End of Days by Susan Ee

End of Days

“Power is best held by the ones who don’t want it.”

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

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?

Personal Thoughts:

Finishing Penryn and the End of Days series made me realize that Angel stories are not really for me even this one set in dystopian world.

Angelfall started good with all the thrill and actions. It’s very fast paced and interesting seeing how Susan Ee slowly build this dark and dangerous world. Then the second book failed to continue to hold my interest longer. Nothing much happens in World After, the angel mythology I’m expecting to be developed doesn’t show, the dystopian world set-up is not as original I thought it is. Then in this third installment I expected to have more explanations about angel politics, myhology, and how the world become what it is but I only get bits and pieces. It’s like those important things are gloss over by Penryn and Raffe romance.

As much as I enjoyed reading Penryn and Raffe with their fun banters I am expecting more from End of Days. Though there are lots of things happening from rescuing Penryn’s sister Paige, to looking for a doctor to attached Raffe’s wings, to going to the pit, fighting Beliel and hellions, to protecting the human race, and angel politics, these things just get crowded which somehow resulted to a messy plot.

Penryn and Raffe feels a bit different. While I still enjoyed them very much especially their banters I felt a bit disconnected to them. They are not the same individuals I encountered in the first book of this series. They are more focus on each other than the world around them especially Penryn. There are times that I just want to smack her. While she is having her own version of urge I have the urge to punch her. It’s apocalypse and her life and everyone life is in danger, the world is ending and she had the time to think something like that. And the worst part is, she knows what is right and what is not, she knows what she is not supposed to do and she still do it anyway. She really did changed.

Raffe lost his focus too or shift his focus which is sad. All the things he was fighting for from the start of the series was thrown away for love. I expect more from him being an archangel that he is. I thought Susan can make him better than those other angel characters I encountered from YA fictions but too bad he falls to the same category.

If there is anything I like in this installment is, I guess the appearance of the watchers other than Beliel. We finally meet them. Since Raffe’s real name and rank is revealed from book one, I started wondering where the other angels are, particularly his watchers or friends. For an Archangel like him, isn’t it unusual to not have any of his followers in him? Not even one? For sure someone heard about what happened to him and I don’t get why not even one bother to check on him. To get his side of the story or just checked what really happened to him. He is an archangel for god sake. He holds one of the top position in the line of heaven but not even one angel is curious enough to check him?

We finally know who killed Gabriel but for why he was killed? That’s just one of the unanswered questions I have. There are few excuses but not enough explanations just like with the other unanswered questions.

Overall, End of Days is a fast paced and thrilling read for the most part but unfortunately didn’t give me the fully immersive experience I expected from a final installment of a series.

Angelfall by Susan Ee


“If I was good at marketing, I’d spin you an empty story that sounds profound. But the truth is that we’re all just stumbling around in the dark. Sometimes we hit something terrible.”

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Personal Thoughts:

It’s been awhile since I last read angel stories not because I don’t like these celestial being but because most of fiction stories I have read about them are a let down. I haven’t found something that really stand out or at least leave a long lasting impression. That’s why it took me long while to finally dig in to this series even with so much positive raves from the book blogging community.

With that said, I go into Angelfall with less expectations.

Angelfall as the first installment is pretty entertaining and engaging read. Susan Ee waste no time introducing this dystopian world full of fallen angels battling each others and the human race. Right from the start you will feel the panic, the danger and urgency which basically makes the story engaging and moving.

Penryn Young and her family are on their way to find a safer place when they witness a fight among angels. While the fight is happening a group of fallen angels took her sister Paige. Without much idea how to get Paige back, she help saving one of the dying angel Raffe with the hope that he can lead her to where the other angels took her sister.

Susan Ee’s wordings are simple and a bit repetitive. Coming from a fantasy read wherein the author used lots of metaphors and offers deep philosophies, I can’t help but noticed that Susan Ee’s style is so pale in comparison. But with the simplicity of writing comes an easy flow of reading and well paced plotting. The imagery is quite vivid even with little world building. The world that Susan Ee created is dark and gritty which balance well to her characters and their snarky dialogues.

