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.

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Plus One

“But after he tells you how they died, I want you to remember how they lived…”

It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts.

Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. By violating the day-night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in mortal danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D’Arcy Benoît, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities—and with whom she is fated to fall impossibly and irrevocably in love.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights—and a compelling, rapid-fire romantic adventure story.

Personal Thoughts:

I have read Plus One more than a month and a half ago with the tour copy provided by PBT, it’s been a while and it’s only now that I finally got the chance to sit down and review the book — a mistake that I just realized few seconds ago. Since I don’t have a copy of the book right now, I’m not sure how I can discuss in detail this book. So, reminder to self, buy my own copy soon because this book is definitely a keeper.

With my poor memory and no notes at all, let me attempt instead to dig the experience of reading Plus One.

For a first time reader of Elizabeth Fama’s works, I remember being impressed with her writing, which means I’ll be reading her other works soon. In this book, Plus One I like how she easily pull those flowing words and weaved them together to form one absorbing novel. The way she built-up this new world in Plus One is slow but evolving. Forming the world from simple to more complex. Her descriptive style carry smoothness and her words are rich that somehow I imagine seeing things in different angle.

“The thing is, when you’re with someone like Poppu – someone who sees straight through your battered facade and loves every bit of you, someone who makes you laugh until you pee your pants, someone who grabs you in a hug exactly when you need it – you don’t crave any kind of approval from strangers. You don’t need to ‘matter’ in the world, because you already matter to the only person who counts.”

The concept of dividing people by day and night is quite well done. It’s not entirely new to me but I like that it carry a ring of reality in it. The possibility of living in a world where people are divided by period of time is easily imaginable. It could be our alternate reality if things from the fast goes differently. I just wish that the novel explain more how things end up this way.

For a dystopian novel, this book is quite light on the political side. Though there are clearly the struggles of the masses & inequality, the story doesn’t focus much on that part until the latter part of the book. Instead, Fama focus on detailing Sol’s plot to get her niece so her grandfather can see the baby before he dies. As much as I enjoy Sol’s plotting and her interaction with D’Archy, I kinda feel that the kidnapping part took so long. Though I understand how it become the focus of the story, having Sol as the narrator and her focus is more personal, I still feel that the story will be more interesting if Sol delved into bigger things than the wish of her dying grandfather.

Sol Le Coeur, the narrator and main character of the story is quite naive. Her impulsiveness sometimes lies on the path of act-now-think-later which is not very wise. But while she is being impulsive and careless in her decisions she is also showing her strength in a way. She is loyal to a fault. Her love for her family is undeniable, add her unending determination, she grew on me as I read. She frustrates me but she also surprise me. Sometimes her impulsiveness results to unexpected turns in the story.

While Sol is impulsive, D’Archy the love interest is the total opposite. He is more in control. He is cautious in handling the situation around him. He thinks and weigh things before doing something.

I’m not sure if there will be a sequel. The ending though hopeful and resolves most things, I still feel like the author should expand more the story. I want to know more about the government, the political sides and other much intriguing things than kidnapping the baby.

Overall, with compelling mystery, easily imaginary world, and determined protagonist, Plus One is a well written and absorbing novel.

Book to Movie: The Giver (Movie Trailer)

Before I got lost with Suzzane Collins’ The Hunger Games series and Veronica Roth’s Divergent series I am already enamoured by Dystopian fiction because of Lois Lowry’s The Giver. But I am not aware of Dystopian as a genre at that time. So I classified the book as fiction no more no less. Now, thinking about it, The Giver is one of the first few dystopian novel I have read and definitely one of the best too. It is thought provoking and simply amazing. If anything else the book makes me appreciate my freedom and memories more. So when I found out that the book is adapted for movie I can’t help but get excited to see the story in big screen.

For those who are not aware about the book, the story follows Jonas, who lives in a Utopian society where there is no disease, poverty, money or divorce. Everyone has a role in this society, and everything is controlled, even their emotions. It’s a life of conformity and contentment for Jonas until he’s given the role of The Giver. As The Giver he is the receiver of memory — every information, histories and secrets of the society will be transferred to him. He will be the repository of all information. And as the secrets unfold in Jonas eyes he starts to discover the dark secrets of his world.

The movie adaptation will star Jeff Bridges as The Giver and Brenton Thwaites as Jonas with other great actors like Meryl Streep, and Katie Holmes. The film is coming to theaters in August 15 but before that watch the trailer below.

Have you read the book? What do you think of the trailer? If you haven’t read the book, I urge you to do so. It’s one of the best dystopian novel out there.

