The cliffhanger ending chipped away half a star. YA paranormal dystopian fantasy romance with an interesting plot, very dark and quick-paced.
Penryn is a normal contemporary teenager with a knack for picking locks and years of self-defense lessons on her back. She has a schizophrenic mother who, on her good days, collects newspaper clippings about mothers killing children and a little sister on a wheelchair with a wonderful personality and vegetarian beliefs. The family captured my interest since the outset, characters like a disabled child and an insane mother with an uncanny gift for survival looked promising.
The word is now plunged into chaos, a no-man’s land with bloodthirsty gangs roaming about, killing and scavenging, while angels descend from the sky to destroy and terrorize. The prospects for humanity are very bleak, and they have no clue as to the angels’ intentions.
At the beginning of the story Penryn saves a wounded angel from a vicious group of fellow angels and her sister gets kidnapped when they fly away. As she tracks them down, with the help of the angel, she cyclically reminds us about her quest to save her sister, about how she sticks close to Raffe, a deadly enemy, because she needs to break into the angels’ aerie in San Francisco and he is her only ticket in. He actually is, but while they travel, the story focuses on their light bantering and developing relationship. There are several common tropes, treated with care, but on the emotional connection part, it’s still like watching two awkward kids.
I am reminded that I have to approach YA fantasy with romance carefully. Scenes like, say, when the barely concealed heroine is in the midst of a battle between the sworn enemies of humanity, wont to kill her at first sight, and instead of running away just appraises the hero's bare chest are a bit...too much. Far from me to have something against bare midriffs, but alas.
Will start the sequel and see. I'm currently reading the final book.