Title: World After (Penryn and the End of Days #2)
Author: Susan Ee
Release Date: November 19th 2013
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Age Group: Young Adult
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?(Slight spoilers if you haven't read the first book.)
It took me four days to finish Angelfall, thanks to finals week and then Christmas coming up, so you can probably understand my reluctance to pick up this sequel when I wasn't sure I'd be able to give it my full attention. Thankfully, my family made the decision for me by choosing to stay home on Christmas Day, because World After is a book that should not be put down until it's been read till the end. If you're a slow reader like me, then you should pick this up when you have eight hours of free time ahead of you. Preferably an empty house, too, for the sudden laughing and squealing.
The story picks up right where Angelfall left off. Penryn, paralyzed by the angel scorpion hybrid's venom, is thought to be dead by everyone, even Raffe, who thinks he's doing her a final favor by delivering her to her family. Carted off to join the human resistance fighters, the Young family soon becomes the spectacle because of Penryn's mother's usual brand of crazy and her sister Paige's terrifying appearance and demeanor. When Paige finally loses it and runs off, Penryn is left no choice but to look for her again despite the danger.
World After is so much more than Angelfall in so many ways; everything was taken up a notch. The action never wavers, instead being omnipresent with numerous, sudden bursts that had me frantically turning the pages. We learn more of the angels' disturbing apocalyptic tactics and human-like politics, bringing the unpredictability factor to a level of "That did not just happen." What little hilarity, both actual and disturbing, that can be found in this bleak, morally-confusing world presents itself in the right moments - and very quietly, too, like a friend creeping up behind you. Yes, Pooky Bear, I'm referring to you.
The character development in this series is so subtle, one might mistake it for non-existence, but if you look hard enough, you'll see that it's there. Penryn is still her kickass self, but her fears and uncertainties have increased. She knows she can't save every helpless human she runs across, but that doesn't stop the moral obligation from gnawing on her. Her reaction to Paige's horrifying new reality adds a touch of reality to her already real-as-it-can-get character. Raffe, on the other hand, changed right before my eyes. We see deeper into him, and I loved the unique way it was accomplished.
I had little hope for the romance because Penryn and Raffe were apart for more than half of the book, but, man oh man, their reunion was worth the wait, and with the way things ended, my hopes are higher than ever. Although I somehow feel like little progress is made with regards to the plot of the entire series, World After still receives nothing but my undying praise, and now I join this series' entire legion of fans in impatiently waiting for the next book. (I really hope it comes out next year because one year is the longest I can wait without going crazy.)
MY FAVORITE PART was Penryn and Raffe retrieving Pooky Bear =))