Cliff McNish

It’s been many years since fourteen-year-old Freya’s life was ruled by an obsession with angels – an obsession which destroyed her family. She has an exciting social life at school, and feels her life is sorted. But then the angels return, and Freya discovers that she herself is a guardian angel. What makes matters worse is the arrival of the strange new girl, Stephanie, who craves for herself the angelic power that Freya resists. Learning to harness this difficult new friendship and her otherworldly abilities are complicated tasks, fraught with difficult decisions to make and dangerous situations to negotiate. Every time Freya helps one of her wards, she puts her own life at risk. And then there are her fellow angels – understanding what they want from her is perhaps the hardest task of all.


33 thoughts on “Angel

  1. I think it was a wonderful book. My friend, Izzi, recommended it to me and afterward I could not put it down. I think it would be awesome if there were a seqyel. (Preferably with a little Freya/Mestraal action.)

  2. Sorry to have to say this, but I feel that this book has got what it takes to win, but not against the black tattoo. It comes a very distant second, but miles ahead of the rest


  3. Angel was very good and i wanted to read abit more about frayers brother because i felt it was more about frayer and the angels.

  4. I think angel is a great hooking book. I think Freya is a great charcter. It is an exciting story that is based on fantasy. I think the friendship between Freya and Stephanie is nice and they deem to be linked by destiny. I think this is a great book and i would strongly recommend this book to anyone and think it is one of the book i could read again and again.

  5. Angel is an exciting story, loosely based on fantasy. It keeps you on your toes and is unlike any other book I’ve ever read. It uses vivid imagery to get you interested and I loved it. As you read it you go through a whole rollercoaster of emotions such as outrage, happiness and sadness. You can relate to each of the characters and especially feel sorry for Freya’s family who have to put up with all of this. I love the character of Mestraal because he shows you that even seemingly perfect people have faults and can crack under pressure; it shows that no-one is infallible. Stephanie is an example of someone we all want to be like because she is unwaveringly loyal to her friends and willing to stand up for what she believes in. Stephanie and Freya are linked by destiny and it is amazing to go with them as they grow as characters, as friends and as people. I found myself really wanting to know whether or not Stephanie finds out what happens to Freya’s dad. This book leaves a real possibility for a sequel and I really hope Cliff McNish decides to write one as I would DEFINITELY read it.

  6. Things I enjoyed about this book:
    I loved the way Cliff mixed the real world with the fantasy world of angels.
    I also loved the way the actual angels weren’t really angels at all and they had to change their appearance.
    It’s a very sad and emotional book which can leave you in tears or leave you fascinated by angels. It was quite upsetting how for both of the main female characters believing in angels made you out to be mad and it shows how few people are open-minded these days.

  7. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It makes you wonder if angels really are real.

  8. This story gets very emotional, especially when Stephanie is involved. My favourite scene is where the fire takes place in Stephanie’s bedroom. The only thing i didn’t really like about the book was that you never got to see Luke’s emotions and thoughts about his sister Freya’s strange behaviour.

  9. This was a strange book that I didn’t particularly enjoy reading. You can empathise with all of the characters and end up feeling bad for Freya’s family who have had to put up with it all. This book has a real cliffhanger ending – which is another reason I didn’t like it. I like all the loose ends tied up! Sorry, this book just was not for me.

  10. I thought this book was magnificent as it tells the wonderful story of 2 girls brought together by their belief in angels. I loved this book because of the connection between Freya and Stephanie and because of the emotion in the book. I was really excited reading this book as I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. I like this book because the characters are believable and it made me more aware of mental illness. I wish there were more books like this.

  11. I loved this book. I literally could not put it down. It is a highly charged and incredibly romantic insight into personal spirituality. It is not, however, a book about religion. McNish tells of the kind of personal faith I, as an atheist, can also feel. He depicts his angels as divine, otherworldly beings but they are not the messengers of god. Neither are they immortal and they are certainly not perfect. They are awe-inspiring and powerful and yet they are also vulnerable. Their burden causes them to suffer under the weight of expectation; though they are nonetheless beautiful. It is a breathtaking metaphor for human potential. They mirror the good and he bad in all of us.
    The story is based on pure fantasy but it is inherently entwined with the real life dramas most teenagers face on a day to day basis. because the writing is so effortless and elegant everything gets magnified but at the same time it all feels possible. Angel is an inspiring story and it is incredibly cathartic to read.

  12. I liked the beginning of this book but the end was disapointing. It was quite strange, yet very sad.

    Rachel Wafer
    YR 9
    Benfield School

  13. I like this book this book because she is seeing angels everywhere i that would be cool, i think that this book could have a chance of winning.

