Release: 23rd May 2013
Genre: YA, Angels, Romance, Dystopian
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"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..."
I’m a huge fan of both the Angel and Dystopia trend in YA so I really should have known that Angelfall ( a brilliant mixture of both genres ) would go on to become one of my new favourite books! I’m a little late to the party for this one but I recently found myself in a reading slump and needed something fresh and compelling to pull me out of it. I’m so happy that I decided to pick up Angelfall! I was immediately sucked into the world and I’d stay up late reading long into the night promising myself just one more chapter which would inevitably turn into several more.
Penryn lives in a future world where Angels of the Apocalypse have destroyed Earth as we know it. The world is in a state of chaos and the remaining humans are out for themselves with supplies and safe houses running low. It’s a gritty and brutal new world and if survival wasn’t hard enough Penryn also has a disabled younger sister to take care of and a schizophrenic mother who has run out of medication to stabilize her illness. All too often in Paranormal YA the characters are young, perfect, healthy and beautiful the fact that Penryn’s family have real world struggles to contend with on top of the apocalypse made them feel like real people which I couldn’t applaud more.
The book begins with Penryn and her family witnessing an Angel brutally having his wings hacked off by his own kind. Noting her sister Paige’s distress Penryn tries to help the Angel and as punishment the angels that were attacking Raffe fly away with Paige and so Penryn and Raffe are forced to work together as Penryn needs Raffe to find where the Angels took her sister and Raffe needs Penryn to navigate the human world now that he’s without his wings.
The banter between Raffe and Penryn was quick and witty. Their relationship builds at a slow and steady pace throughout the novel as they go from accomplices to something more. I loved that despite whatever Penryn felt for Raffe her priorities never shifted from saving Paige. Penryn had a good head on her shoulders and I respected her as our heroine. I loved the relationship between Raffe and Penryn - Raffe was always on hand to support Penryn but she was always more than capable of taking care of herself. Instead of the powerful angel saving the weak human girl they worked together as a team.
Although I loved them together I also enjoyed both characters separately. Penryn has quickly become one of my favourite heroines and Raffe one of my favourite book boys. Penryn was intelligent, loyal to her family, and strong both mentally and physically. She’s a total survivor and adapts to her frightening new surroundings thanks to her mentally unstable mother having her trained in several types of self-defence to protect herself against her mother’s dark episodes. Raffe was different to any other angel I’ve ever read about he’s witty, hilarious, modern and doesn’t believe in god. I loved him straight away but he’s also still so much of a mystery. I can’t wait to find out more about his past in future books!
Angelfall has such a cinematic feel to it that I could vividly picture everything in my mind making it easy to absorb myself in this gritty and harrowing world. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this absolute gem of a novel but I am glad that I now don’t have long to wait for the sequel!