Penryn and Raffe are both pragmatic individual. They are practical and straight to the point which basically create fun dialogues between them. I enjoy their banter, verbal fights and their overall dynamic. The fact that their relationship is not concentrated in romance but more on survival makes the story more engaging for me. In a bleak world where the earth is almost at its end, it is more realistic to have characters that are busy trying to survive or fights against the enemy than to waste their time finding romance or love interest. I’m really glad that Susan Ee didn’t make this so much of a love story than story of survival.

I also like how gritty and dark this post apocalyptic world that Susan Ee created. Human eating cat food or even human flesh to survive, no shower for days or water to drink – it feels more appropriate and real for a world set in its near end. If only there’s more exposition about how the the world came to its end and more explanation how the angels become ‘harbingers of doom’ who are willing to destroy the entire world I think the world building will be more solid. But since this is only the first installment of a three books series Susan Ee has more room for development. The rebellions, war from different ends, angel politics, and human turned to demons are more than enough to keep this whole series engaging and entertaining.

Overall, Angelfall is a thrilling start to this angel post apocalyptic series. Though nothing really new in terms of the angel mythology and post apocalyptic world, the danger and characters are enough to keep readers on the edge of their seat.

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

Finale (Hush, Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick

“I knew there was no magic trapdoor to escape through. I couldn’t run; I couldn’t hide.”

Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank’s absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels – destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

Personal Thoughts:

When I started reading this Hush, Hush series of Becca Fitzpatrick, I am still at the height of loving paranormal genre in YA. Which makes it easy to like and enjoy the first two books of this fallen angel story. But just like any readers, my preferences also changes. There came a point that I feel swaying away to angel and vampire books because I’m not getting something new anymore. Those angel books that I got the chance to read in the past months are mostly miss than hit. That’s why it took a lot of convincing for me to get back into Nora and Patch world.

Having own the first three books, my inner hoarder self want to buy this last book just to complete the whole series for my shelf. But I also wonder if after few years my copies will end up on a donation box just like the hardbound box set of Twilight Saga that I own few years ago. In the end, I give in and dive in once again to this fallen angels and Nephilim world hoping that Becca Fitzpatrick will give me a satisfying conclusions for Hush, Hush series.

The story picked up right after where the previous book, Silence left off. After Hank Millar died, Nora was left with a task to lead the Nephilim army to war against the fallen angels. Problem is, her boyfriend, Patch is one of the fallen angels. Which put Patch and Nora in the middle of the war. Also, Nora as the new leader isn’t much accepted by her fellow Nephilims. They doubt her capacity and her alliance. So in order to gain their trust, Nora and Patch decide to staged a break-up to mislead the Nephilim army. At the same time they need to find a way to stop the war before it even happens.

For the first several hundred pages nothing much is happening in the story. The war between the Nephilm and fallen angels that I am anticipating since the previous installment isn’t playing well on the plot. It is just all about Nora, her training, and her issues with the people around her. No intricate plans about the upcoming war other than, act like two people who hate each others in front of Nephilim.

In Silence, I thought Nora is on her way in showing some maturity. So I expected her to finally stand out in this book. Instead she go back to the annoyingly irritating version of herself. She makes some impulsive decisions, show unnecessary jealousy and do some stupid things awarely. There are times that I thought she finally acting more mature but she will always bounced back again to the other side.

As for Patch, I just miss him. I miss his presence and his old self. Yes, he is still present in the story but he is a bit behind the curtain. It feels that there’s not enough of him and he is a bit different too. Though I like his romantic side, in here he sounds more sappy and cheesy to me. No more dark and mysterious fallen angel that I used to like.

