I was sold on the idea that this book would be ‘unlike any angels I’ve read before’, it certainly had something I’d never read before – and it wasn’t the angel apocalypse. Angelfall was a lot slower than I was expecting and even though I’d heard a lot of reviews mentioning the horror element I was still surprised by how revolting and vivid the description was. I should have taken my great apathy towards horror movies – the scariest film I’ve ever seen probably being The Black Cauldron, I mean, come on! The Horned King is too creepy for the under tens. – as an indication that I should stay clear. However, I gave it a go and here are my thoughts!
Penryn is your classic dystopian protagonist, down to the love of her younger sister and ability to fight, resulting in her not being a particularly stand out character. Raffe too embodied the classic components of a sarcastic, arrogant and mildly amused love interest, with a side of broody angst for good measure, of course. As for him being an angel it wasn’t particularly anything new, a blend of Hush Hush and The Mortal Instruments. Pen and Raffe’s exchanges were comical at times and I did laugh at their wit, but I wouldn’t say that their chemistry leapt off the page. In fact I was a little incredulous when we’re expected to believe that they had feelings for one another the whole time, because apart from a staged kiss I never got any ‘coupley’ vibes.
I came to the conclusion in the middle of this book that I am rather bored with the idea of star-crossed lovers. Does there have to be a romance in every book I read? Even if there’s an apocalypse going on and supernatural creatures swooping down stealing children the romance still, for some reason, has to make up a lot of the plot. In hindsight, I would’ve enjoyed this book more after a bout of contemporaries, but I’ve been on a bit of a supernatural kick recently and so the consistently used tropes started to annoy. Although, I would suggest having a light and fun contemporary on your nightstand ready to go, to cleanse the palette after reading. Angelfall should come with a warning: will probably cause nightmares / keep you awake for days.
Yes, I was thoroughly disgusted by the ending, and from the beginning I never would have guessed it! It’s interesting to read an apocalypse story where the world is still on a downward spiral. It seems like the angels only took over two months before the story takes place, which meant that a lot of the houses still hadn’t been scavenged and supplies were pretty easy to find. It certainly didn’t take long for Raffe to find a slinky red dress for Penryn to wear when the situation demanded it.
My favourite character by far was the mother. She was bat-shit crazy and always conveniently popping up wherever Penryn was – I didn’t understand why they didn’t just travel together in the first place. She was such a controversial parental figure that I really enjoyed the story a lot more whenever she was around. Her fate is the one I am most interested in.
Overall, I’m not entirely sure I’m going to continue the series. It definitely picked up at the end there, but I don’t think I’m invested enough just yet. I suppose I’ll probably end up picking up the second one eventually if I read enough convincing Goodreads reviews! To conclude, I gave Angelfall 2.5 stars.