Source: Purchased (e-book).
Genre: YA urban/paranormal fantasy.
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?
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.
- 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?
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.
Have you read End of Days? How about Angelfall or World After?
What did you think?
I’d love to hear from you! :)