I remember hearing about this book when it first came out and liking the premise, and so I was glad to finally getting around to reading it. I was a bit wary, knowing that it centers around Angels and the apocalypse, in case it was a bit overtly religious or anything, but I'm glad that my fears were pretty much unfounded.
The story is told from the POV of Penryn Young, a teenage girl in California who is trying to protect her crippled 7 year old sister and mentally unstable mother 6 weeks after the apocalypse. 6 weeks ago, Angels appeared on Earth, and after the angel Gabriel was shot dead, a war ensued which resulted in the death of many humans and leaving the rest scavenging and fighting to survive. Penryn and her family soon encounter a group of angels fighting among themselves, and in the aftermath her sister Paige is abducted. Penryn realises she must work with the angel Raffe, who was left behind and stripped of his wings, if she wants to get her sister back. And Raffe has to work with her if he wants to get his wings back.
I thought the story was really good and interesting, and the narrating from Penryn's POV made the whole world seem vivid and real. It was exciting as well, with new twists and bits of drama happening all the time and kept me wanting to keep reading. I like that Ee didn't shy away from some of the more macabre parts of what a post-apocalyptic world would be like, and it did help to add a sense of fear.
Penryn was a good, likeable main character and narrator. She's strong but also caring and devoted and there is a sense of vulnerability underneath. She knows that she has to protect her family at almost any cost. Raffe is also a likeable main character as well. He's strong in a different way and unlike many love interest characters in YA fiction these days, you can see why Penryn is attracted to him and he isn't an arsehole. I like that Ee doesn't go on at length in fancy language about why Raffe is amazing and why Penryn is falling for him, which just makes the whole thing more enjoyable. I liked the relationship between them was uneasy, as they are enemies working together, but that a realistic form of respect and trust did eventually build between them.
I was intrigued by Penryn's mother as well, as I liked the concept of a mentally unstable woman in an apocalypse and what they would. The fact that her mother claims to talk to demons as well was interesting, and I do think there's a lot more to this story that will tie in to the overall story and is yet to be revealed which I'm looking forward to in the future books.
I liked the concept of the angels and the apocalypse, and I liked the idea that they're more human than you might think. I'm glad Ee didn't go too religious and get bogged down in biblical stories and stuff to do with the angels which is nice because it made it more accessible and helped to make sure it wouldn't segregate some readers. There is some stuff still that I would like to know about the angels and stuff, but as this is the first of a series obviously there is some stuff yet to come.