Review: World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) - Susan Ee

Release Date: November 21st 2013
Published By: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 439
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: 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

Review: Warning: This review contains spoilers for Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)

After reading and loving Angelfall, I was actually a little bit worried about reading World After. Not because I didn’t like Angelfall, in fact it was the exact opposite - I loved Angelfall - and I was worried that the sequel wouldn’t live up to the its predecessor. Although not quite as good (second books rarely are), I found World After to be a wonderful sequel, filled with the same superb writing that takes you on an intense and action-packed journey.

World After picks up where Angelfall left off. The apocalypse has come, and the world is suffering due to the destruction caused by the angels. Raffe has wings of a demon and his sword has rejected him and Penryn has been stung by a scorpion hybrid experiment. And as Raffe flew away believing Penryn is dead, and as Penryn watched Raffe fly away with his new wings, we just knew that these two will reunite. But, I will let you know right up front, this doesn’t immediately in World After - in fact, it is quite a fair way into the book before it happens. As much as I love Raffe, I actually liked the fact this reunion didn’t happen early on, as it shows that Penryn’s story, her character and her journey are interesting in itself and not solely reliant on romance. But, the romance, oh how we all want that between these two brave and wonderful characters - although this will not come easily. It is clear that Raffe and Penryn have a strong connection, but sadly, I cannot say that I am certain that this blossoming romance will fully develop - they have so many obstacles in their way; murderous angels, a dying world and of course, the fact that a relationship is forbidden … not to mention that even though Raffe clearly has feelings for Penryn, and even though he starts show his more vulnerable side, he is an honourable angel and does not want to put Penryn at risk by allowing her to get too close. But, while I still hold onto hope that Susan Ee will not disappoint us and rip these two amazing characters apart, I will continue to love the chemistry between these two - the sarcasm, the respect, the bewilderment.

And speaking of Raffe, I must mention his beloved sword, which also plays a much bigger role than you would expect. To me, this aspect of the storyline shows that Susan Ee is an amazing storyteller, finding creative ways to tell a story in new and exciting way. Without giving too much away, after Raffe’s sword rejects him due to his demon wings, he leaves the sword with Penryn - who soon finds out that this amazing sword has feelings, and the ability to help her in ways she never thought possible. Oh, and Penryn names Raffe’s sword something completely inappropriate for such an ancient and dangerous weapon, and Raffe’s reaction to this was highly entertaining!

As with Angelfall, World After creates disturbing imagery filled with angel wings, metal teeth, blood, war and destruction. The horror and gore is stepped a notch in World After, but it does not go too far. As far as angel mythology goes, what I love about this series is that there is enough familiarity for those who have read books involving this mythology before; such as some of the more well-known angels, and the Nephilim. However, I love (and respect) is the fact that the angles are the bad guys. They are dangerous and they think nothing more of humans than they would any other animal. The angel’s lack of empathy towards humans creates a dark and scary tone to the storyline, which is something that is rather unique when it comes to books based on angel mythology in YA. Oh, and Raffe being agnositic?? I still think that is utter genius.

Penryn’s relationship with her family becomes more of a focus in World After. In Angelfall we followed Penryn as she tried to save Paige - however it did not result in the happy-ever-after one would expect. Yes, she did save her little sister, but her sister is now a monster - and while Penryn does not outright treat Paige as terribly as others around them, she cannot bring herself to comfort, or even touch, Paige. This disconnect to her sister is quite sad, and heart wrenching at time - but it shows that Penryn is human, she is scared and she is doing the best she can under the circumstances she finds herself in. We learn a lot more about what Paige went through in during Angelfall, and it truly heartbreaking what this little girl went through, and continues to go through now that she escaped. But don’t underestimate this little girl - she is neither as innocent, nor as scary, as people believe. Her mother also plays a larger part in this book. I love the fact that her mother is unstable - she has done some outright crazy things - but is she really as crazy as she seems? I am not saying she doesn’t have issues, she clearly does, but is it possible that some things she says are dismissed too easily as those around mark it up to psychotic ranting? I find her mother a fascinating character, and a great addition to this storyline.

Lots of other characters return in World After, and what I love about Susan Ee’s writing is that nothing is irrelevant. The plotline for this series is amazingly well thought out - creating an intense and chilling world, with every single event, and every character, playing an important role to create a complex and amazing storyline. Susan Ee gives us just the right amount of information and intrigue to completely suck you into this world, while keeping you interested and wondering what exactly will happen next. I cannot wait for the next instalment in this series to see what will happen in this amazingly crafted and unique world.



“Don’t talk. You’ll just spoil my fantasy of rescuing an innocent damsel in distress as soon as you open your mouth.”

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

“It is painful to see that people prefer a bad guy who looks like an angel to a good guy who looks like a demon.”

“Raffe looks over at the bloody knife in my hand. “If I still had any doubts that it was you, that would do it”.”

“From everything I’ve heard, that would just make me more sexy to you Daughters of Men. What is it that you all see in bad boys?”

“The world going crazy doesn’t mean your mother isn’t still crazy too.”

What do you think?

  • I love this series, and World After upped its game. It’s true, Susan Ee’s writing is really good. Nothing is irrelevant. And Raffe and Penryn’s relationship is just wow!

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I love this series, and even though it was really hard to not see Raffe for more than half the book, I loved the focus on Pen and Paige. The third book cannot come fast enough now - I think I saw on Goodreads that it was this summer? Hopefully!

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