Angelfall by Susan Ee – definitely not my thing

angelfallTitle: Angelfall

Author: Susan Ee

Genre: paranormal/apocalyptic YA

Length: 283 pages

Published by: Amazon? I think? It was originally self-published.

Source: library


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.


I mean, I didn’t hate it.

But I also didn’t like it. Which is sad because SO MANY PEOPLE raved about it, about how it was one of their favourite books. Darn that subjectivity again.

There are a few main reasons why I didn’t like it.

Plot direction

For the most part, I didn’t know where it was going. It went in circles fairly often. I mean, okay, Penryn is trying to save her sister – sure. But that journey really only happened at the end of the book, with the middle bogged down in details about the resistance, and fights that had no real purpose.

Related to that, I also had trouble with the world-building. It was under-explained. Now, I think that’s better than OVER-explaining, at least (nobody likes an info-dump) but not by much. Why were the angels there? What was their purpose? How did this happen?

I feel like these things might be explained in the next book, but since I won’t be reading it I was left lacking a clear sense of what was happening in this world.


Violence. And gore. Which is my fault.

I wouldn’t call myself a squeamish person, exactly. But I’m not  a fan of violence/gore. I don’t watch horror movies, and usually in action movies I close my eyes when the blood starts being shed. So yeah, I’m a wuss. In BOOKS, though, I don’t normally mind.

In this book I did. Some parts are pretty graphic, and in one particular case I legitimately felt like throwing up.

So you could say that definitely hindered my enjoyment of this book 😛 but that is not the fault of the book. That is my fault.


Meh love interest

He just didn’t do it for me. He was pretty funny, sometimes, but as a love interest, Raffe just didn’t seem to have any chemistry with Penryn. Which begs the question, WHY do we need a love interest in every YA book?

I’ll never know.


There were SOME redeeming factors.

For example, I liked Penryn’s love towards her sister.

I liked the sarcastic banter between Penryn and Raffe.

I liked the descriptions of Penryn’s mum and her…well, her insanity.


Overall, though?



Rating: 2/5 Wonderkitties


Have you read any books recently that didn’t live up to the hype?


33 thoughts on “Angelfall by Susan Ee – definitely not my thing

  1. I am definitely agreeing with you about the world-building. It’s a really small book, so I think she kind of focused on immediate plot/characters instead of, you know, answering IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. Which is sad. I’m hoping the next book answers. So obviously I like horror so that’s not a problem for me. 😉 But it’s each to their own! And your gifs made me giggle. I totally agree, though, whyyyyyy does every YA book need a love-interest? Are they suggesting that teenagers 100% cannot function without a boy/girlfriend in their life? Hmm.

    • It IS quite a small book! Less than 300 pages. Which is definitely out of the ordinary for spec fic. Haha, obviously you like horror. I mean I’ve read two of your books 🙂 Yeah, I don’t know what it is with the love interests. Only one of the books I’ve written has a love interest. Because not every story needs one, you know?

  2. Ooh, I think this might actually be the first time that I’ve read a negative review for Angelfall! I haven’t read the book yet but all I see around the blogosphere is people gushing about it. Darn hype! It’s one of the reasons why I’ve yet to pick it up, because I don’t want to dislike it 😦 And I agree with you about the need for a love interest. It sucks that every YA books seems to think they’re a staple to doing well. But no, it’s not!!!

    • I know, it feels weird to not like it when everyone else does! Similar to We Were Liars, I guess, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Throne of Glass…geez, there are a lot of popular books I didn’t like that much! Yeah, I HATE that there’s always a love interest in YA, because it means I can’t often connect to them – since, you know, there’s no love interest in MY life and I don’t think we always need to have one.

  3. I haven’t read this one yet, but picked it up with a gift card around Christmas time because of all the raving. However, I did read 130ish pages earlier on in the year and put it down because I just couldn’t get into it. I should’ve known, because it’s an angel book, and I usually don’t like angel books…oh well, maybe I’ll pick it up again, one day. Thanks for a wonderful and honest review, Em. ❤

    • If I DNF’d books I probably would have put this one down. But I struggled through it even with the gore, which was just…ugh. No. *shudders* I don’t usually like angel books either – although His Dark Materials does have angels in the last book, and that’s one of my favourite series. So I guess we all eat our words sometimes 🙂

