Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

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

Title: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: Angels. Dystopia, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: May 2013 (first published May 2011)
Pages: 325
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
It’s been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back…

My Review:

Angels have descended down to earth but they’re not the heavenly creatures people may have expected. Ruthless and lacking any trace of humanity, the Angels are ruling the world and treating humans no better than animals. When an angel takes her little sister Paige, Penryn plans to do the unthinkable. She wants to go into the Angels’ aerie – their home base – to save her. With an injured angel, Raffe, as her guide, Penryn tempts fate to save Paige and bring what’s left of her family back together.

I can understand why this book was an Internet phenomenon. Penryn is such a strong character. The angels have ruined the world. Millions are dead, modern civilisation all but demolished but there are still a few humans left struggling to exist in this new angel ruled world. In a post-apocalypse California, Penryn has been learning how to survive and taking over the parent role in her family. Her mother can not be relied upon for anything and has some strange ideas. But Paige keeps Penryn from getting too serious. Paige, although in a wheelchair after an incident when she was younger, would give up everything she had to help someone else. Penryn needs her little sister and when she’s taken, Penryn risks life and a fate worse than death to bring Paige back.

This is a book with a quest, deadly angels, magical weapons and characters I adored. Penryn is intelligent and focused – if not a little too single mindedly obsessed – with getting her sister back. The angels are ruthless and I loved how different they were from how I usually imagine angels. These angels are beautiful and breathtakingly formidable. They murder humans and think nothing of it. But they’re not invincible. They have politics of their own and a hierarchy that may not be as stable as the humans may believe. I liked Raffe the angel. He’s every bit as intimidating as his fellow angels but due to circumstances beyond his control he finds himself having to rely on a human. The dynamic of Penryn and Raffe was great to read and I enjoyed the lack of an overt romantic relationship between the two.

I really enjoyed this book and for me it lived up to the hype. The gorgeous cover, brilliant take on angels and a heroine who I wanted to read more about. The second book in the series, World After, was released a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to immerse myself once more in Penryn’s world.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon| Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

With the world coming to an end tomorrow (or so TV is trying to tell me), I decided it would be appropriate to review an apocalyptic novel – and I’ve chosen Poison Princess written by one of my favourite paranormal authors, Kresley Cole. I love her Immortals After Dark series and have been wanting to read this book for a very long time. I was delighted to see how Ms. Cole tackled a book in the Young Adult genre.

You know how some people have a list of things they adore and love to read about? This ticked just about every one on my list: motorcycles, gorgeous Cajun bad boys, kick-arse heroines and story that kept me hooked well after I finished the last page.

Title: Poison Princess (The Arcadia Chronicles #1)
Author: Kresley Cole
Genre: post-apocalyptic, dystopian, magic, paranormal, romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: October 2012
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

My Review:

Evie is the golden girl – she’s dating the school’s handsome quarterback and together with her three best friends, she’s one-quarter of the most popular clique in school. But when Evie starts having gruesome visions, her mother ships her off for the summer to a house for disturbed teenagers.

With the start of a new school year Evie tries to ignore the oddities around her and concentrate on her friends, her boyfriend, and the fact there’s only two more years till graduation and then college. Just two more years.

That is until the gorgeous bad boy, Jackson Deveraux, comes to town. Complete with his best friends from the Bayou – Lionel, Clotile and Gaston (Okay… not that Gaston) – they’re there to shake things up. Instantly there’s tension between Jack and Evie. He sees her as the pretty little rich girl who never has to work for anything in her life and Evie sees Jack as a perverted thief from the wrong side of the tracks. But personalities aside – there’s plenty of attraction at first sight from both sides.

Evie’s visions and hallucinations keep getting more bizarre, scary and frequent. When Evie figures out that her nightmares are actually warnings and premonitions of the future- it’s too late. The Flash has devastated the world.

With the only like she has ever known is falling apart all around her Evie doesn’t have much option but to trust one of the only allies she has left – Jack. Together the Cajun and the Princess have to try to work together to survive and figure out what Evie’s powers mean.

I couldn’t put this book down. From the start to the final page there was always something happening that intrigued me into wanting to know exactly what was going to happen next.

The highlight was the banter between Evie and Jack. They would constantly bait each other and the resulting conversations were always amusing. I loved the innuendos and playful taunts but also found their more serious interactions just as scintillating. I thought the way Cole wrote Jack’s dialogue was perfect – it was easy to read and get into the vibe of the Cajun lingo. What I liked most about these two is how their relationship developed. It’s not love at first sight – but there is a great deal of lust from their first encounter. And they aren’t perfect – either of them. But they do grow as people and with regards to their relationship with each other. There are misunderstandings and lack of communication skills and whatnot. I loved that things aren’t easy for Evie and Jack.

Evie’s powers fascinated me – I have to admit that I can’t wait to see where she goes in the future. And the journey that she’s on to defeat the Evil players in the game. She may have started the book as a victim but by the end she was a force to be reckoned with! I have no doubt that Evie will be on the winning side of this dangerous battle but I just don’t know if it will be good or evil who will prevail victorious.

The Tarot element in the plot is interesting and unique. I don’t know much about the Major Arcadia (I had to have a bit of a google search to have a look at the cards we’ve met so far) and thought Selena, Finn and Matthew were such contrasting characters with powers that are so different and yet still have a lot of power. With there being so many “cards” not yet introduced – there’s a lot of room for incredible new characters to make appearances later in the series.

Drama, romance, action and magic – this book really does have it all. Without a doubt I can put this down as one of my favourite books of 2012. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Not a YA Book Review: Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

Wool isn’t a young adult or even a new adult book but I felt like sharing my review on this blog anyway. Whilst not falling under the genre of YA fiction, I still think this series could be read and enjoyed by young adults or adults of any age.

Title: Wool Omnibus (#1-5)
Author: Hugh Howey
Genre: Science Fiction; Dystopia;  Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Century (an imprint of Random House)
Publication Date: January 2013
Pages: 448
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

My Review:

Whilst these books are available as individual ebooks, I’m so glad I had a copy of the five so as soon as I finished each one I could start the next one immediately.

From the few pages of Book 1, I was drawn into the world of Silo living when the mere expression of unhappiness with living in the Silo is the same as signing your own death sentence.

There’s so much drama and suspense throughout these books – Howey isn’t afraid to kill main characters whenever he feels necessary. But whenever new ones are introduced it feels natural and not just as a replacement for a former character. The titles of each of the books being knitting terms was not lost on me.

During some of the books it did feel a little like I was playing catch up – the reasons for the decisions reached at the start of the book not being revealed until the final pages (like in book 1) – but at the same time the with the fast paced nature of the books I never felt lost. There is always something happening.

I found the second book (Proper Gauge) a little on the dull side (especially considering how exciting Holston was) but it did give vital information about the daily living and structure in the Silo as well as the hold the IT had on the Silo.

There’s a little bit of everything in this omnibus – politics; society; a slight love story; treachery – and so much more. The many different narrators add to the complexity of silo living and made it that much more suspenseful – knowing that anyone could die at any moment regardless of whether they were a “main” character or not.

I enjoyed these first five instalments in the Wool series and will definitely be tracking down book 6 as soon as I can.

Thanks to The Reading Room and Random House for the review copy

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository