I am excited to start a feature of having guests on my blog. I think it is so great to learn more and more about our tastes and favorite books, authors, etc. Anything and everything book related. I am so pleased to introduce you to my new friend Melissa Perea. She too is a fellow book lover and I'm thrilled she agreed to guest review for me today.
Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee
I have always been someone that has enjoyed books. Literature of any type, for that matter, has always beguiled me whether it is magazines, children’s books, short stories’, 500+ page novels or poetry compilations. There is just something so enchanting when you become utterly consumed by a stack of bound paper.
With that being said, my reading obsession didn’t truly begin until I became another member of the “Twilight Bandwagon”. Which in truth, doesn’t even begin to grasp the empire that it has amounted too. Its following is probably greater then the population of a mid-sized country and I wouldn’t be surprised if its GDP surpassed that of even China. Especially, with the amount of money I know most people have spent indulging on books, movies, t-shirts, posters and other extravagant accouterments. I mean I am not a self-proclaimed twi-hard, but I have definitely read the series a few (probably 6 or so) times.
So obviously there is no real need to alert CNN that Stephanie Meyer is singlehandedly responsible for my newfound book “obsession” because it almost goes without saying that this has been the end-result for thousands of readers, if not millions. She sparked something inside of us all and it has spread like wildfire.
As it stands now, I read on average 2-4 books a week. Last year I managed to reach my Goodreads goal of 100 books! This year I have the same goal, but I would love to surpass it by leaps and bounds, which I am sitting pretty in February at having already read 19. But let’s get back to the point of this post and move-on from this rather lengthy introduction.
I almost feel that I can’t quite properly pronounce my feelings for this book. I would assimilate it to the shyness of someone in a foreign country, trying to communicate from a language translation dictionary. You know, where their speech is often full of long pauses, wrongfully appropriated words and awkward pensive staring.
Yes, that’s it. I am now re-entering this review as an English-speaking tourist surrounded by the Hadza speaking Tanzanian locals. You have been warned.
I think I’ll begin with how the general population feels about Angelfall, because without telling you how I personally feel, almost anyone who has checked the book out on Amazon should know it’s worth taking a peep into its pages. It currently boasts 258 reviews of which 222 are of the 5-star variety. Only 1 person decided it was worth 1-star and her review was completely ludicrous, so we can ignore it and safely move-forward assuming that this women, quite possibly, is clinically insane*.
For some reason I always take personal offense to reviewers with nothing nice to say about books, especially the ones that I went all Bambi on and found myself relentlessly twitterpating over. It’s akin to someone telling you your child is ugly 2 seconds after being born. It just plain hurts.
So of course, since I am spending time writing this review, my personal opinion is of the 5-star variety. I did have my reservations in the beginning though. And they turned out to be completely irrational after finishing the book. However, if you must know, I wasn’t a fan of either of the main characters’ names. I have discussed this with several book aficionados and it’s well known that a name can either make or break a book for people. And I was one breath away from a compound fracture.
Susan Ee, the literary genius behind this piece of phenomenal fiction, does redeem herself and by the time I read “The End”, I had completely forgotten any of my previous qualms. Penryn - the vivacious, sarcastic and persistent female lead - and Raffe - the complex, lonely and god-like male lead - are now neatly filed away as two of my all-time favorite characters – names included.
I think one of Angelfall’s most alluring qualities, besides the penetrating plot and mind-blowing visualizations are the supporting characters. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world and if moving around your city like a deranged sewer rat, while trying to prevent an untimely death by street gangs, along with scraping the bottom of trash cans for any visible morsel of edible food, all the while pushing your paraplegic little sister around in a wheel chair isn’t enough to put a damper on your life perspective, then let’s add-in a schizophrenic mother who “hears voices” and carries around rotten eggs like their the golden-ticket into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. If you think your having a bad day, think again.
The supporting cast is almost as intriguing as the post-apocalyptic world that encapsulates you like a warm blanket on a cold-snowy day, albeit a dark, dangerous and evil blanket. On the one-side you have the human race that are doing everything in their power to survive the impending doom. On the other side you have an infantry of Angels, both evil and righteous, who are at the forefront of ending civilization, as we know it. Malevolent plans have been set in motion and the once clear lines of good vs. evil are blending into one massive array of chaos.
Set-aside any preconceived notions you might have about books with Angels. For I can assure you Ms. Ee will knock your “imaginative” socks-off with her new take on a rather superfluous story line. The one thing that I was not prepared for in Angelfall was how truly dark this book is. It has such an otherworldly dimension that one can’t help to believe that this may exactly be how the world ends.
Overall though, this book left little to criticize. Sure, if your a pro you could pick on this and that since no book is ever perfect, but when you write something that has me up reading until the wee-hours of the morning then you've done good. Real good. Especially when you find yourself re-reading it only 30 seconds after its completion because you are just dying to experience it all over again.
So if you are looking for something new to sink your teeth in, I highly recommend Angelfall by Susan Ee and with a kindle price of $.99, what have you got to lose?
*To those reading this who are in fact clinically-insane, I mean no offense.
Book Review by: Melissa Perea - you can see more of Melissa's rants & raves at www.midcenturymodernhousewife.