01 February 2013

Audiobook Friday #12 - Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Published: 21 May 2011

Pages: 254 (paperback)

Genre/s: YA, Post-Apocalyptic, Paranormal

Source: Own

Audio Version
Published: 28 August 2012 by Brilliance Audio
Narrated by: Caitlin Davies
Length: 8 hours, 44 minutes


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.

My Thoughts

I'd never really intended to read Angelfall.  I'd seen it around, knew it was pretty well-loved by most people that had read it, but it never really grabbed my attention.  It was only when I was looking for a new audiobook that I decided I'd give it a go, although my expectations weren't exactly sky high.

The first, and most striking thing about Angelfall was Susan Ee's writing.  It's that dark, bleak and yet lyrical style that I really enjoy, and the opening scene completely grabbed my attention - when the hell did I miss that this was apocalyptic?!   

Penryn is a fantastic character - brave, outspoken and completely focused on saving her beloved sister, Paige.    Although she has some self-defence training she doesn't magically morph into a killing machine at the first sniff of an apocalypse - rather her skill is in her ability to keep a poker face in difficult, frightening situations.  I really liked Raffe too - even at the beginning when he was more than a little prickly, and their relationship never felt rushed or forced, more of a natural progression with a few bumps along the way.

I've read a lot of post-apocalyptic novels, and Ms. Ee's vision of what the world would be like mere weeks after the apocalypse began seems pretty realistic - food, shelter and clothing are still pretty readily available, although fresh food has disappeared and groups of surviving humans have already formed and are staking out their territories or plotting their next moves.    The angel lore is infinitely fascinating, and I was constantly surprised and fascinated by the twists in the plot.

And of course, the ending is one of 'those' endings that made me want to scream with frustration at how long the wait is for the next book.  Although not exactly a book-throwing moment, it's wide open for book two - which is currently scheduled for release in October 2013.

Overall, I enjoyed Angelfall far more than I ever anticipated I would - the characters, world-building and writing all combined to make this a read that I won't be forgetting in a hurry.

The Audio Version

I actually purchased the Kindle version as I wanted to try the Amazon/Audible Whispersync feature.  However, the audio was so good, every time I tried to read the Kindle version I just couldn't wait to get back to the audio.  The narrators voice sounds exactly like I imagined Penryn would, and she does a wonderful job in bringing out the lyrical writing whilst keeping the intensity of the story.  My only criticisim would be that her male voice wasn't really believable and in fact at times sounded quite unattractive and not exactly fitting for Raffe's character.


  1. Bahahah at her male voice. I've had this problem in a lot of audios. The romance doesn't sell because people of the opposite gender often sound ridiculous. Some narrators can do it though, and that's always FANTASTIC.

    1. Strangely, I find men are better at doing women's voices than visa versa. But when it's bad, it's so cringey!

  2. Now I must admit, angel lore isn't exactly at the top of my list, but the story here is interesting enough to maybe get me to try it. I tend to go for audio versions of stories I might not want to invest physical reading time with. I just might have to give this one a go, especially if the prose is as lyrical as you say it is!

    1. I'm even more anti-angel than I am anti-vampire - the few I've read are so horribly fluffy. This was far better than I expected - there's no insta-love and it's lovely and dark!

    2. No insta-love? Dark? I'm sold!

  3. This one has been on my wishlist for a while but I still haven't gotten around to buying it yet. I'm glad you liked it though, makes me want to get it even more. Great review.

    1. It's definitely worth bumping up the list - although the wait until the second book is infinitely long!



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