Dawn of the Apocalypse by E.S.P. (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Welcome to the second stop of Dawn of the Apocalypse blog tour hosted by Dianne of Oops! I read a book again. This blog tour is having a scavenger hunt beside from the spotlight and reviews. To join the scavenger hunt, all you need to do is collect two words from each tour stop and form three sentences out of them. The first sentence has 11 words, the second one has 2 words and the last sentence has 15 words. Once you collect all words you can try to solve the puzzle and enter the giveaway.  Hint, the two words you need is highlighted in red below.

Now about the book, Dawn of Apocalypse is dystopian novel that uses gargoyles as the main villain. Yes, you heard it right Gargoyles! When I found out that the story have them I know right away I have to join the tour and read the book. I’ve read few fictions that have gargoyles in the story but none really focus in them. So anyway, check the book blurb, trailer and excerpt below to know more about Dawn of Apocalypse.

Dawn of the Apocalypse Tour Banner

Click the image for the tour stop & schedule

Dawn of the Apocalypse

Title: Dawn of the Apocalypse
Author: E.S.P.
Publisher: Mind Candy Media
Date of Publication: August 9, 2013
Genre: post-apocalyptic YA

Book Blurb:

January 1, 2000.
May 21, 2011.
December 21, 2012

These are just a few of the days humans prophesied as bringing catastrophic events that would end the world. We predicted nuclear warfare. Drastic climate change. A call from God.

We were wrong.

Cue the gargoyle invasion—laboratory bred mutants designed to slaughter humans. When the government goes AWOL and gargoyles are swarming by the hundreds, it’s up to the citizens of the United States to regroup and save themselves.

Meet Cliff Matthews, a teenage boy separated from his entire family with the exception of his younger sister, whom he is desperate to keep alive. Along the quest to save their lives, he encounters people who aren’t all that they seem. Everyday’s a battle, but if he can’t trust his own species, where does that leave his family?

And we can’t forget the man who may be willing to sacrifice Cliff’s life, if it means world domination.

In terms of doomsday, no one could’ve seen this coming. The dawn of the apocalypse…

Book Links

Blog | Goodreads

Buy your copy from Amazon

Book Excerpt:

Angel’s chest was rising and falling rapidly as the gargoyles circled them silently. Hunter had never wanted something more in her entire life than to live for another day. She couldn’t even entertain the idea of little Angel being gobbled up by the big bad gargoyle…

She squeezed her eyes shut. Please, please, please, she chanted silently over and over.

She knew the type of wound a scratch had given Cliff. What type of pain would they concur on her entire body? Would they eat her right away or save her for dinner? Would they pluck out her limbs and eat them one by one?

Time stopped as the door creaked open. The gargoyles soundlessly cloaked themselves back in the shadows. The stairs groaned as someone walked down the stairs without a care in the world. Hunter could practically hear the gargoyles lick their lips.

She wanted to cry out and warn the person. But it was beyond her control.

That’s what you get for walking down the stairs so loudly. That’s what you get for walking in the dark during a damn invasion, she reasoned. But her heart was saying something else.

The person reached the bottom of the stairs. The gargoyles uniformly shifted through the shadows. “Hey…” he said suspiciously.

He had realized his danger a second too late. He broke into a run, but the gargoyles would be on him in a second. And he’d be dead.

“C’mon, sweetie.” Hunter whispered to Angel, crawling out from under the stairs. Ignoring the cries of agony, pain, and sorrow, she raced up the stairs. The wood banged against her ankles, but she didn’t stop. There was the cruel sound of cracking. Hunter shielded Angel’s eyes from the scene and dared to look behind her.

The gargoyles were circled around the man. The predominantly bigger gargoyle bit his neck. A gush of blood spewed across its face. The man’s eyes still stared at her, his mouth formed in an O, as if he was trying to speak to her.

“I’m so sorry.” She choked.

She hurried up the steps, slamming her body into the door. The light washed over her body, as did her relief. But her nerves did not settle.

Book Trailer: 

author ESPAbout the Author, E.S.P 

Being the daughter of an accomplished author, E.S.P. grew up listening to stories and telling her own to classmates. After writing for several years and even publishing some short works, she finally decided to take the plunge to write (plus finish!) a full length novel. Thus, Dawn of the Apocalypse was born. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading books, blogging at, or watching eighties movies.

Find E.S.P.

Twitter | Website

The Giveaway:

The giveaway is provided by the author.  For the scavenger hunt, I’ll give you again the two words you need to solve the puzzle, “heard” and “gargoyles“.  Follow the rest of the tour by clicking the tour banner for the schedule & tour stop.

What’s up for Grabs?

  • Grand prize is a SIGNED paperback of DAWN OF THE APOCALYPSE and an ebook
  • There will be five runner-ups for ebooks of DAWN OF THE APOCALYPSE

The Rules:

  • US Residents only for the Grand Prize
  • Runner-ups is open to ALL/International

To enter fill out this form

Good Luck!