity to thank her for it, because I can now confirm that Debby has joined Judith in the Queens of Book Pushing Club.
Angelfall first entered my radar back when it was released in the US, and I knew it was receiving a lot of amazingly positive reviews, but... angels. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of angel books. There are a couple that I have loved, but once the they started to become more heavily involved with religion I was out of there. Still, I got sent this as a surprise from the publisher, and friends had highly recommended it, so I decided to give it a go. And I'm very glad I did!
First of all, I want to make it clear to everyone that this book isn't religion-heavy for the most part. There's a lot of angel stuff, but Angelfall is mostly about the human side of things. How the humans are suffering during the apocalypse, how the (human) main character searches for her sister, how everyone is surviving. That kind of thing. So if you're worried about a lot of references to God, like I was, don't be. The theme starts to become a bit heavier towards the end of the novel, but that's necessary to build upon the world and the reasons behind the apocalypse, as well as Raffe's character development.
Penryn, the main character, was an absolute badass when it came to fighting. First of all, she's out to find her sister. It's that good ol' sibling relationship coming into play again, and it killed me. Secondly, her mother had her train in several forms of self defence, so she's got some moves. She can take out full grown adults and bulky men, so she gets a gold star from me for that. Her determination to find Paige filled my heart with joy, and at no point in the novel does she suddenly forget what she's out to do and decide she wants to go off with the hot guy. Fair enough, the hot angel probably wouldn't have ran away with her anyway, but that's not the point I'm trying to get across here.
My only issue with Penryn's character was that she wasn't witty enough. Raffe came out with all these hilarious one-liners, which provided an opportunity for excellent banter between the two of them, but instead Penryn's comebacks were either shit or non-existent. This may seem like a bit of a silly thing to complain about, but I didn't like it because it made her look stupid next to him. Does that make sense? I hope it does.
Then there's Raffe, the angel with no wings. Yes, he's hot, and yes, I ship him and Penryn. But was he my favourite character? No. I've had my fill of broody guys, I think, and have turned to the funny guys like Stiles Stilinski as of late. Or Gannicus, the alcoholic hero. Penryn's character far outshines Raffe, so I don't mind not being as into him as everyone else seems to be. Penryn provides enough awesome for the both of them. But yes, some of his one-liners were brilliant.
I'm very excited to read the sequel in the autumn, because the ending of this one packed quite a punch. As well as some promising stuff going on with Raffe (seriously, there is potential for him to get BADASS), there's also scary stuff to explore regarding Paige and Penryn. I'll be holding my breath for the next couple of months, because I'm hoping that Susan Ee will focus on Paige and Penryn's relationship, and I'm dying to know how that will turn out!