The premise of this book, that angels would attack humanity and bring about the apocalypse like a zombie plague, was pretty shocking for the first chapter or so. I liked it. The descriptions of post-disaster Silicon Valley and main character Penryn’s warped life within it was interesting. For these two reasons, Angelfall was quite easy to get into.
I like Penryn as a character. With her loopy mother, strong sense of responsibility for her sister, morality and bravery, she was pretty easy to feel sympathy for as a character. She’s streetwise and can fight but also takes care of people. Raffe (seriously, Rafael again?! And let’s face it, once you’ve come across Paula Weston’s Rafael, it is easy to be disappointed by any others) is not bad as a male lead; he’s hot, strong and protective, but also vulnerable. Big time hero potential. Obi and Dee-dum, members of the human resistance, also have potential. The villains, such as Uriel and Beliel were tres dimensional and even stilted, which is actually a sign of a bigger problem.
While the characters work well in theory, and there is nothing wrong with the plot, the level of feeling and passion within the story was fairly placid. To a certain extent, I’m disinclined to complain about this. I mean, the “I love you but I’m bad for you” or “I want to love you but I can’t” kind of romantic crises that occur in other books like this are clichéd, and the lack of mind-blowing sex scenes with multiple orgasms from extremely secure and giving but very masculine if arrogant partners (I’m thinking of Jennifer Armentrout here) was actually quite refreshing. You see, it is possible to have you urban fantasy/paranormal fiction without gratuitous sex, although apparently not without mention of the heroine’s “core”. Doh! Unfortunately, the lack of emotion wasn’t just in the carnal arena, but transferred into a lack of empathy for the characters and, for me, a lack of belief in the love, horror, lust and fear they felt. The characters were good on paper and kept me reading, but while I was curious, I didn’t really feel for them as much as I would have liked.
It was an easy read and I am curious enough to try the sequel. In fact, I’ve already downloaded it. However, the author really failed to sink her claws into me, and that’s why I am giving this book 3 out 5 non-orgasmic post-apocalyptic hot archangels.