(Penryn & The End of Days #2)
When this book showed up on my doorstep I promised myself (while happy dancing, it should be noted) that I would read slowly and stretch this out to savor it. Who the hell was I kidding?! I was doomed as soon as I opened the cover. This book kept me up ALL night! I didn’t just “enjoy” this book I loved every single minute of the ride. It’s been a few days now and I’m still having trouble writing a review that doesn’t solely consist of omg squee omg aghhh *random animal noises* (don’t even ask).
Susan Ee somehow manages to take everything I love most in books and blend it all together perfectly. Intense action, creeptastic horror, witty banter, sexual tension off the charts, complex characters- the gang’s all here!
Penryn has got to be one of my favorite YA heroines of all time. She’s bold, courageous, stubborn, selfless, smart and so strong yet despite all the hardship she has been through she’s still very empathetic to others. Even when she does stupid things she’s smart enough to realize this is a bad idea but her conscience won’t allow her to just walk away. The brief moments she gets to expose her vulnerability and insecurity are so touching. It is a nice reminder that beneath her strength and bravado this is still a young, inexperienced girl. Her stammering during the few romantic scenes made me laugh out loud and cringe for her at the same time.
Her family makes me think my family isn’t weird after all. As creepy as her mom was in the last book she kicks it up a notch this time around. I think I’m more terrified of her holding a lipstick now than the cattle prod she is so fond of. There’s a scene between her and Pen that made my heart hurt. I’ve known that having to deal with her mentally ill mother is what has made Penryn so strong and independent but it’s so hard to see it happening. Paige is also featured a lot in the beginning of this book and it is just as unsettling. We finally get to see what happened to her after she was taken by the angels in Angelfall and it isn’t pretty. She’s only seven, you guys, seven and they have transformed her into something so monstrous even Penryn struggles to see the little sister she adores through it.
Of course we have to talk about our favorite angel with demon wings, Raffe. While we do get to see flashes of him here and there he’s not really around until the end of the book. Surprisingly, this did not detract from my enjoyment and he more than makes up for his absence once he does show up. Believing Penryn is dead, he has been pursuing his beautiful white angel wings with a single-minded intensity. It was both refreshing and true to his character that he didn't just give up after her “death” and sit around moping. The banter between him and Penryn absolutely slayed me just like the first book but we also get some really touching tender moments between them too. We also get to learn a lot about his past and why he is so against angel and human relationships. The nearly combustible tension between them is driving me crazy but I love it.
The sword- yep, she’s getting her own section because this time around she’s basically a character in her own right. This thing is not only sentient it is able to share visions of the past and is the sole reason we finally get to learn so much about Raffe’s past. It uses them to teach her things, to motivate her, and even to comfort her. Also, Penryn saddles it with what is quite possibly the worst name ever for an Archangel sword. That and the disguise she made for it had me cracking up while feeling bad for it. I felt bad for a sword- if that isn’t a testament to Ee’s writing, I don’t know what is.
If you loved Angelfall, you’re going to love World After. It has everything you love about the first one kicked up a notch. Now stop wasting time reading reviews and go buy this book! You can thank me later.