Ridley: There are a few rare books that get an RSA (Ridley Stamp of Approval). It has to have all the elements to receive it; a good relationship, a vivid world and a gripping story! For it to get an RSA, after reading it, there needs to be a thumping heart and a major urge to scurry around telling people to get the novel. I have read some really fantastic books, there are loads out there, some are great on relationships, on characters and others have crafted fantastic vivid worlds (where you can almost close your eyes and see them) but very few have all of these to the same level. We all know the big hitters, they had them all, it’s why they’re so popular!
Last night, I read Angelfall by Susan Ee. The book is completely to my tastes, by that I mean it has a brilliant slow burning relationship (with my new fictional character crush-Raffe!) an engaging story filled with a twisting exciting plot, clever weaving of seemingly unimportant information and a vivid gritty world, which is steeped in fantasy and the supernatural (flying yummy deadly Angels!)
It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world, our future, where merciless angels have been sent down to bring us judgement day. Cities have fallen, unending fires rage and humans have scattered, forced to scavenge in the ruins for food and essentials. (Think of the 2010 film, Book of Eli, with Denzel Washington! They are the images Susan’s words evoke when you read this! Fantastic world building!)
The main character Penryn is a strong, kick ass girl with some great abilities as a fighter. At the same time, by highlighting the type of childhood she’s had to experience, the post-apocalyptic world she’s had to survive in and the dangerous psychotic mother she is forced to look after, we see her vulnerable side. We also see her inherent caring nature from her intense need to protect her handicapped baby sister Paige. When the little seven year old is kidnapped by an angel in revenge for Penryn’s interference in a fight, Penryn is forced to team up with the striking and injured angel, Raffe, in order to save her. (Raffe immediately has all us girls swooning!)
Together, they are forced into an uneasy partnership, both needing help from the other to achieve their end goals. As they travel and meet various obstacles, some of which are quite gruesome, while others are not immediately explained- though this is where the author weaves in information, that later becomes important. These encounters also enable the relationship between Raffe and Penryn to slowly develop. It moves at a steady, believable pace (the fun is in the anticipation after all!!) It goes from a fizzle of attraction and awareness to a slow burn, hinting and teasing us with the possibilities, until you’re just praying it’ll end up building into an inferno between them!
I can’t wait for the sequel!
I’ve finished my gushing now. (Though, did I mention I like the cover too? That rusted brown, dark, stained and old, really represents the type of world now left behind after the destruction brought down by the angels!)
An absolute hidden gem, so glad I can jump on to this bandwagon as it’s starting to get hitched up! Wagon’s roll!