End of Days by Susan Ee

End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days #3) by Susan Ee
Published May 2015 by Skyscape.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: Purchased (e-book).

Genre: YA urban/paranormal fantasy.

My rating:

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

zmaj-desnoThis is the review for the third and final instalment of the trilogy, so there are bound to be some spoilers for Angelfall and World After (click to read my reviews).

Can I just say how much I love the cover? The whole series looks amazing and it’s one of the few times I’ve been tempted to buy physical copies in addition to e-versions so I could admire them on my shelf.

But the story… Oh, I wanted ever so much to love it because Raffe and Penryn have to be one of the cutest / weirdest couples in recent YA fiction, I liked the fight for humanity, the terrible angels and everything, but all the things that were wrong with World After just got worse here.

So… what went wrong?

  • Too many flashbacks – or at least, too much of the story hinges on the information Penryn gets by listening to Raffe’s sword, Pooky Bear (yeah I love that name!). This means she isn’t actually present for the action and doesn’t end up doing much up until the last part of the book.
  • Too much weird stuff – if you’ve read the first two novels, you know this book is all about the weird. But I got the feeling Ee was trying to fit in as much info and happening as she possibly could and the result was more than a little confusing at times.
Did you know there's a meme generator for these? SO COOL. Also, my first meme on the blog (soon, I'll be using gifs [never!]).

Did you know there’s a meme generator for these? SO COOL. Also, my first meme on the blog (soon, I’ll be using gifs, haha). I love Hyperbole and a Half.

  • A change of scenery. Ok I’m just going to go into full spoiler mode here and put it in white and if you’ve read the book, I’d love to discuss this but don’t read it if you haven’t. You’ve been warned! *spoiler in white* That part when Penryn and Raffe ride hellions (Btw are those devils? Fallen angels? Demons?) into the hellhole to get back Raffe’s fallen Watchers. OMG this was too confusing. Their wings were still attached but without feathers? Were they demons, then? What’s up with that disgusting sea of hands? And anyone who isn’t freaked out by maggots is weird. No question. I have no idea what happened there. Also – how could they leave Belliel down there? I dislike time-travelling stories where the whole changing-the-future thing isn’t well thought-out and here it was more of an afterthought. Couldn’t they have just gone into this hellhole and pulled them out? I don’t know… Also: I didn’t like how this pulled them out of the action on Earth. Too much of that alltogether. *end spoiler*
  • Dee and Dum. Fred and George Weasley, anyone?

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But it wasn’t all bad, that’s for sure. I liked how Penryn’s and Raffe’s relationship worked out in the end and that *spoiler in white* for once, it wasn’t the girl who sacrificed herself for the boy*end spoiler*! Penryn’s mom and sister also have significant roles here and I liked the family dynamic. I know, I know, the mother is still as crazy (seriously, this goes beyond paranoid schizophrenia) as she was but Penryn starts seeing her in a different way.

I wonder what devout Christian readers might think of this story. It’s not really clear (at least it wasn’t to me) whether God exists, whether his Messenger was just deluded or not… And the portrayal of the vast majority of the angels isn’t too favourable. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I read books with Christian mythology pretty much the same as I would those that include Nordic or Celtic (or completely made-up) gods but I get that it could be delicate for some readers. I loved what Laini Taylor did with the angels (and devils!) in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, for example.

All in all, I’m glad I finished this series (I’m really bad with finishing series!), it was a quick read and Raffe and Penryn still melt my heart a little. But I was hoping for something else, story-wise, so this didn’t work too well for me.

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Have you read End of Days? How about Angelfall or World After?

What did you think?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

  • 2.5? 2.5!?!?!?! Oh no, I didn’t want to go too deeply in your review because I have plans to read this one soon, but that rating really broke my heart! Oh well, I recently signed up for a free month of Kindle Unlimited and End of Days is eligible for it so at least this one will be a free read/audiobook listen. Gahhh, I’m anxious now.

