Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1 Book Poster Image

Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1

(i)

 

An intense, sometimes horrific, end-of-the-world adventure.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Angelfall is set in the San Francisco Bay Area and portrays a fairly realistic picture of its geography. The mythology of angels plays a part in the story, but the book's adherence to standard folklore remains murky.

Positive messages

Much of Angelfall is concerned with the meaning of loyalty -- between family members, between friends, and even between species. Penryn is often at odds with other characters, but she bravely bases her actions on staying true to the needs of her mother and sister in particular and humankind in general.

Positive role models

Penryn, the protagonist of Angelfall, is a resourceful and brave young woman ready to put herself in danger in order to protect her schizophrenic mother or her disabled younger sister. Faced with an injured but still powerful angel, she uses her strength of character to continue her search for her missing sibling.

Violence

Angelfall contains a fair amount of violence and elements of horror. Angels battle each other with magical swords and tear off each other's wings. Hordes of tiny demons eat human victims and leave their body parts strewn around. Scorpion-like angels sting and suck the life force from their human victims.

Sex

In Angelfall, Penryn is obviously sexual attracted to classically handsome Raffe, but their antagonistic relationship seems to preclude any sort of romantic entanglement. But she does enjoy watching him walk around in nothing but a towel. In the angels' San Francisco aerie, human women dress and act provocatively to grab the attention of their hosts.

Language

Set after a religious apocalypse, Angelfall naturally features a fair number of instances of "damn" and "hell." Otherwise, there's not much objectionable language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In the angels' San Francisco aerie, some of the heavenly host drink and smoke. Penryn and Raffe do not partake.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Angelfall is a gripping and intense supernatural post-apocalyptic adventure. There's a fair amount of violence (angels battle each other) and horrific elements (hordes of tiny demons devour humans and scorpion-like angels sting and suck the life force from their human victims), which may be too disturbing for some younger or more sensitive readers. Although the main characters are obviously attracted to each other, the sexual content is low, as is the level of profanity.

What's the story?

Six weeks after angels have descended upon Earth and destroyed most of civilization, 17-year-old Penryn struggles to protect her mentally ill mother and her wheelchair-bound sister. She witnesses a battle between two angels, only to see the victor fly away with her sister, leaving behind the loser, Raffe, shorn of his wings. Penryn and Raffe form an uneasy alliance as they make their way to San Francisco to confront the new angelic regime.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

ANGELFALL serves up a fresh take on the Apocalypse, using angels as the instruments of humanity's destruction. Seventeen-year-old Penryn is an engaging and resourceful narrator-protagonist, and the relationship that develops between her and the injured angel Raffe has a refreshingly sarcastic undertone. Much of the story's big picture, however, remains obscured, with little hint about what the angels are actually up to, and that withholding of key information undercuts some of the plot's urgency. Some of the revelations at the book's climax, however, are likely to discomfort some of the novel's more sensitive readers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of angels in recent young-adult fantasy fiction. Why might this be a trend these days? 

  • What kinds of moral tradeoffs might you have to make in the wake of a cataclysm as in Angelfall?

  • What do various religions tell us about the end of the world?

Book details

Author:Susan Ee
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Amazon Children's Publishing
Publication date:August 28, 2012
Number of pages:290
Publisher's recommended age(s):14 - 17
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Kindle

This review of Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Intense sci-fi romance in post-big-earthquake L.A.
  • Zombie apocalypse meets mature high school-set thriller.
  • Thrilling epic for experienced fantasy readers.

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator Written bydragon.elf July 6, 2016

Not the best but not the worst...

I did enjoy reading this book, though it's definitely not my favourite. There were many things that didn't really make sense or were not explained well enough. First...why did the world end up like this? Why did the angels decide to attack and make everyone run and hide, fearing for their lives and not even trusting other humans? I guess this is kind of explained a little bit toward the very end of the book, but still. Penryn's mom and sister, Paige. They're very odd additions to the cast of characters in this novel. Her mom is insane and schizophrenic, and her younger sister is paralyzed. But I don't think we are ever told how old Paige is, or specifically how she is crippled. It is implied that her mother had something to do with it, but nothing specific is really confirmed - only that she can't walk and it's kind of a mystery how that happened. Also, Paige is a very strict vegetarian. Because of a chicken that she thought was funny when she was a lot younger. How in the world can someone be a strict vegetarian in an apocalyptic world with barely any food?? And why does Penryn keep finding random energy bars lying around whenever she needs them? It's like they're Easter eggs or something... Penryn, being the narrator, obviously has a lot of commentary in the story. One thing she talks about earlier in the book is how she's so great at fighting because she had tons of intense martial arts training...yet she is afraid of a few random street gangs that might be outside where she is staying. But then she thinks she can fight angels? (And then later on she DOES fight a bunch of angels...and doesn't get killed) One of the characters says that Penryn must know that angels are bad news, because ALL of the angels in the Bible show up when there is bad news. Well, obviously the author (or at least the characters) don't know the Bible, because Gabriel telling Mary about Jesus' birth was not bad news, nor was the angel's announcement that Jesus was not dead bad news. Language: I didn't keep a record, but there were quite a few swear words. No f-bombs, though. Sexual Content: A man in the rebels' camp makes obscene gestures and rude sexual comments to Penryn. Women are allowed entrance to the angels' aerie to "entertain" them. Sex with human women is forbidden for angels, but apparently anything else is allowed. All of these women are scantily clad. Penryn and Raffe kiss passionately. I probably wouldn't recommend this book to a friend unless I knew they enjoyed reading about angels or post-apocalyptic stories.
Kid, 11 years old April 24, 2016

Great Book…Iffy Material

This book has become one of my favorites ever since I finished it! It has a mix of action, romance, horror and fantasy. But, there are some inappropriate scenes. Lots of shirtless men. One guy character does something VERY suggestive with his body to turn Penryn off and get them in a fight. And there is a LOT of blood here, so if you're sensitive to gore, this book is not for you. And it's not exactly scary, it's disturbing. Aside from all of the inappropriate scenes, it's a great book for teens 15+.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?