Written by: Susan Ee
Published by: Skyscape
Release date: November 19th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
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?
Spoiler Warning: Proceed with caution if you haven’t read Angelfall, Book 1 of Penryn and the End of Days. Better yet, just go read Angelfall, then come back! I’ll wait, I promise! ;)
This series is so hard for me to talk about coherently. A couple weeks before reading World After, I decided to reread Angelfall, with the intention of writing a review that could precede this review (because the first time I read Angelfall was before I started blogging). Well, that didn’t end up quite the way I intended. After re-reading it, I was even more convinced that I just wouldn’t be able to write a coherent review for it — unless I wanted that review to consist solely of me keysmashing over the characters’ awesomeness and flailing over how much I was dying to read the sequel. Because if you’ve read Angelfall, you’ll know that the ending is… Gah. I can’t talk about it. It was a killer ending.
That said, I am going to try to write some coherent thoughts about World After. …Try. Here goes.
One thing I loved about World After, right off the bat, was where it started in the story. So many series tend to leave some stretch of time between the books, and pick up days, weeks, or months after the end of the previous book. But I adore series where one book just flows seamlessly into the next — and this was the case with World After. It picks up exactly where we left off in Angelfall, with Penryn paralyzed, apparently dead, being whisked away from Raffe after he returned her to her mother at the end of Book 1. THANK HEAVENS Susan Ee decided to pick up from this point, because the wait between these two books was torture to begin with, and I needed to know exactly what happened after that point, not days or even just hours later.
And true to form, right from the very beginning, World After is a whirlwind ride, packed with action and tension and omg-what-is-going-on moments that kept me on the edge of my seat through the entire book. There was never a moment where things slowed down. And even though it’s longer than Angelfall, to me it felt shorter, because it was just so jam-packed with Important Things Happening.
Filler? What filler? You’ll find no unnecessary information here. This is a filler-free-zone, and it is glorious.
And even though the book is absolutely packed with action, the character development continues to be stellar. Balancing action and character development is something I think Susan Ee excels at, beyond so many other authors I’ve read. Sometimes there’s a divide between the “action scenes”, and slower character-driven scenes. But in the Penryn series, it is all important, and we learn so much about the characters, especially during those tense and action-packed moments.
And speaking of learning more about the characters… Penryn has to be one of my favorite female characters right now, because she is just so fierce and brave and loyal — but above all else she’s real. She gets scared, and she has flaws and insecurities, but she never lets those get in her way when she has more important things to focus on. And she’s a character whose romantic relationship does not define her. We’ve all seen tough female characters who, once a guy comes into the picture, he’s all she can think about, to the point where she loses her focus on things that mattered to her before. Penryn is the exact opposite of this. She and Raffe are fantastic together and they make a seriously kickass team, but Penryn knows that she has other important responsibilities that might tear them apart. She can’t be fawning over him or pining for him if she wants to help her family. She never loses sight of this, and it’s just so fantastic to see. Penryn is also a character I love because she is not a static character. She doesn’t just react the same way to the things that happen to her – she grows and learns and adapts to absolutely everything. Ugh, I just love her.
And as for Raffe… Well, admittedly, there’s a lot less Raffe in this book than there was in Angelfall — but weirdly enough, I feel like we learn a lot more about him… possibly because he’s not present. Remember Raffe’s sword, and how he said it was kind of sentient in Angelfall? Well, thanks to that sword, Penryn ends up seeing a lot of different scenes from Raffe’s life, both before and after they met. These scenes are fan-freaking-tastic, and even though Raffe wasn’t there in the present with Penryn, his presence was constantly felt. His absence also totally made sense with what was going on in the story — it’s certainly not a contrived “conflict” that drives the main couple apart just to add tension. And when they finally are reunited… gah. Let me just say, the wait is totally worth it.
And finally — the ending to World After is perfect. It’s slightly cliffhanger-ish, but not nearly as bad as the end of Angelfall, so you don’t need to worry about starting World After if you’re scared that it will end on another life-ruiner like last time. ;) It’s a great ending. I neeeeeed to know what happens next, but I’m also content to wait. Well… I say “content”… x_x
This series is a necessity for any fan of YA. It’s packed with so much awesomeness I don’t even know how it all fits in these short books (well, okay, they’re not really that short, but they go by so quickly). My only theory is that Angelfall and World After must be bigger on the inside. It’s the only way to explain the amount of Stuff Happening and Characters Developing and Relationships Blossoming and Feels Overflowing. And it’s all SO GOOD!
So. If you haven’t read the awesomeness that is World After yet, we might need to have words. If you haven’t even read the awesomeness that is Angelfall yet… we definitely need to have words. Because seriously, what are you waiting for? Book 2 is out! You can read them back to back! …Oh man I’m actually really jealous of you now. ;)