A warm welcome to guest reviewer, Lara Zierke!
Summary: It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with Raffe, an injured enemy angel. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco, where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. (Image and summary from goodreads.com)
My Review: When Penryn sees five angels ganging up on one to cut off his wings, she can’t help but intervene—even if every angel is considered the enemy. As a result, her young wheelchair-bound sister is kidnapped by the angels and Penryn makes a shaky pact with the injured angel, Raffe—she’ll help him survive without his wings if he takes her to the angels’ stronghold so she can find her sister.
Together, they survive street gangs, starvation, a strange human resistance camp, Penryn’s psychotic mother, and flesh-eating demons as they both get closer to the angels’ aerie in San Francisco.
Despite their friendship—and a blossoming romantic tension—their truce has an expiration date. Angels are forbidden to fall in love with humans, and Raffe (the archangel Raphael, known as the Wrath of God) is the one who punishes angels for doing so. Besides, Penryn is too headstrong to fall for the enemy. She struggles with the moralities of war as she turns her back on the resistance movement to help the enemy. She doesn’t know what’s right or wrong anymore, all she knows is that however broken it is, she needs her family back.
It’s been a week since I’ve read this book (and I’ve read three books since) and I am still thinking about it. The characters are immensely complex and fascinating. Penryn is very likely my favorite tough-girl heroine ever. Strong, compassionate, decisive, feminine, flawed, and not annoying. Raffe makes an excellent counter-character, though as the “strong, silent type” I’d really like to get inside his head more. The book opens with action and never lets up, sucking you in from the first paragraph.
My rating: 4.5 Stars
For the sensitive reader: A good amount of fighting and violence (though not described explicitly). This definitely has some darkness to it that could easily be the stuff of nightmares.
Sum it up: A captivating mash-up of urban paranormal and dystopian genres—think Hunger Games meets City of Bones but without annoying heroines.