  4. Wow! I’m sorry you were so disappointed! Ironically, the reasons you didn’t like it were the reasons I loved it! I felt like the lack of world building was perfect for the story since Penryn doesn’t actually know why all this stuff is going on. And to me not knowing what was going on all the time was one of the reasons I loved it so much. Raffe’s actually one of my bookish husbands and I really liked how the relationship wasn’t forced actually. But I do agree that there doesn’t always have to a love interest. As for the whole plot direction problem you had, that doesn’t change as the book series go on. I’m not even sure what the exact plot of the entire series is. I don’t know if it’s the Resistance or the Angels of the Apocalypse. And yes, there is tons of gore. Oddly, I am incredibly squirmish when I see or hear of gory stuff, but I can and love to read about it. If you thought this was bad, you definitely should avoid Game of Thrones. 1000 pages of deaths every five pages.

    • And that’s the thing! Reading is so subjective that what one person dislikes, another person will love. Which is what I hope to convey in my reviews, because I don’t want to turn people away from a book that that may really enjoy. How many books are in the series? I thought it was just World After? I don’t even know. Actually, it’s funny because I hate thriller movies but I don’t mind them in books…as long as there’s not gore, lol. I like the psychological stuff – I think it’s fascinating. Unfortunately it’s much easier to dream about scary movies than scary books – even Scream (which is supposed to make fun of horror movies) terrified me!

      Yeahhhhh in that case I don’t think I will read Game of Thrones any time soon. Plus, those books are MASSIVE.

  5. Thanks for rounding up – I can see why the violence and gore would definitely put you off the book, especially since it was quite graphic for the shock factor in some parts. Awww you didn’t like Raffe? More for the rest of us I guess. Great review Emily!

  6. Yeahhhhh this one was a disappointment for me too. I mean, there was just SO MUCH HYPE AROUND IT and it just…didn’t live up to it for me. I think I probably liked it a *little* bit more, but not enough for me to seek out the sequel, yet. I totally hear you about the world-building. For me, a good apocalyptic novel needs to have good world-building to make it feel REAL. In saying that, though, it’s only the first book, and the second is A LOT bigger than the first, so maybe there’ll be more world-building in there…? Who knows. Anyway, great review. 🙂

    • Yeah, everyone assured me that I’d need the sequel for when I’m finished the first one, but I’m glad I didn’t borrow it out because…well, because I didn’t like the first one! I don’t read too much dystopian/apocalyptic, but I do like the genre – I think it’s really interesting. Just not this one, I guess.

  7. I’m glad now that I’ve read the whole gore disclaimer. No one ever mentions this! (Or maybe I don’t seek it out enough…) Sorry that it was a dud. I get this recommended to me a lot so will have to see how I fair with it myself. Great, well explained review though! ^_^

  8. Aww Emily…I’m sorry it felt so mediocre, especially since it has been such a hyped novel around the blogosphere. I can completely see where you’re coming from though – if you didn’t like the world-building or simply the plot in general, the book might be a bit hard to enjoy then as a result of that. Thanks for sharing though and, as always, BRILLIANT review! You’ve explained your thoughts wonderfully!

  9. This sounds really disappointing. I almost (almost!) bought this last weekend, but I didn’t. I will probably end up reading Angelfall eventually, but….not soon. No. Not soon.

  10. Aw it’s a shame that this one just didn’t work out for you 😦 Yeah, I can see where you are coming from–I’m not a fan of gore myself and didn’t love those bits but I think what made me enjoy it was Raffe and Penryn.

    Lovely review, Em <33

  11. I tend to avoid the paranormal genre as much as possible…I’ve read too many. Sigh. But it sounds good? Maybe? But I can relate to the annoying-ness at least…WAY TOO MANY angels have ticked me off (Patch, I’m looking at you -_-)

  12. Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t like it! I loved Angelfall and I recommend it to everybody :3 So yeah, I’m sorry. I can understand why the world building didn’t do it for you. I thought about it and I completely understand. Honestly, I think that didn’t annoy me because I read the second book as well and it does explain more. (In short, the angels are there because there is a thing going on in their little angel government thingy. If that makes any sense?) Awe, bummer, because I LOVED Raffe. ❤ He was amazing. Again, I'm sorry you didn't like it 😦

    • Yeah, lots of people recommended it! And when I saw it at the library I just yoinked it. I mean, I WOULD read the second book (just to find out more about the world) but honestly I don’t think I could stand more of that violence. Gosh, I’m a wimp, aren’t I 😛

  13. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves and finishing Wanderland | The Loony Teen Writer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s