The war between Nephilim and fallen angels plot line has a lot of potentials. It can offer so much actions and twist and turns. But it didn’t reached the right peak that I am waiting for. It just fall short for me. I think it has something to do with the narration. Nora’s point of view didn’t give much justice. There’s so much going and happening at the background that Nora couldn’t access. Maybe if this is written in multiple point of view, like maybe some part from Patch or Scot then we can get more interesting side stories other than Nora’s self-absorb version. The story should be not about Nora’s insecurity or jealousy, it shouldn’t be about what she think about Dante or what she think about Marcie. It should be about the war and what she and Patch can do about it.

As for the plot twist and turns, nothing massive happen. Most of them I already predicted way ahead. From the real villain to the possible ending and even the side characters revelations. The only thing that I didn’t see coming is the thing with Detective Basso, which I think doesn’t offer much impact to the story. Or it’s just me who don’t care much about it? It maybe justify why Detective Basso is present in all other books but it didn’t give much difference to the plot. It almost feel totally random without any hints or explanations given.

“But strength doesn’t always mean brute force. You don’t have to kick ass to be a fighter. Violence doesn’t equal strength….

War isn’t going to solve anything, but it will tear our two worlds apart, and there will be casualties, including humans. There’s nothing heroic about this war. It will lead to a destruction unlike anything you or I have ever seen”

Compare to the previous books, I think Finale is a bit inferior in terms of tension building and mysteries. I din’t feel the same excitement from Crescendo nor the same thrill that Hush, Hush offers. In here, the villain isn’t as menacing as I expected and the conflict was resolved too easily. The action packed battle that was promised by the previous books didn’t happen. It feels to me that Becca Fitzpatrick played this final installment too safe.

Overall, Finale is a well written story that concludes the Hush, Hush series neatly. Though nothing explosive and much interesting really happens, it still offers something for the series. With less expectations followers of the series might enjoy this conclusion of Nora and Patch love story.

Rapture (Fallen Book #4) by Lauren Kate

“Was their love worth the erasure of the world and all its stories?”

The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Personal Thoughts:

I remember picking up the first Fallen book of this angel series by Lauren Kate few years ago. It all started with an intriguing and gorgeous art cover of the book that caught my attention. Then the author book tour went in my area which actually push me to wait and read the whole series. Now I’m on the fourth and final installment and I have to say the journey is quite worth it.

“Tell them it’s happening. That an endgame has been initiated”

Since this is the final book, I won’t discuss here anymore the characters. I think I pretty covered their development from my reviews for the first three books of this series. We all know how Luce, Daniel, Cam and the other angels, nephilim and mortals behaved and grow. I’m also pretty sure I already told my opinions for each of them, specially the major characters. So in here, let me discuss more about the plot and how the turn of events evolved throughout the story.

As every reader of this series know, the story focus on Luce and Daniel finding a way to end their curse. The unending curse of their love story that is meant to end tragically every lifetime. They are lovers since old days who happens to always find each others in every life. But in this present life everything has change because Luce and Daniel might only have one last chance to be together. In this life they need to end the curse before it ended them and the whole world or its history.

From the previous books we know that Daniel is an Angel and with all the hints we also know that he is one of the highest rank. We also get to know that his decision to choose love or Luce between Heaven and Hell is the start of their curse. But what we don’t know is what is Luce’s exact role in all these? That’s the major question always left hanging from the previous books. So now that we are on the final book, of course we all expect that it will finally revealed. We expect Lauren Kate to deliver us the whole story – how the curse started, how will it end and how Luce become part of it.

So in order to know all those things Lauren Kate put Luce, Daniel and all the other angels in a mission to stop Lucifer from erasing history. The strange alliance of angels have nine days to find three artifacts that will lead them to the exact place of the original fall. A place where Daniel and Luce can possibly end their curse.

