This is the second book in the Penryn and the End of Days series. Although this review will contain no spoilers from World After by talking about the plot there may be unintentional spoilers from the first book in the series.
World After by Susan Ee
Release: 21st November 2013
Genre: YA, Angels, Romance, Dystopian
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"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?"
Angelfall was a book that I read and fell in love with only a few months ago and so I had the advantage of not having long to wait for World After. I started it as soon as it arrived and read the entire book in a day because I could not put it down. Like Angelfall it was gritty, romantic and exciting and I loved it just as much.
In World After we’re introduced to some new characters and some new places as well as catching up with old characters and re-visiting familiar areas. We get to find out more about the creepy Scorpion creatures and more about the children like Paige and what the Angels plans are for them. We were left with all this new information at the end of Angelfall and I loved learning more about the Angels’ creations and finding out the extent of their apocalyptic plans for our world.
I’m sad to say that there is less Raffe in World After and although I did miss him it only made the chapters with him in even more special and there are some gorgeous moments between him and Penryn. In Raffe’s absence Susan Ee keeps him as a central part of the story in a unique and clever way. Penryn is left with Raffe’s sword and early on in the book Penryn starts receiving visions from the sword as it shares Raffe’s memories from key moments during Angefall that I absolutely loved getting his thoughts and feelings on. We also get to see memories from Raffe’s past which is something that I was always curious about in Angefall. I loved this aspect to the story and thought that it was a clever way to still keep Raffe involved whilst he wasn’t physically present.
Now that Penryn and her family are reunited there is more from her mother and Paige in this sequel and I loved getting to know them better. Paige actually plays quite a big role in this story and we find out exactly what she went through in the time that she was missing which made me cry on several occasions because it was so heart-breaking to read. My heart broke for that poor little girl and everything she’d been through. We also get to find out what Paige has become and what her abilities are now that she’s not entirely human.
With any beloved book there is always the worry that the sequel won’t be as good or that it’ll suffer from the dreaded “second book syndrome” but World After is just as extraordinary as its predecessor and looking back I think I might have loved it a tiny bit more than Angefall - which I didn’t think was even possible! World After made me laugh and it made me cry and I literally couldn’t put the thing down. It also finished on a nice solid ending and I applaud it for relying on its gripping storyline and lovable characters to leave readers desperate for the third book instead of an unresolved and abrupt ending which seems to be all too common in YA these days. I am already anticipating the third book and I think that speaks volumes about Susan Ee’s talent as an author and the quality of this stunning series.