I don’t have a lot of experience when it comes to angel fiction. Or the paranormal genre in general, for that matter. I’ve always been a bit sceptical of those sorts of books mostly because of the romance side of things; hunky supernatural guys have a tendency to steal the spotlight away from our strong female protagonists. But Angelfall felt different right from the start and it turned out to be a very engaging read.
If you’re going to pick one word to sum up Angelfall it should definitely be ‘unique’. The premise is totally original and that’s one of the things that made it so interesting. It was a real diverse blend of genres; everything from supernatural to romance to post-apocalyptic, even a touch of horror. Speaking of romance I’m definitely one of the people who thought that Penryn and Raffe had obvious chemistry. I loved how they went from reluctant allies to love interests – slow burn romances are the best! But more important than that is how the characters stand out as believable and complex individuals in their own right. Penryn is one of the best protagonists I’ve had the pleasure of reading about in recent months. She’s strong and independent and fiercely kick ass. Raffe doesn’t spend the entire book as some stoic, broody angelic guy either. Both of them have divided loyalties which were really intriguing to read about and could continue to expand into the next books in the trilogy.
Ee’s writing style is one that really appeals to me: full of action and personality without being heavy handed with the romance. There’s also a distinct lack of clichés in her writing – no love triangles or anything like that. Her villains and minor characters are well written too and offer great opportunities for character development, exploring their backstories and motivations.
There isn’t much that springs to mind here. The only thing I’m undecided on is Penryn’s mother. On the one hand I love the diversity that sprung from reading about a character with a severe mental illness but on the other I’m not sure how I feel about her portrayal. She gave me the creeps a lot of the time and I’m not sure how realistic that is. Also I think it’s important to stress that as much as I loved the story, other people might find the plot a bit bizarre. Best avoided if you’re the squeamish type I’d say!
I’m going to go with four and a half stars for this one. I just thought it was so damn good! The concept is very different to anything else I’ve come across before and the characters are superbly well written, particularly our protagonist, which isn’t always the case in YA. Angelfall is definitely worth picking up, and it will probably be a book I come back and re-read at some point in the future, which is high praise indeed coming from someone who very rarely re-reads anything!