During the quest, Lauren Kate introduced some nice crafted plot devices like the three relics and patinas. Personally, I like the concept of patina, I think it is a pretty clever little addition to the story. Lauren Kate also brings us to different beautiful places such as Italy, France, Austria and Egypt. Like in the third book, Passion, she creatively use each place and its history to merge in the story. She also introduced new characters like Dee and bring back some of the old and important one. There were the Fallen, the Elders, the Scales, the Outcast, the Throne and Lucifer which all played important roles in finding the relics and ending the curse.

Being the final book, I expected Rapture to answer all my questions from the previous books. Though it holds most of the answers there were few things that’s still left hanging. Some revelations were surprising, like the most important angel that can tip the scale between Heaven and hell. All along I assume that it is Daniel who holds that power but I am surprised when it was revealed in here. Though I see what Luce real identity ahead of time I didn’t expect what her true value is. I under-estimate her, because from the start of this series I am not really a fan of her. Rapture also finally reveals how and where Daniel and Luce first met as well as how their curse started and how important their choices will be.

I don’t necessary like everything portrayed in this book especially the religious part, but I think the way Lauren Kate crafted the soul mate story is beyond the usual. The choice between the Throne and Lucifer, and how mercy played in the story is neatly layout. The story also shows that sometimes the price for love and happiness is not simple. Daniel and Luce as well as the other characters faced Heaven and hell literally. It cost them too much but just like in any situations, sacrifices are necessary in order to get our happiness.

Rapture is a fitting finale for this angel series. I am glad that Lauren Kate didn’t push the story too long. Her writing grew incredibly well from the first book, Fallen. The only issue I got is the lack of development for the side characters. As much as I want the story to focus on Daniel and Luce, I also want to know what happened to the other characters specially Cam. I did expect that Cam will get a bigger role in this final installment. His tortured past from Passion seems a nice plot to follow. There are many possible character arc to be thrown in him but unfortunately this final book didn’t give much room to Cam’s story. I didn’t see enough of him in here. Either Lauren Kate don’t have much time to developed Cam’s character or she’s planning to create a spin-off story for Cam. Whatever the reason, I really think Cam deserves a proper closure.

More than the angels plot line, Fallen series is really a story about Love. A love that spans eons of years and countless lifetimes. No matter what it cost Daniel and Luce are bound to find each other and fall in love again and again. It is a love that is meant to be no matter what.

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

“As I watched her soar gracefully over the treetops, I couldn’t help but think that sometimes beauty camouflaged the ugliest creatures.”

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

Personal Thoughts:

I dive into this book without knowing anything about it. After few pages of reading I still can’t figure out the story is all about though my curiosity never leave me wanting to explore more especially when the two mysterious characters suddenly pop up. Obviously there is some paranormal identity in them that I need to know. So I keep reading in spite of a slow pacing and a typical paranormal YA setup.

Skye is a an orphan trying to live a normal life when she starts to notice strange things going on. She has a two best friends, Cassie and Dan and three admirers. One human who get the unrequited love and two angels who were both mysterious in every move they make. These two angels both pop up to Skye’s life claiming to help her discover her real identity and possible powers she may possess. Devin is the calm and peaceful one who represents the orders. While Asher the typical bad boy represents the rebels. These two characters and the rules surrounds them makes the story more mysteriously intriguing.

Asher and Devin both claim to have feelings for Skye despite the rules and regulations of their mission, but the sincerity of their claims were constantly put into questions. They both do things that will make you think that you understand their motives only to be turned upside down by the their next moves. Their hot-cold dance around Skye is like unending circles that makes me a little bit dizzy.

As much as I want to like Skye I don’t connect with her. She is a bit complicated character to follow. She do things that sometimes negate her previous actions which makes her more childish in my eyes. I find her friends Cassie and Dan more interesting characters than her. They may not have super powers or amazing personal backgrounds but it is easy to connect with them. When Skye becomes too busy dealing with Asher and Devin I feel sorry for her friends because they were easily take out of the picture. I usually don’t talk about minor characters but I can’t help but notice how the author handle her minor characters in here. At first they were part of the story then suddenly pull out to give way to the love interest. Then when the plot needs them again especially Cassie, the author just push her back again to fullfill some task for the plot.

