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

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) - Susan Ee I've thought about this book some more, and still can't decide if I want to give it a 2 or 3 stars rating.

See, all things considered, it was an easy, entertaining read for me, and I can't decently blame the book for delivering what I expected from it. Its setting is intriguing, and gives us to see that there's more, much more, lurking behind the scenes. I liked the darker side, the experiments, the fact that the highest among the angels were far from being all white. What they did to children was horrific, and I must say, I appreciate when an author is gutsy enough to write about such doings and let us work our minds around what the ones behind them are trying to achieve. Nothing can be solved nor explained in just a few chapters here, and I like it when I know things can go deeper.

But can they? I don't know. While reading "Angelfall", I couldn't shake off a nagging feeling, and after mulling over it, now I think I've put my finger on it: the angels are too human, and as weird as it sounds, this doesn't work too well for me with the connections created between the character. We're introduced to a post-ap world in which angels have killed a lot of people, destroyed a lot of places, and are controlling most of what's left (the uncontrolled areas being prey to gangs, random violence, and so on). So I guess I was expecting them to be fairly different, non-human, with blue and orange thinking and behaviour patterns—in other words, "the enemy we can't relate to because he's just too alien."

When Raffe an Penryn meet, she doesn't need that much time to behave around him as if he were another human being, and this didn't make much sense in retrospect. (I understand her plans of keeping an eye on him because he may be the only link to her sister; but she still warmed up too easily.) Same with Raffe: too easily as well, he passed for a human being, he behaved in such ways that made other humans believe he was like them. I don't know... I would've imagined something like that very difficult to achieve, for a being who's as old as the world and is supposed not to mingle with those pesky monkeys.

Still, it would've worked if Raffe had been some kind of exception; it would've added another explanation to his being cast off. (Well, maybe he was the exception; I just couldn't see it in the progressing plot.) Only the other angels also behaved in very human ways, even going as far as to mimic going to night clubs, living in hotels, and so on. That part just boggled my mind, to be honest. It felt disconnected. Just like how Raffe and Penryn got to connect so much. Travelling companions in hard times, and at some point budding friends? OK. But romance? Not so early, not yet.

A few other things I wasn't sure of include Penryn's sister (we barely get to connect with her in the beginning, so it's a little hard to care), and how society seemed to quickly revert, in a mere weeks, to male-dominated structures. Women doing the laundry, being allowed into the aerie as cheap trophies and perhaps whores on display... It might make sense in some ways, but it's still annoying, and you'd think that modern USA would've ended up a little different in that regard, especially with a lead female character who're supposed to be trained in martial arts. (She doesn't use those skills enough, in my opinion; go kick a few more faces, Penryn, they deserve it anyway.)

And so, I remain torn over what I'm thinking of this novel. I can't say I didn't like it, since I was entertainted. I guess it just made me go "what?" in too many parts.