World After by Susan Ee

world-afterWorld After (Penryn & The End of Days #2) by Susan Ee, published in 2013 by Skyscape.

Author. Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository.

Source: purchased (e-book).

Genre: YA urban postapocalyptic fantasy.

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? (Goodreads)

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My rating: 3.5/5.

This is the second part of a series, so this review might include some spoilers for book one. Check out my review of Angelfall here.

As with the first book, let me just point out the gorgeous cover! Susan Ee is one lucky lady when it comes to her design team. Sometimes these YA covers can be so cheesy (The Mortal Instruments series is one such example). The cover for End of Days is also beautiful so there. A perfect series to own in print (but I got mine in e-book form…).

I read World After almost immediately after re-reading Angelfall, which might be the reason for my slightly lower rating. It just lacked a certain tension (not that the happening isn’t intense…) that I loved about the first part. It also broadened the scope of the action, so I hope that End of Days will take care of all these pesky loose ends.

It’s (even) more gruesome than Angelfall, which is something that’s worth mentioning. Paige, Penryn’s little sister, is damaged (beyond repair?) and the depravity of angels is explored on a whole new level. There’s some pretty icky Frankenstein-style business going on, but it doesn’t feel like it’s there just to shock – Penryn thinks about it all (“Maybe baby monsters need to learn to be monster-like.”) and we’re still waiting for the resolution.

The relationship between Paige, Penryn, and their mother is even more complex than it was – and we see that the mother may not be quite as batshit crazy as we thought… Or she is but she has her moments of lucidity? In any case, this is my favourite quote about her: “My mother mutters nonstop at the receiver. Her voice turns into a cadence, and it creeps me out that it’s the same cadence as when she prays. Because this time, she’s addressing the devil.” This is the crucial question here: In a world where angels are truly evil, what need is there for a devil? I wonder if we’ll meet any residents of the underworld in the final book.

Penryn and Raffe’s fledgeling attraction is explored as well, and I like how it’s evolving. I don’t want to say too much on the subject, but I’m really, really glad that we’ve managed to skip the insta-love cliché for once!

All in all, World After is a solid sequel to a truly cool beginning – and I can’t wait for the finale of this dark story.

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Have you read World After? Or maybe only Angelfall

What did you think? Do you have any reccomendations for similar stories?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! :)

  • I loved these books and am so excited for End of Days, I needed it on my shelf about a year ago when I finished World After to be honest. I agree with you, I feel like Angelfall had all the tension as Penryn searched for her sister, whilst World After seemed to have lost some of that. Whilst the story was still really intense, and a lot darker at times, it was missing that same sense of urgency I got in the first book. I feel like I didn’t need it though because the story got darker and more intense it managed to keep me interested and I just need the third book to read now, I think.

    I wish I could give you a recommendation on a similar book to read, but god these books are so original that there is nothing to recommend that is similar, which is good, that’s why I liked them so much I think.

    • Kaja

      I’m actually glad I couldn’t binge-read the entire series at once! I read World After too soon and I felt it wasn’t as good as Angelfall. Now I’ve had the time to properly miss Penryn and Raffe and I hope they will go out with a blast ;)
      I’ve seen ARCs of End of Days on Instagram this week – lucky lucky people!!! :)