Title: World After
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: YA, post-apocalyptic, fantasy
Series? Yes, #2 in Penryn and the End of Days
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Synopsis from 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?
World After is the perfect follow up to Angelfall – even with Raffe absent for most of the book, Penryn proves that she is a strong heroine and is perfectly capable of telling her own story. The fast-paced action kept me reading until late at night, and suffers no sophomore slump!
Finally! The day has come for me to review World After, the much anticipated sequel to Angelfall. I had just finished a re-read of Angelfall (loved it just as much as the first time) when I started this one, and it’s something I highly recommend if you plan on reading WA any time soon. Ee takes just a small bit of a chapter to recap, but mostly takes off right into this progression in Pen’s story.
Let me repeat that: this is Pen’s story. I think I (and I’m sure many others) let the magnificence that is Raffe cloud my head a bit when I talk about Angelfall. I mostly focus on Raffe and how he relates to Pen, but WA really reminded me that ultimately this is a series about family and what you would do for them, not angels and romance. Kind of reminds me of another fandom I’m in… *coughdestielshipperscough* Pen is just as strong as she was in Angelfall, if not stronger. She pulls out some crazy moves, and proves herself able to hold her own as she stays with Obi and the others in the resistance. But what was even better was that she did have room to grow – and she did. She matured not only emotionally, but also physically – in the form of Raffe’s angel sword teaching her fighting techniques through her dreams.
And can I just say – pookie bear. I died.
That’s what I think is the best part of Ee’s writing – there’s no doubt that this series is dark. And I mean creepy scary dark. In my re-read I was cringing a bit because I had forgotten exactly how heebie-jeebies inducing some chapters were. But she puts in this little bits of sassy humor that come way out of no where and leaving me cracking up. It’s perfectly balanced too – nothing heavy handed in the snark department: a sprinkle is good enough.
The plot was different from Angelfall (duh), but I don’t think this was a detriment. It was a bit slower at first, I’ll admit, but I think that’s natural for a second book. Angelfall was to set everything up, and now in WA Pen has to do something with what she learned. The scorpions, in particular, were a main focus of this book, and WOW those were some wild reveals. I’m definitely looking forward to how that all incorporates itself into the third book.
And now that I’ve provided a semblance of structural critique, can I just say – RAFFE.
I’ll admit, it took me a while to get used to his absence. I really, really, really missed Raffe. Once I got used to it, I truly enjoyed Pen’s adventures while they’re separated. And he’s sort of present in the entire book (won’t explain due to spoilers), but he wasn’t truly there. It was such a happy sigh of relief from me when he comes back into the picture. I think he’s on the same level as Sturmhond for me – I just love the complexity of his character. Plus – snark. Another brownie point to Ee: Raffe isn’t even truly in the book, and yet he still develops as much as Pen.
All in all, a very, very satisfactory followup to Angelfall. I still love the first book a little bit more, but that isn’t to say WA isn’t fantastic in its own way. I highly recommend WA, and the whole series. And I think book three comes out next year? Please be true. Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease.
My Final Rating:
Food for thought (sound off in the comments!)
If you’ve read the book:
- How do you think WA compares to Angelfall? Were you satisfied with how it progressed, or were you left wanting more?
- How did you feel about Raffe being absent? Yay or nay?
- Did you like how the book was refocused on Pen’s ultimate goal: saving Paige?
If you haven’t:
- If your favorite character goes missing for a good chunk of a book, can you accept it or do you pine for the entire time they’re gone?
- Do you prefer the relationships in a book to be focused on family or on romance?
- Please go read this series right now. $5 each on Amazon, folks!