World After (Penryn and the End of Days #2)
21th November 2013
Hodder & Stoughton
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?
World After was a book that surprised me. I liked Angelfall when I read it, but I don't remember being that fussed about it so I kind of left World After hanging around for a while, not really sure if I wanted to read it or not. Which is why it was so surprising to me when I found that after I'd started it I could not put it down. Literally. Well, not literally. I did put it down a few times to like eat and pee and stuff, but you get the picture. World After was really good, is what I'm trying to say here.
I think I particularly enjoyed this because Penryn is a really great character, and it was fun to get to see her and her mother and sister altogether again, albeit if only for a short time. Well I don't know if fun is precisely the right word, but I did enjoy it. I also sort of liked the fact that Raffe wasn't in it a lot, because it meant that we got to see Penryn being brave and strong and scared and all those things on her own as well as with Raffe. I think that it gave her a lot of room to grow. And I was kind of surprised by how much I enjoyed the first, like, 3/4 of the book because for some reason, even though I wasn't that convinced by the romance in the first book, I thought it would be boring without Raffe? Yeah. I was wrong.
But if Raffe is your favourite character and the thought of him not really being in that much puts you off a little bit, don't worry because even though he isn't physically in it for most of the book, he's still kind of in it. Now that Penryn has his sword (and I don't care, that sword is my new favourite character. Seriously, for a piece of metal, she is surprisingly brilliant.), the sword sometimes shows Penryn memories from her and Raffe's time together so that Penryn can learn how to use her. I actually really liked these parts because it gave us a chance to find out about parts of Raffe's past and his feelings without it feeling infodump-y. And the romance felt a little better too, actually. Or maybe my frame of mind has just changed. But hey, if you liked it in the first book then you'll probably like it in this one too.
I think my favourite thing about the Angelfall books, though, is the fact that Susan Ee really has created a terrifying, brutal post-apocalyptic world. I never thought that a series of books about the angel apocalypse would be this scary and tense and brilliant. The world building gets even better in World After because, as the title would suggest, it is the world after the angels first came, and when their plans really start to get put into action, and they really are not good. Remember those creepy scorpion things from the first book? Yeah, they come back full force and gross as ever. I think that the final book is going to be really great, and I am a lot more excited for it now than I was about World After.
World After brought this series up a notch for me. It was fast paced and full of action, and I just could not stop reading. You have won me over, Susan Ee. I cannot wait for the next one to see what happens to Penryn and all the rest!