First Lines: Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious. Outside our condo window, the sky flames like a bruised mango in vivid orange, red, and purple. The clouds ignite with sunset colors, and I’m almost scared those of us caught below will catch on fire too.
Do you ever have those books that just always seem to be talked about but you can’t find anyone who’s actually read them? There’s always been a little chatter about this book that I’ve heard, but it got to the point that my mom (who hardly ever even looks at a YA book) asked if I had read this. When it got to that point, I figured I needed to make reading this a priority, just to find out what everyone was talking about.
It’s been six weeks since angels descended and the apocalypse began. For Penryn, life now is all about keeping her family together and safe from the street gangs that rule the cities while the sun is up. Once the sun goes down, the world belongs to the angels. And when one of those angels takes off with Penryn’s sister, she’ll do anything to get her back…including partnering up with Raffe, an angel who was on the brink of death before Penryn stepped in. She knows Raffe is the key to finding her sister. But how just far is she willing to go to protect her family?
As I was reading this, I noticed there were some very distinct differences between the beginning, middle, and end of the story. So I’ll break down each of those parts because they all almost seem to have a different personality, for whatever reason.
So I thought the beginning was cool. The story drops you right into this apocalyptic world with very little explanation about what was going on. (That part was a little disorienting.) There was enough action to keep things interesting. And Penryn’s really the only one in her family who is capable of fighting for their survival. Meeting Raffe and starting off on that adventure was cool as well and really had my attention.
But the middle felt horribly bogged down and boring. There were so many dystopian cliches in it, from a growing resistance group to women being treated as subservient to men, which really irritates me. I get why resistance groups keep showing up in stories, but the part about women? Why can’t there be an Amazonian community in one of these stories where the women are the warriors and the men keep the camps clean? (PLEASE, someone write that!) There was also something about the writing style that felt off, almost dated. I honestly can’t put into words exactly what it was about it, but it didn’t quite flow in the way I’m used to.
And while the story clearly wants you to believe there’s some kind of connection between Penryn and Raffe, I just didn’t feel it. Based on their personalities and the world they live in, both of them are severely closed off from the other. I barely ever knew what either one was thinking and feeling, let alone what they felt about each other. It was really hard to relate to them as characters.
But that ending…that ending was worth it. I’ve read it twice now. It was creative and adventurous. There were a number of surprising twists and it answered a few questions. I’m not totally sure I bought into everything that happened, but there was enough going on that I was able to overlook some of that.
Overall, I found this to be an interesting dystopian/angel crossover with an exciting plot. It was incredibly creative, even though there were a few execution flaws.