Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: World After by Susan Ee

Friday, November 1, 2013 with 23 comments
Title: World After
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days, book #2
Publisher: Skyscape/Amazon Children's Publishing
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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?

"Everyone thinks I'm dead."
And so begins the sequel to one of the best angel books I've ever read.  I knew World After would be good.  I mean, how could the follow-up to Angelfall be anything but good? This sequel has been a long time coming, though some have been waiting longer than others.  (I only discovered Angelfall last year, but it quickly became a favorite.)  To put all of your dear minds at rest, I'll just say that this book was well worth the wait.

"My dad once told me life would get complicated when I grew up.  I'm guessing this isn't what he meant.  My mom, on the other hand, agreed with him, and I'm guessing this kind of thing is exactly what she meant."
I am ridiculously happy that after everything Penryn Young has suffered, she came through it all with her snark intact.  I probably flagged a hundred passages in my ARC, including those highlighting her quick wit, her sharp-tounged quips, and her banter with Raffe.  But I also loved her inner monologues, where she pondered how best to escape an inescapable situation, how to protect her family, and what to make of her feelings for Raffe.

I voted Penryn to the top of my "favorite heroines ever" list the very first time I read Angelfall, but I've come to appreciate her character even more with this sequel.  Not only is she a skilled fighter who would do anything and risk anything to keep her family safe, but she's also very smart and calculating, and she has a remarkable talent for keeping cool in situations that would find anyone else running for the hills with their tail between their legs.  Penryn is the epitome of what I want in a protagonist because even though she is all these things, she is still just a girl, emotional and vulnerable and just trying to make it to the next day.

The Sword
"I've mentioned that names have power, right?  Do you realize that when she fights battles, she's going to have to announce herself to the opposing sword?  She'll be forced to say something ridiculous like, 'I am Pooky Bear, from an ancient line of archangel swords.'  Or, 'Bow down to me, Pooky Bear, who has only two other equals in all the worlds.'"  He shakes his head.  "How is she going to get any respect?"
Yes, the Sword of Light gets its own section in my review because it is that badass.  This thing is sentient, can tell who's got a hold of it and what their intentions are, and it. Is. Badass.  Okay, I said that already, but I just need to convey how awesome this sword is.  And Penryn has to hide her.

The disguise Penryn comes up with is, well, degrading and demoralizing to the sword and anyone who knows exactly what it is.  As is the name Penryn accidentally gives it.  Those were some of my favorite parts in the story because not only did they show how connected to the sword Penryn already was, they also added some much-needed levity to an otherwise disheartening story.

"Something catches his eye and he walks to the window.  A formation of angels flies past the moon.  He leans toward the glass, almost pressing his face to it as he looks up at the angels. Every line of him tells me he longs to fly with them."
Raffe is, for better or worse, absent from a good chunk of the book.  BUT, through the sentient power of that awesome, badass sword, we get glimpses of him in the past, sort of like his perspective through the sword's eyes.  So, even though he's not there, he's still with us.  I think it's because of this -- and her fear for her family -- that Penryn is able to continue, to keep going when it all seems pointless.
"Raffe looks over at the bloody knife in my hand.  "If I still had any doubts that it was you, that would do it."  He gestures toward my opponent rolling on the ground with his hands cradling his package."
When Raffe does resurface, he is every bit the Raffe we met before.  He still wants his wings back, and now he's fighting with a rage that only comes from grief.  He believed Penryn to be dead, and so he undertook his previous mission with single-minded intensity.  Raffe can be hard and cruel and unforgiving, but he is not wholly unfeeling.  In fact, I believe there's more emotion locked up in his angel heart than we're ready to see yet, which is why we've only been given glimpses so far.

The Romance
"The candlelight flickers a soft glow along his jawline, along his lips.  "I hated losing her."  His voice is a low growl.  "I hadn't realized just how attached I'd gotten."  He reaches and moves a strand of wet hair out of my face.  "How dangerously addictive she could be."
Le sigh.  I'll tell you what's addictive:  everything about Raffe.  Between his quips about Penryn being a lowly human to the condescending way he berates her every action, you'd think he can't stand her.  But quite to the contrary, this is a defense mechanism.  Push her away so that he's not tempted to make the same mistakes his Watchers did.  I get it.  And it's kind of hot to watch the tension between these two, even knowing it won't amount to anything...yet.  That's the thing...all those long looks and all of that banter, they're leading up to something big.  I can feel it.  Raffe can feel it.  Even Penryn, who thinks Raffe has no feelings for her, feels it...she just doesn't quite grasp what it means yet.  The sword helps her along that path, though.  ;0)