  14. I really enjoyed Angel. It hooked me right from the beginning with its powerful storyline and vivid, visual descriptions. Reading this novel does however require some suspension of belief – you do enter the realms of very strange fantasy.
    The main character, Freya, sees an angel when she is only eight, and this leads to years of psychiatric problems. Just when she thinks everything’s ok and she is now a normal teenager, it all starts again and Freya finds she isn’t mad at all but is actually half angel herself. Her purpose in life being that of helping her “wards” on earth with their problems. This leads to the inclusion in the book of problems such as bullying, peer pressure and coping with terminal illness.
    I liked the way the “angels” were so original and not the religious stereotypes you’d imagine and I thought the author created believable teenage characters even if the setting up of the problems in the early part of the book did make Freya’s school and home life seem overly depressing.

  15. i know i am in the minority but i really enjoyed angel. The idea of there being something out there interests me and i think the way Cliff McNish interpreted this belief was very good. it was quite dark in places, with a few twists, and i will definitely read it again.

  16. I just couldn’t get into Angel. It was kind of the wrong genre for me. Although some things raised were interesting like how appearances mean everything in the teenage world.

    Adam Gilson
    Cramlington Learning Vilage

  17. Who would of thought angels, a history of mental illness and the schools hot blonde would come together to make a memorable book? The accurate portrayal of teenage life and finding friends in new places is inspiring, the characters are very relatable; but with an impressive backstory of angels and the demonic world- it made a memorable read.

  18. The book was well written, but didn’t appeal to me at all. The story line was a bit boring and the ending was extremely far-fetched and poorly written.

    Tom Beeby

  19. Angel is an ok book but jumps into the life story to quickly and I would not recommend this to my friends it is aimed at girls more than boys.

    I thought the start was difficult to get into, the end was disappointing, but the middle was excellent.

  20. Angel is a very sociological chilling book. It is very good but it builds up and builds up but never delivers. The ending lets this book down, all of the action is in the middle and then the book is on a low after that. Very descriptive but not exiting. I rate this book 4/10.

  21. I love this book I just could not put it down!!!
    I really loved the way the athour would talk about one person and go into the next one, with the reader still think they were reading the same person.
    The way the athour described the angels I could really see the image of the angels the white and the black one. The wings spread out wide gloryly.
    At some moments I would become the characters I would become them, speaicaly at home, I felt the mood, the anger that my mum ask me are I o.k. And that when it click that I had anger because of the book!!! (not saying anything bad about the book), just that I just felt so enage and intrested. It one of the books I really enjoy.
    I do hope that are more of this brilliant book.

  22. I think the thing that was so odd about Angel was the way it was fantasy, but in a normal, present day situation. It just seemed strange to combine the two different worlds. But the emotions were well described and the characters were well developed throughout.

  23. such an intresting and engaging book!
    but at the end it wasa quite a strange turn out!

    Overall a brilliant read!

  24. I think this book is great but i also think that Cliff Mcnish should have done a bit more research into the school-lives of teenagers. But great book all round, i agree with naomi, there should be a sequel!!!

  25. “Angel” by Cliff McNish is a very moving story. Freya is a girl who has had mental problems in the past and the story follows her battling to live a normal life. It made me feel quite weird, like I was watching the story unfold in front of me. I was scared for Freya and I could think of what she looked like, what her surroundings looked like, and what her thoughts were. It was like it was real, and I even got scared walking home in the dark on my own, because It was so drummed into my head!

  26. I thought that this book was really good and that there isnt a boring moment in this book. I have also read ‘Breathe’ by Cliff McNish and it was also very good with loads of action that keeps you gripped. I liked this book but sometimes some of the things didnt make sense or confused me but overall i would give this book a 6 out of 10.

  27. Unfortunately i have to disagree i thought that this book was truly fantastic as i read the last chapters, my fists were clenched.

    I love the fact that the book looks into different aspects of what angels really are !


  28. The writer engages the target audience by jumping from the action to the calmness of the school. There are many words I did not understand. The middle part was a bit surprising and unexpected. There was some heart breaking and emotional moments. I would defiantly recommend this book to my friends. The end was a bit disappointing, it could be improved. If they made it into a film, I would tell them to rethink the ending. Overall I would rate this book a 7 out of ten.

  29. This book was a captivating read which kept us clinging onto our seats for the majority of this exhilarating ride. However certain aspects broke the flow: the merging of reality and fantasy was sometimes jarring to the system: it was odd.

    But Good Luck for the future Mr. McNish!

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