Book Reviews

Angelfall – Susan Ee (2012)

Angel Fall follows the story of Penryn, a seventeen year old caught in the apocalypse with her wheel chair bound sister Paige, and her distressed mother. After Paige is taken from her Penryn is forced into making a deal with one of the creatures that took her sister. Susan Ee takes a familiar situation and places a young girl at the centre of it, focusing on what she and the world will do to defend themselves and the ones they love.

Ee takes a concept that most of us have considered and complicates matter further with strenuous alliances and difficult questions being posed. Penryn struggles through admirably, her loyalty and determination to find her sister is unfaltering even when it is questioned later in the novel. Her mother then complicates this further popping up at various stages which adds to Penryn’s dilemma. Her mother is a complicated character who I want to say I liked, even though she is a controversial character her uneasiness and inability to comprehend the situation add another layer to her. Even in what is considered to be her lucid moments she is still within her own world which loosely resembles the world she now finds herself in; the fact that she cannot distinguish between the two leaves a disturbed feeling within the reader. Rafe’s dilemma then adds a different context as to what is happening, his struggle to do what is right and what needs to be done can connect with the majority of readers.

The apocalyptic future is not a new setting yet Ee makes is credible by using actual places with accurate descriptions. There is no lack in sensory detail, as Penryn and treks through the woods the images are clear to see.

Once again I could not put the book down, it engrossed me and left me wanting more. Whether this is down to the excellent story telling or the plot itself I could not distinguish. The chemisty between Rafe and Penryn keeps the story flowing but it is clear that it is not the main driving force, it is merely an element within the story.

It is easy to see that Ee has done her research into the history and the world of angels. The relationships between them are clearly defined and all words that may be unknown to the audience are explained simply through dialogue. Even though her angels are fictitious they have enough human traits to be plausible within the situation.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series World After and I would recommend any fan of dystopian or apocalyptic future to delve into the series.


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