Penryn's Family
"He sighs.  "I miss the days when females could be ordered around and they'd have no choice."
"Sure that wasn't just a myth?  I'm pretty sure nobody ever ordered my mom around -- ever."
"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."
For those of you wondering, yes, Penryn's mother is just as crazy, dare I say EVEN crazier than she was in the first book.  That woman gives new meaning to the word crazy.  And yet, this series just would not be the same without her.  Far from being a detriment to all of Penryn's well-laid plans, she actually makes things easier for Penryn...more often than not, anyway.  Her antics tend to keep everyone occupied while Penryn does all the heavy lifting.

Paige is more feared than even their mother now, though, and so Penryn spends a good chunk of time battling her feelings toward her sister and also clashing with others, all in an effort to keep little Paige safe. But the changes inflicted on Paige in the first book have left her stronger and more capable, and it's time Penryn gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Everything else in this novel is just icing on the cake.  Beliel, Obi, and Dee Dum are all present and accounted for, and causing the kind of trouble you'd expect from all of them.  Penryn gets herself into a jam a time or two...or ten.  Plans are being cemented for the evil angels to fully possess our world and everything it has to offer.  And all the while I'm screaming at Raffe to give us some hope.

If you enjoyed Angelfall, I have no doubt you'll love this sequel equally as much.  The writing, the characters, the world...everything you fell in love with in the first book is present and accounted for, only it plucks an even more emotional response from the reader this time around because you already know and love these characters.  You've seen what they've survived, what they're willing to do for each other, and you just want them to be okay in the end.  And you also know that it's going to be a long, long wait for the next book.

Bring on the Angelfall movie already!!!

*All quotes were taken from an ARC and are subject to change.

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)

About the author:

Susan Ee has eaten mezze in the old city of Jerusalem, surfed the warm waters of Costa Rica, and played her short film at a major festival. She has a life-long love of science fiction, fantasy and horror, especially if there's a touch of romance. She used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her souped-up imagination to bust out and go feral.

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) is her debut novel.

Find Susan:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads


  1. Awesome review. Will need to pick this one up soon.

  2. So glad you loved this one! I'm so excited for it!

  3. I am DYING to get my hands on World After! So glad the release date is getting closer!

  4. Oh what I would do to read this book? I have so much to look forward to and sadly, days stretched between now and having this book in my hands. Le sigh.

  5. Good to hear this isn't disappointing. Loved the first book a lot

  6. World After shows us that it is even more difficult to distinguish between angels and demons than ever before. If you read and loved Angelfall, you’ll be wanting some answers!

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  7. I loved, loved, loved World After. Just perfect in every way. *sigh* Susan Ee impresses me so much with how wonderful this series is.

  8. I promise I'll be back to read this when I actually finish writing my review. SO SO happy you loved this book and shared it with me :).

  9. It's very important for the snark to remain in tact! Lol :P I love this cover more than Angelfall...

  10. This sounds so great! I've been wanting to read Angelfall! I will be picking both of these up ASAP (:

  11. Can't wait to read the book now!

  12. I skimmed a bit because I haven't read the first one yet, but it sounds like I'll have no disappointments when I get to this one.

  13. Great review!! I haven't read the first book yet, but it's been on my TBR forever! I can't wait to read both of these!! :)

  14. Great review!!! What should I do now? I don't think I can't wait. I need this book now.

  15. SO glad you loved this one!! Angelfall stole my heart and I've been dying for this sequel for what feels like forever now! I need more Raffe in my life. And I also want a movie ASAP! :D

  16. sounds awesome! Definitely want to read now :) Thanks!

  17. I am intrigued by the Angel aspect. I appreciate your thorough and excited review. Thanks.

  18. I haven't even gotten to start this series yet but I really want too. I really like the covers. And the story sounds unique and really amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Wow, now I REALLY can't wait to read this! It looks so good! Love to hear you liked it! Thanks!

  20. I havent read the first book,yet but have been wanting to!!! Both books sound like they would be good. I will probably pick up the first book in about a month or 2 but defiantly before February!!!

  21. I can't wait to read this book. Nice to hear what you think.

  22. This makes me so excited to read World After! I loved Angelfall, I know this'll be great!


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