Title: World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) by Susan Ee
Release Date: November 1st 2013
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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?
Angelfall managed to surprise me when I read it the first time and World After just sustained that feeling of wanting to get more out of the story. The first book ended in a cliffhanger of sorts, and World After immediately picks up where Angelfall ended. If you were breathless after reading the first book, then I suggest you hold your breath a little more because World After plunges you in another suspense filled, adrenaline pumped story.
I did not expect much from Penryn in this story, my only wish was the consistency in her character as the heroine, but she struggled in a lot of new ways that made me feel sad at times and surprisingly, events in this book showed a different side to her. Readers knew about her devotion and love for Paige, but what if Penryn herself started to doubt that the child with them is not her sister anymore? The dynamics between her small family, with a seemingly lunatic mother and a sister who isn't the same as before changed as they started adopting to the world, and I was so interested to see how Penryn coped with her new reality. I was impressed with how real she felt. That struggle, that doubt that slowly crept inside, the fear, and that deep rooted love for her younger sibling.
The world is still as merciless, dangerous and gritty as it was, and through Penryn's eyes we see what life is like after the world collapsed. What's left of humanity is unkind to Paige, and it's not unwarranted. Everyone is on edge because in the world after, one wrong move and one can lose his life. I can't even begin to describe how much of a hard life it was for Penryn and the rest of the survivors and I liked how it was put into contrast with how easy things were for those who lead them. Penryn's very sanity was put to the test with the things she saw and experienced while on her quest to find Paige. It was horrifying, and though I give applause to the author for making it so, it is shocks me whenever I remember it. Also, where does Penryn's mother fit in the story?
I will admit, one of the reasons why I was determined to read this book was the anticipation I had for that moment when Raffe and Penryn will see each other again. But as always, nothing was easy for Penryn, and she had to go through a lot finally get a chance to meet Raffe. It was one of the defining moments of the novel that took my breath away. Believe me, you will not be disappointed. I was so glad that the familiar tension and attraction between Raffe and Penryn was still there, if not more palpable and obvious. We get to see more of Raffe's past through his sword and know more about Penryn's feelings for him, which was a joy to know because they both kept on guessing what each other felt. The anticipation for their eventual meeting and teaming up again to fight their way through the World After was nothing compared to what happened afterwards! It was, in all sense, so wonderful, romantic, sweet and despite the situation they're in, funny at times.
Susan Ee is just an incredible writer. There has been a slew of disappointing follow-ups for successful first books in anticipated series but the author managed to be consistent with her writing and giving us more of what we expected to happen. It's not just about Raffe getting his wings anymore, it's about saving what's left of the world after it was destroyed. World After paved a good way for the next book in the series, and if you're like me who is extremely satisfied with this installment, readers will be eagerly anticipating the next book. World After is one heck of a read! When you feel pity and sadness for Penryn, Paige and their mother, you will be thrown in a part of the story that'll make you feel scared and shocked and as if those weren't enough, you feel all sorts of warm feelings you shouldn't be feeling whenever Raffe and Penryn cross paths. Just when you thought nothing will faze you in World After, the developments towards the end of this book left me wide-eyed. Wow.
Amazing flow of the story, great pacing and consistent writing from Susan Ee. I want more!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
I had to pause and take a deep breath after I've read the last page of this book. I can't believe it ended that way!
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
Those wings! I love it!
Those wings! I love it!