Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1



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.


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.


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.


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

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.

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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?


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
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

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