I had serious doubts before starting this book. Look at the cover! It ain't pwetty enough for stuck-up-little-me. And also, the last Angel book that I read... I don't even wanna think about it. *shudders*
Believe it or not, I first heard about this book from a colleague of mine. The said colleague had her nails painted YELLOW, and went to work with almost-racoon eyes (think Taylor Momsen, but less intense) and fuchsia lipstick. So I was like, "Umm... No, thanks."
If it wasn't for the glowing 5 star reviews and so much fangirling (do not underestimate the power of adrenaline-fueled fans) I'd seen months later, I never would've read Angelfall.
So that's why book review helps, people! It breaks the barrier of prejudice and judge-book-by-cover mentality. Now, it's my turn to do a little community service. Ain't I nice? Like super nice? Like super duper -- okay, stop.
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
Angelfall starts with a young Penryn, together with her disable sister and schizophrenic mother, sneaking away into the night. The reason for their move wasn't very clear, but strangely, that didn't bother me. Their slow progress was a torture, I cringed every time the cart wheel squeaks. People at the library wasn't amused when I whispered-yelled, "Leave the noisy thing behind!" Fortunately... or unfortunately, my torture ended when a group (flock?) of angels entered the scene...
It was a blood bath.
And sick-little-me loved every minute of it!
We are then introduced to Raffe... and oh my, it was love at first sight! Not Penryn! Me! (... because there's nothing more attractive than a sizzling wingless angel bleeding to death.) You see, Penryn was really pissed off because her kid sister got taken away by murderous angels. So making goo-goo eyes with the enemy was clearly not an option.
Penryn and Raffe agreed to help each other: Penryn rescuing her sister, Paige, and Raffe getting his wings attached.
I loved Penryn's attempts to threaten Raffe, but really, the girl can fight! Penryn is a very strong and clever character. There was a scene when human thugs attacked them and Penryn had to improvise. When she eyed the broken wings, I was like, "Nooooo. She's really not gonna do it." Then on the next paragraph, she actually did it. Hahaha! This girl got balls.
The dialogues were so darn entertaining that I raped the book with a highlighter.
Raffe's quick wit and Penryn's come backs made me crazy happy with this book:
Raffe: "Of course you're not. A girl like you, spending time with a warrior demigod like me. What's to mope about? Leaving a wheelchair behind couldn't possibly show up on the radar compared to that."
Penryn: "Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you're going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I'll have to rescue you." I give him a weary look. "Again."
I get to work on the lock. It feels good to surprise him with a talent that angels don't have.
"Talkative, but talented. Who would have thought?"
I open my mouth to make a smartass comeback, then realize I'd only be proving his point, so I stay quiet, just to prove that I can.
He pauses to dig the remaining cat food out of his pack. "Here. Please stuff this in your mouth. You can have my share."
"You're like a little girl demanding answers to questions during a covert operation. Why is the sky blue, daddy? Can I ask that man with the machine gun where the bathroom is? If you don't stay quiet, I'm going to have to dump you. You need to do what I tell you, when I tell you, no questions or hesitation about it. If you don't like it, find someone else to pester into helping you."
"Okay, okay. I got it. Geez, some people are so grouchy."
Penryn's relationship with her mother is one that's hard to imagine but very believable. Her mother's disturbing antics were a nice touch to the creepy atmosphere of the story. There were moments that I pity Penryn when she's trying to put up with her mother, but that was the least of her problems.
"Go away." She grips her cattle prod and points it at him.
"He's okay. He's a friend."
She smacks me on the head hard enough to bruise. "I was worried about you! Where have you been? How many times have I told you not to trust anyone?"
I hate it when she does that. There's nothing more humiliating than being smacked by your crazy mother in front of your friends.
The characters' hardships are the main focus of this novel. It broke my heart when they suffered. It made me ask: Why do bad things happen to good people?
Then I realized that LIFE doesn't give a shit, so you have to be a survivor. Not very far from real life, eh? And you know what we have to do? We have to FIGHT. And that's what the humans in this book did. They made their voices be heard. No matter how sick their society had become, they still had HOPE.
And that's why I think that the theme of this novel is LOVE, HOPE, and COURAGE.
|Not THAT kind of love, hope, and courage!|
I appreciate that the author didn't put too much romance in the story, but believe me, it was there. You just have to look beyond the demon cannibals and psychotic angels, but don't get too close or they might... yeah, I'll leave that to your imagination.
The ending of this book is ugly and perfect. I will undoubtedly read the next book in the series (I believe it's a total of 5).
Overall, Angelfall is a book that needs more exposure. I would recommend this to everybody! And I promise not to wear yellow nail polish and hot pink lipstick while talking about this book.