Books · REVIEWS

World After by Susan Ee

World After

“It’s amazing how many times we need to go against our survival instincts to survive.”

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?

Personal Thoughts:

World After continues right after where Angelfall left off. After rescuing her sister Paige in the Aerie, Penryn Young reunite with her family. But Paige condition makes her one of the enemy in the eyes of the other humans. So Paige is captured again, this time by a different group. And Penryn is back again in a another mission to find and rescue her sister once again.

See how many times I used the word “again” in the summary? Where that basically sums up the book for me — a repeat version of Penryn’s mission to rescue her sister Paige.

So we are back to square one. Paige is missing and Penryn is in a mission to find and rescue her younger sister. The only difference with this mission? No more handsome angel to help Penryn this time. Raffe has his own mission to take care of, mainly to track and beat Biel so he can get his white wings back.

Just like with the first book, we are getting the story from Penryn’s point of view, which means we are stuck with her limited information. I bet readers are more insightful than Penryn. There are things that are obvious to me but took her awhile to see like the deal with winged-scorpions. I thought that is pretty obvious from the start but apparently not to Penryn.

As much as I understand the need to find Paige and rescue her, I don’t feel the same excitement or thrill for this mission. Not even the danger, the panic nor the tension. Which is weird since technically Penryn is more at risk because no more powerful angel to help her this time. No more Raffe to rescue her. But for some reason I just can’t feel the dread. Sure, I am aware that Penryn will survive since there is a book three but her mission should at least be interesting to me.

Also, I feel like nothing much happens in here. Yes, there more informations about Angel politics, new characters, and few revelations but as a whole I don’t think that the story moved forward. I got more questions than answers. And even the little answers I got are not something I can said as huge informations since most of them are I already expected since after reading the first book, Angellfall. Nothing much new for me in here. If this is a novella I will understand the lack of progress but this is a full length novel with lots of chapters. Definitely fall into middle book syndrome.

With nothing much new to the plot comes not much character development too. Penryn in this installment is less rounded. I didn’t find any progress in her character since I last encounter her from the first book. Sure, she can still kick-ass but some of her actions and decisions are not what I expected.  She is constantly dreaming or thinking of Raffe instead of planning about her next moves or attacks to save Paige. Her sister is gone and suffering somewhere but she is more worried to one powerful angel who lost his wings. Where was the heroine who will do anything for her sister?

“It’s painful to see that people prefer a bad guy who looks like an angel to a good guy who looks like a demon.”

As for Raffe, he is less present in here so we don’t know much about his progress except those little bit we got from Penryn’s point of view. His absence is just one reason why the story become less fun to read. No more fun and snarky dialogues from him and Penryn in this installment.

Overall, World After is an action packed follow up to Angelfall but unfortunately failed due to its non-moving plot and less character development. I hope that the final installment will be more satisfying than this one.

* This review is based on an eBook I received courtesy of the publisher, Amazon Children’s Publishing via NetGalley.

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