Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) - Susan Ee I’m sure anyone who has taken a middle school English class has suffered through endless discussion of the plot diagram below:How many times did I have to break down a class-required reading using this chart? Too many! After reading Angelfall, I’d love to go back to my 8th grade teacher and shove this diagram in her face because Angelfall’s plot structure looks a bit more like this:ENDLESS. CLIMAX. It’s like Susan Ee went, “exposition? pshhh who needs that? I’ll just have a major battle scene in the first few pages. Denouement, you say? Well, I don’t speak French, so I think I’ll just end my book in the middle of the climax that has been going since page one.”In some ways, this structure was refreshing. Who hasn’t read a poorly paced book with dull spots aplenty hoping for endless action? But I think by focusing exclusively on high-octane events, Ee does her book a disservice. We never truly get to meet the characters, understand who they are and what motivates them. Thus I failed to connect with them and care about what would happen to them. Furthermore, since the characters are engaged in a battle every other chapter or so, they never really got to know each other. So later in the novel, when their connections become central to their personal choices, I didn’t believe these choices. Additionally, the fascinating backstory to this apocalypse and the details of angelic politics are glossed over in favor of action, meaning the worldbuilding is rather weak, which is a shame since Ee’s interpretation of the angel mythology seems quite novel. While reading Angelfall I kept thinking “THIS IS AWESOME” but I never really cared what happened. It was more so just a need to know. Without any considerable depth, Angelfall is a book I anticipate forgetting quickly. That said, I will likely check out the sequel because 1. holy cliffhanger 2. a girl can hope Ee gets a hold of the more traditional middle school plot diagram and decides to use it.