Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: World After by Susan Ee

World After by Susan Ee
Book Two of the Penryn & the End of Days series
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (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?

What I Liked:

Okay, errr... this one was good, but not great - at least, for me. I honestly felt disappointed, after reading this one. Maybe my expectations were entirely too high, after reading Angelfall. I really liked Angelfall, but I felt like this one wasn't as powerful as its predecessor, holistically. In some ways, World After was even more shocking than Angelfall. But in other ways, it was more lacking in certain elements than Angelfall.

This is my March Pili-Pushed recommendation. I reviewed Angelfall in March as well, but it was supposed to be my February Pili-Pushed recommendation. Hehe.

The first line of this book is literally "Everyone thinks I'm dead." Raffe, Penryn's mother, Penryn's sister, the Resistance... everyone thinks Penryn is dead, as she is taken by the Resistance with her mother and sister, away from the destroyed aerie. Penryn is alive, and she works with the Resistance to learn more about the angels and their plans for humans. Startling discoveries are made, and Penryn, her mother, and another woman are captured by the angels and taken into a lab. While Penryn attempts to find a way out of the lab, she wonders where Raffe is. She's on her own, Raffe's on his own, but the world needs saving...

I think, overall, I liked this book. It starts off very slowly, and I was a bit confused at the beginning. The book begins right where Angelfall left off, in which Penryn and her family are in a truck with the Resistance. I was confused as to why everyone was shocked when she just say up, but I guess it makes sense, everyone thought she was dead. It just seemed weird, because for some reason, I thought her family knew she was just paralyzed. Anyway, never mind.

There is a lot of creepy, scary stuff in this book. Mutilation is the tip of the iceberg. Uriel, Layla, and Beliel are up to some crazy stuff, cooking up horrible creatures and destroying humans. It's awful to see humans reduced to such primitive and animalistic beings, with base natures and drives of hunger and safety. This is so well-written by the author, even if it is terrifying.

Penryn is a lovely character to follow. She is just as courageous and fearless as she was in Angelfall. Raffe is not basically not present in the entire book, but it's obvious from both Angelfall and World After that Penryn can either hold her own, and do the smart thing and hide. Because Raffe isn't around in this book, there's a lot less humor and banter like there was in Angelfall. I missed it but while I was reading, I was constantly looking out for Raffe's return.

Raffe does make an appearance in this book... however short it was, it was nice to see him exist in this sequel. I thought the author would have the entire book go by, and then reintroduce him in book three. Raffe is part of about 10% of this novel, which isn't a lot, but he's solidly in that 10%.

Nothing moves forward or backward, in terms of the romance. I'll say no more. 

Surprisingly, the end of this book really isn't a cliffhanger. Authors LOVE to end sequel novels (the second book of a trilogy, especially) with a good old NASTY cliffhanger (one of the protagonists was imprisoned, one of the protagonists is mortally wounded, etc.). This book ends fairly. Thank goodness. So I suppose the wait for End of Days wouldn't have been agonizing as it could have been!

What I Did Not Like:

Problems. There were quite a few. I found this book to be extremely predictable. I'm not satisfied with the lack of explanations of things - I let it slide in Angelfall, thinking that things would be more fully explained in this book. Not so. Furthermore, there is little dialogue in this book, because Penryn hardly interacts with people. Little dialogue made this book slightly slower and sluggish, more so than I would have liked.

I could see "plot twists" from a mile away. I like to think I'm a pretty astute reader, but there's an astute reader, and then there's straight-up obvious plot. You can totally tell when one thing is going to happen. For example, OF COURSE Penryn and her mother get caught by the angels when they go exploring. They had spotted other humans running, and what do they do? Hide in the shadows, see what's happening, and then you know it's going to happen... they get caught with the other humans, by the angels! There are so many instances of this, where the author introduces something (like, the angels have a lab and are doing mysterious things), and then the author "fixes" the lack of knowledge of the something by plopping Penryn directly into the thick of things. Or when Raffe first enters this story. OF COURSE he's there in the new aerie. Predictable. 