“I was starting to realize – no matter how much I wished it wasn’t true – that we were growing up. There were some things that your best friends just couldn’t fix simply by being there for you.”

The mythology that the author created in this book has potential if developed more. When she take out God, heaven and hell out of the picture to tell the stories about the war between angels she simply crafted her own path. The rebels and orders have their own cut of mythology that will make you question the different sides of dark and light. The calm and chaos they carry are a bit delusional that you want to questions both sides and their real motives. It’s hard to see the details in black and white because both sides were more complicated than they claim.

The idea of orders handling fate of human is also interesting. Though personally I don’t like how they function in the story. Manipulating others’ life just to bring order isn’t something agreable for me, especially if they completely works for their own hidden motives like in the story.

The ending is abrupt but definitely action pack that gives an unexpected twist. The cliff hanger in the end is evil which will make you wish for more pages and explanations. Because just when the actions begin you are suddenly left hanging in the air.

Overall, A Beautiful Dark is a nice attempt to give a refreshing cut to the overly crowded paranormal genre with angelic theme. With characters that become mysterious as you read and the unclear boundary between good and evil this book is pretty entertaining.

This review is based on an e-ARC I received courtesy of the publisher, HarperCollins via NetGalley.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

“ How far are you willing to fall?”

Book description from Goodreads:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her…until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Personal Thoughts:

I’ve been eying to read Becca Fitzpatrick‘s Hush, Hush since early this year but after knowing it’s a series I decided to just wait until the released of the second book (Crescendo). It’s quite hard to get a hardbound copies of both two books until few weeks ago. So I make sure first that I have a copies of both books in hand before diving in to a new angel stories.

The book cover ( dark mysterious fallen angel, contorted in mid-air in gray scale that add touch of darkness) is quite good which rises my expectations for the book. I expected it to be a dark novel, though it doesn’t reached much of my expectations but it’s not bad either. This is not the first book I’ve read with fallen angels stories so comparison can’t be avoided.

As for the history and background of the fallen angels, this book doesn’t offer much. It’s quite simple and underdeveloped. It doesn’t even give much justice to angels histories and some biblical stories in the background. I know for a fact that the story is fictional but a few realistic background wont hurt. I just hope that the second installment of the series will give much of those missing backgrounds.

As for the characters, I got a bit confused. I’m not sure If I love them or hate them or maybe just both. Nora is a normal teenager which is easy to relate too. She’s a strong, practical, responsible, smart, and independent girl. She’s never been boy crazy, hasn’t found a boy that can really hold her interest, and she’s very much focused on her studies. That’s how the book describes her but in the end she’s not as smart or responsible as she is supposed to be. I think she was a little less analytical than she thought she was.

Patch is the representation of a typical bad boy. You know that he’s no good for you, yet you can’t get enough of him. He’s aggressive, cocky, dangerous, even creepy at times. I like that he’s so flawed and complex. What bother me somehow is while the book keep telling that Patch is a bad boy, Patch never actually does anything that is bad in the entire book. I keep on asking myself while reading upto the end, what he really do that makes him bad? Is there something I missed? But no, it just feels to me that the author had way too many ‘bad guys’ in this book.

What I really like about this book is the writing. The pacing and flow of events are just well written. It’s like riding a roller coaster, the story moves in a fast pace and before you know it, it’s over. Not dragging at all, in fact it’s quite hard for me to put it down once I started reading. The language also flowed well even it was mostly driven by dialogue as opposed to descriptive scenes.

There is a constant thrill about the story especially the paranormal element like the stalking part. I love when a book can keep me guessing. Even most of my guesses turned out right it’s still nice to be engage in the story while reading.

Overall, the book was a decent read. The ending felt a bit anticlimactic but I’m still excited to read the sequel, Crescendo. Can’t wait to know what will happen next, hopefully a more engaging and darker story.