    ~Mogsy

    • Well, you know, I’ve been wrong before so it might be a great fit for you :) I’ll be looking for your review so we’ll discuss it then.

      Kindle Unlimited, huh? I don’t think I can get it in Slovenia but I’ve been wondering about it – it seems like a good idea but then all shiny marketing ploys are :)

  • Benish

    Uh hi hi actually gave it 3.5 although I was thinking more of 3 stars. I thought it was just okay, I needed more raw emotion which wasn’t really there& I agree about the flashbacks! That was just so frustrating. Glad to read a similiar review :) Love the honesty <3 Benish| Feminist Reflections

    • I’m happy I wasn’t the only one who thought this one could have used some more polish. I wish she’d have cut out half the flashback scenes – from what I’ve seen around the blogs, this seems to be the biggest problem for most of us!
      Thanks for the comment :)

  • I didn’t read ‘End of days’, but I have read first two books. I will read the third since I like to finish series, but I do not expect much. This series went a bit downhill for me. The first one was amazing and the second just ok – it had too many flashbacks. From your review it seems book #3 is not much better. *sigh*

    • I’ll be waiting for your review, then! :) I thought World After was starting to get a bit weird (especially since I read it immediately after Angelfall!) but this one just unravelled into something that’s just not made for me.

      • I still didn’t buy it, so you might wait a bit, but it’s coming. I expected it to go in other direction too. We’ll see how it ends…

  • Maraia

    My excitement for this book is waning by the minute. I don’t think I’ve heard about anyone who loved it. I’m sure I’ll read it eventually, because I like to finish series, but I’m definitely not in a rush anymore.

    • Well maybe you’ll be the exception and you’ll love it :) You never know! I had such high hopes for it, that’s probably one of the reasons for my disappointment.

  • Yikes…that doesn’t sound too great. I gotta be honest, after the second book (which I found disappointing and problematic) I’m basically reading this series for Penryn and Raffe with a side order of Pooky Bear. The world building got really odd and Paige became a bit too angsty for me to handle. Their whole vibe is just…ugh I love it. That whole ‘hate to love you’ thing gets to me, what can I say? You’re definitely right about the levels of ‘weird’ in this series…I’m still not over how freaking creepy those locusts are. I mean…ew.

    I often wonder what Christian readers think of a sotry whenever angels, devils, and monotheistic gods are mentioned. Sometimes the author is clearly writing commentary on religion and other times the story seems essentially divorced from Christian teachings and stories.

    • Pooky Bear … yeah Penryn’s relationship with this sword only gets weirder here :D But there’s more Raffe and Penryn action than in World After, so that’s definitely a plus. And I get what you mean – sworn enemies becoming friends and then lovers –> instant swoon :)

      I think that if I was an author, I’d stay away from religion because it has to be one of the most delicate issues out there. I mean, lots of topics are “taboo” still, like LGBT in some communities, but religion is one of the things that divides people.

  • I’ve been putting off reading your review for ages because I hadn’t read the third book despite my excitement for it to be released, but this actually helped to motivate me to do a speedy three day binge of these books (I’m impressed I managed a book a day to be able to do a reread of this series).

    So, I’ve now literally finished about an hour ago and whilst I get some of your points about the book, the weird journey to the Pit was a bit confusing, but I liked the book more than I disliked stuff. I did feel like parts of the story were rushed. It’s like Ee realised she only had one book left to wrap up all the loose ends and I was a bit disappointed with some parts of the story. You never got true clarification about Uriel’s actions, or why the angels came to earth. I wanted to get a better explanation of the angels and I agree I wanted a bit more on what was going on with the Messenger and if he was crazy or true.

    I did love the romance, though, it was what made me love the series, and wither with the stuff that annoys me I kind of had to give it a 5 star rating simply because I love this series, Ee managed to absorb me in this world and I can merrily ignore or faults. I’ve got rose tinted glasses on this one I think.