A Review of World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2), by Susan Ee

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In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

– – – – –

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: makes-your-skin-crawl, horrifying monsters; kick ass main characters; flawed, yet somehow forgivable (?) villain; awesome plot twists; lots of action; edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting plot; snarky humor and witty banter; great read all around

I read Angelfall in April; going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting what I found. Having just finished this second book in the series, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for the final installment. It’s waiting patiently for me on my Kindle—waiting patiently to smash what little’s left of my heart into bits and spit on the mess, I have a feeling.

It’s amazing how many times we have to go against our survival instincts to survive.

Susan Ee has a MORBID imagination, guys. In a fit of procrastination (the climax was quickly approaching and I wasn’t sure my heart could handle it!) I described some of the monsters to my husband. His response? “Okay. So…someone took an acid hit and then went straight to bed.” The creativity here is astounding; I’ve never read anything quite like what Susan Ee has created for us here, and that’s both an awesome and a disturbing thing. Awesome because it makes for one hell of a gut-wrenching read. Disturbing because I have more than enough nightmares already, thank you very much! Honestly, though—I applaud and bow down to the author for her creative genius with these books. I’m never going to sleep the same again.

The writing is also edgy in its own right—humorous, snarky, and almost unbearably descriptive, it’s far too easy to lose yourself in this world and let your own life fade into background noise. These books force you to focus on them. They snatch you out of reality and forge the battle around you. Your heart will pace, prance, and leap with the characters through their varying trials and tribulations. There is no escaping the intensity; you’ll be edge-of-your-seat, biting your nails, muscles clenched to fight or flee deep before you realize you’ve even begun.

I offered the enemy pain relief but never considered it for my own sister. Why?

Because she looked like a monster, that’s why. And it never occurred to me that monsters might feel pain.

It’s interesting, going into this second book, to see how the characters have progressed. Penryn and Raffe both go through some poignant and heavy changes. The fact that we only catch glimpses of Raffe here and there throughout until the very end, when they’re reunited, makes Penryn’s journey more awe-inspiring. We don’t see, until the end, that glimmer of snark and hostility that made me fall in love with her character. It’s apparent that despite their vast differences, Penryn was impacted and touched in multiple ways by the angel.

Susan Ee is also a genius at creative and out-of-left-field plot twists. Not ONCE did I see where any of the foreshadowings, hints, or outcomes were headed. Usually, I can at the very least guess at a couple. For these books? No. I go in and remain blind until the reveals are finished and the resolution is in sight. I’m not sure where the ending for this is leading me…but I can’t wait to dive into the final book of this series! At the same time, though… I’m terrified. Because it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt a lot, I’m betting.

“You’re probably right. The unruliness of the women in your family must go back for generations. You’re like a plague upon the land.”

“So long as we’re also a plague upon angels, I’m sure everyone else will forgive us.”

Once again, Susan Ee surprised me—she might just become a favorite author for me before this series is through! I’d definitely recommend to lovers of “angel” stories, dystopian worlds, or the paranormal and horrifying. This is one trilogy that doesn’t follow the rules—and THAT is what makes it epic!

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4 thoughts on “A Review of World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2), by Susan Ee

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