I don't like how things aren't explained. Why did Penryn not die? Why does her mother see things, hear things, talk to the devil, whatever? Why is Paige special? Why is Penryn special? Why is Penryn, a human, able to take on angels? I don't understand how and why any of this is possible, and the author offers no explanations. I didn't think too much of it in book one, because there's plenty of time to explain yourself, but by book two, key plot arcs should be explained. In my opinion. And then in book three, things will be wrapped up and put together and the final showdown can occur, with the protagonist finally knowing and understanding everything about the supernatural world. This isn't what's happening, in this series.

It seems like without Raffe, there is no dialogue in this book. There's dialogue, don't get me wrong; but it's significantly less dialogue, which is tiresome and a bit boring. This book started slowly and didn't really pick up until about halfway through. Then the pages started flying, and bam, I was finished. But the first half was slow. This is definitely attributed by the lack of dialogue.

Let's not forget the fact that, ahem, Raffe is NOT IN THIS BOOK. He's barely in the book is what I mean. But he might as well have not been in the book. He makes a bit of progress with getting his wings back. We understand why his sword doesn't want him at the moment. In the short time that he IS in this book, parts to his story are addressed. 

The romance, however, is not addressed. It's clear that each of them have feelings towards the other. It's also clear that neither of them are going to act on those feelings. There is no physical interactions in this book, between Raffe and Penryn, and honestly, there are no sentimental and emotional interactions either, in my opinion. Boooo.

Would I Recommend It:

I still liked this book, despite feeling disappointed. I wasn't as impressed as basically the entire book world, but I'd still recommend this book. It wasn't as good as Angelfall, but the series in general is really good, definitely enjoyable. I hope End of Days does a better job of cleaning up things, especially since it's the conclusion to this series!


3 stars. Probably on the low end of 3 stars. Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad I read this book. But I think either I wanted too much from this book, or this book really just didn't deliver. It's probably a combination of the two. Either way, I'm looking forward to reading End of Days.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. Boooo I was expecting Penryn and Raffe! Raffe and Penryn!! Now I'm in no hurry to read this one lol.....

    1. Haha! I would wait until the third book is published, Eileen! :D

  2. Oigh, I am sorry to hear this one was a disappointment, Alyssa!
    I did want more explanations about Penryn's mum, is she just nuts or do her ravings make sense somehow for some reason? I guess we'll have to wait till End of Days!

    1. It's not too much of a disappointment, but I felt disappointed. If that makes sense. And I hope the author explains at least SOME things... I have theories about Penryn and her family, but I guess we'll have to see about book three!

  3. wow, I have to say you are the first person that I am seeing a non-raving review fo rthis book.

    Im glad that you still ended up enjoying it, even if you didn't love it

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. LOL! I'm usually a little more critical than most. It was okay though, just not awesome.

      Thank you, Michelle!

  4. The fact that Raffe is barely in this book is why I kept pushing off this book. Once I get the final book, I'll binge read the two. Raffe is my favorite part of this series! I'm sorry to hear about the lack of explanations in the book. I'd be frustrated too! :/
    I hope book 3 answers all your questions!!
    Lovely review, Alyssa!

    1. Right?! I'm glad I pushed myself to read this one so soon after reading book one... but then again, I'm reading the series about two months before the final book releases :D So the wait won't be too bad. I hope you love End of Days when you read it, Nick!

      Thank you so much! <3

  5. Aw, sad face. I'm so sorry you were disappointed by this book Alyssa. Now I'm worried about reading book one and two, lol. Because omg. He is only in it for about 10%? THAT IS SO DEPRESSING :( It would bother me so damn much. Hmph. But still. I'm glad you liked the girl and some of the plot :D I'm curious. Reading them all soonish ;p Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

    1. It was pretty sad :/ I liked the book overall though, so don't let it bother you. Thank YOU, Carina!

  6. I agree that this books was not as good as Angelfall, but I still liked it. It is more violent, twisted and creepy and not I expected. I still have high hopes for the final book in the series!

    1. ME TOO! I saw a few reviews for End of Days, and I've lowered my expectations -_- But I will see for myself! As will you! *crosses fingers*


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