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Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days Series #1)

Angelfall  - Susan Ee Like many reviewers, I have had some bad experiences with self-published novels. Bad editing, little or no plot, plot too similar to something already published. When I heard about Susan Ee’s ANGELFALL, the first in a projected five book series (and only 99 cents), I was blown away by the amazing reviews this book was getting – even from some very picky readers. After that much hype, I knew I had to read it, especially since it combines two of my favorite things – evil angels and a post-apocalyptic wasteland. I mean, evil angels, people. That is enough to get me to read just about anything.ANGELFALL is the first book in the Penryn & The End of Days series, focusing on a teenage girl named Penryn and her mother and sister six weeks after the apocalypse – angels descending from Heaven to destroy the Earth. When she saves an angel from death as his wings are cut off, she also loses her sister in the process, and is forced to coerce the angel into helping her find her sister. The story is dark, fast-paced, and moving at times. But above all, this is a story about a girl’s desperation and evolution as a person. From the death and ashes of the world she knows, she is strong, kick butt, and motivated.Penryn’s skills as a survivalist, martial artist, and self-defense almost-expert are well described and founded. Her mother’s craziness was also grounded in fact, making the story even more hard-hitting. The characters were all well-developed, fleshed out, and evolved as the story progressed, especially with the angel saved by Penryn – the mysterious Raffe. Although I didn’t connect with him fully (the first was completely in first person from Penryn’s POV), I really did enjoy Raffe. He was brash and snarky, but he was also strong and determined to get back what he thought was rightfully his. The connection between Raffe and Penryn cycles from a partnership to contention and back again wonderfully, creating great tension.Okay, can I just get to the squees and flails now? Just trust me when I say that this book is fabulous. From the characters to the amazing plot, it is just good. In fact, it’s so good that it made me overlook some shaky writing and editing issues and focus solely on how amazing the plot is. Ee’s debut is a wild ride full of creativity, impressive action, and drama that is more than likely going to go down as my favorite book published in 2011. Yes, it was a self-published effort, but this book goes far and beyond the efforts of many (MANY) traditionally published books from the big six publishers.This book is a heart pounding thrill ride from beginning to end, and I cannot help but highly recommend it to any lover of young adult fiction – and even adults who enjoy action, post-apocalyptic themes, and darker fiction. While not flashy, ANGELFALL is a spectacular book that is definitely one you MUST read.VERDICT: Although a darker book for older teens, ANGELFALL is a spectacular tour de force in young adult fiction, mixing post-apocalyptic and paranormal themes effortlessly. Spectacular!