May 24, 2011

782 words 4 mins read

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

There is something magical about getting to preview a work before it is published. You are getting to see something before (most of) the rest of the world and that makes you feel special, maybe even “better” than the rest of the plebeians who must wait for the release date.

Back in April, I received a sample for Susan Ee’s new book, Angelfall. The sample contained the first 5 chapters of the book, and an invite offering to allow me to read the entirety of the novel. Being sufficiently intrigued by the first few chapters, I responded to the invite and requested a MOBI version to read on my Kindle. The kindle is such a wonderful reading tool. In addition to providing an easy reading experience, it allows for markups. So when I noticed something that seemed slightly off (or that I wanted to ask the author about), I was able to flag it to come back to later.

On to the book! Let’s start with the author’s description:

It’s been six weeks since the 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 17 year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe (Editor’s note: pronounced Raw-fee) is a warrior angel 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 teenaged girl.

Traveling through a devastated California with only each other to rely on for survival, an unwanted and forbidden romance begins to bloom. 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 in the hope of becoming whole again.

Our protagonist, Penryn, is definitely an atypical girl, or at least atypical of the ones I knew when I was that age. She has her act together (no small feat in and of itself for anyone, let alone a teenager), and is able to keep her mother and wheelchair-bound younger sister alive in their condo in this post-apocalyptic scenario. The story starts with them finally deciding to leave said condo, and from there the hijinks (obviously) ensue; it seems that despite their precautions and general sneakiness, they suddenly find themselves witnessing a fight between angels. I don’t want to say much more, so if you are intrigued by this premise, check out the

first 5 chapters on the author’s website.

After I finished reading it, I was left wanting more, and I think you will be too. Since I had already been in contact with the author (for my ARC), I figured I would find out if she was receptive to answering some questions, she was and has allowed me to share them here:

Q: How long did it take you to finish your first draft of Angelfall?

It took me 6 weeks to write a very rough draft. Then it took the next 6 months to shape it into a draft good enough to send to my beta readers.

Q: Do you intend for this to be a standalone novel, or do you plan to write more in this universe?

Oh, this is definitely a series. The story is just beginning… :-)

Q: What was the impetus behind Angelfall?

I’ve known for a long time I wanted to write a novel about angels. They’re so fascinating. They destroy entire cities, turn people into pillars of salt and yet they’re portrayed as cute little cherubs or beings who bend over backwards to make us happy. Like unicorns and vampires, they must have an amazing public relations department.

So what if the PR fog cleared? What if angels were unleashed on the modern world? Would there be nothing but death and destruction? Or would there still be some room for dark adventure and romance? What would happen if one of these battle-hardened warriors had to partner up with an extraordinary victim of their apocalypse?

I just had to find out.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t writing, i.e. what’s your day job (assuming you haven’t become a full time novelist)?

I am now a full time novelist and a part time indie filmmaker. I am also a recovering lawyer.

The author is Susan Ee and her website is www.susanee.com. The book is Angelfall and is currently available from Amazon in the kindle store. For a limited time it will be available for $0.99, so buy it now!