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.

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.

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.