Flashback Friday was originally an idea I came up with - or thought I came up with at any rate. Since I'm a new book blogger with dozens of reviews on GoodReads, I thought Flashback Friday would be a great way to feature some of my older reviews on my blog. However, it turns out that there are tons of different bloggers out there who feature a Flashback Friday of their own. So, I am taking ideas from two such bloggers - Clean Teen Fiction and Skyla11377 - and meshing them together to create my own version of Flashback Friday - a version which features some of my favorite books from the past year and provides a review for them. You don't have to be a new blogger to participate in Flashback Friday though. This is simply an opportunity to showcase novels we've read in the past and enjoyed, even if there is no written review for it, so feel free to grab my button or make your own and participate! :)
Today's Flashback Friday Pick: Angelfall by Susan Ee
Author: Susan Ee
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Susan Ee, I salute you. Please do mankind a favor and send a copy of your book to every author who has ever written a book about angels - maybe they'll finally understand that they're not going about it right. You are.
This is how you write a book about angels.
This is how you write a post-apocalyptic book.
This is how you write a kick-ass heroine.
This is how you write a gut-wrenching romance.
This is how you write a torn family.
This is how every book deserves to be written.
Angelfall begins in a post-apocalyptic realm where angels have taken over the Earth and are ravaging and destroying everything. Penryn, caught up in a raging battle for survival, must take care of her crippled seven-year-old sister and her mother who is bordering on the verge of complete lunacy. When Penryn witnesses the cruel ripping apart of an angel's wings, in what she can only guess to be violent angel politics, she is thrust under the spotlight of these inhumane beings. Now, her sister has been kidnapped and her only hope of finding her is Raffe, the angel whose wings she just witnessed being brutally cut off. The two strike an unlikely compromise, but the world where Penryn lives is teeming with danger and finding her sister may put more on the line than Penryn originally believed...
From the moment you crack open the spine of Angelfall, Susan Ee doesn't give you a moment to breathe. This is a story that completely sucks you in, keeping you frantically flipping the pages for more. Ee's writing is beautiful, flowing with such talent that it is surprising this is a self-published novel. Furthermore, Penryn's voice is refreshing, strong, and driven. She has quickly become one of my favorite female protagonists of all time and I found myself warming up to her stubborn will, dedication to her family, loyalty to her friends, and vulnerability all at once. Penryn, like so many characters before her, must hold the weight of her family on her shoulders, but she does it in a way that makes you immediately sympathize and admire her. Her mother, who is single-handedly responsible for putting her seven-year-old sister in a wheelchair, is far from stable and my heart broke over just how quickly Penryn must have had to grow up and assume the role of adult. Their relationship is a rocky one at best, but it is original, unique, and I find myself hoping against hope that it improves.
Although Penryn was a completely kick-ass and self-reliant protagonist, she was no match for Raffe, the warrior angel. Raffe is self-assured, witty, and gorgeous - everything you can expect from a typical male protagonist right? Wrong. Raffe is a much deeper character than any usually featured in Young Adult novels and I fell for him - hard. Raffe has a long and mysterious past, which I am yearning to find out more about, but he is also compassionate, loyal, caring, trustworthy, and sweet beyond measure. His relationship with Penryn progresses slowly, steadily building up in a way that simply increased the passion between them. The romance in no way detracted from the pounding pace of the plot and took a glorious backseat, but it was present and subtle and beautiful all the same. It's the type of romance that leaves so much more imagination, for interpretation and for growth that I couldn't not envy Ee's easy way of incorporating it into the tale.
Susan Ee honestly makes writing look flawless. I couldn't find a single complaint, a single plot hole, a single something I didn't like about this book - and I'm a picky reader. This is hands down one of the best books I've read this year. It has everything you could possibly want in it: an indomitable heroine, heart-pounding action, a swoon-worthy and slow romance that leaves you yearning for more, a well-fleshed out plot, and most importantly, a post-apocalyptic universe that keeps it real. Ee doesn't gloss over the ugly aspects of human nature and the desperate means people resort to live by - if anything, her descriptions of these events only add to increase my respect for her and my love for this story.
If you haven't picked up Angelfall yet, then stop everything you're doing and go pick it up now. I surprised myself by finishing this in a matter of hours and I am more than tempted to order this online and read it again once it arrives at my doorstep. In fact, I probably will. I need more Raffe in my life ;) Either way, I will be amongst the first people to get my hands on this sequel when it comes...this was just so bloody brilliant I have no words to express its perfection. So what are you still doing reading this? Go! Go buy this book now and revel in its beauty!