Fear not the curse of the second book here, my friends! I fell in love with the world Susan Ee created in the first book in this series, Angelfall. In World After, I was basically strapped in and forced even deeper into the gritty, terrifying devastation, and I was completely captivated from beginning until the very last page.
It has been some time since I read Angelfall so I was slightly worried that I would be lost in starting this book, but thankfully I was able to jump right back in like no time had passed. There were enough past references to give you tiny refreshers as the story went, but not too much that it was redundant. One thing I really enjoyed in World After was the darker story. I think this book was more sinister than it’s predecessor and I really liked it! I immensely enjoyed the more pronounced horror element. The World After was a cold, scary shell of the world we know, and I felt that in my bones while reading this.
The intensified gruesomeness and creepiness in everything going on around Penryn was a stark contrast to the confusing longing and more romantic feelings that she was internally struggling with. Even the desolation radiated off the pages. My heart was constantly breaking for poor Penryn and the relentless barrage of atrocities that she continuously endured. But really all of that and the way she never backed down, she always rallied for the people she cared about, and even people she didn’t know.
“You’re a hero. I’m hoping that you’ll restore my faith and show me that we’re worth saving.”
“I am so not hero”
“You saved my life back at the aerie. By definition, you’re my hero.”
“I left you in a basement to die.”
“You broke me out of the grasp of a living horror when I thought all hope was gone. You gave me the opportunity to crawl back to life when no one else could.”
She glances over at me, her eyes shining in the dark. “You’re a hero Penryn, whether you like it or not.”
Penryn is my favorite kind of heroine, she is far from perfect but she mostly does the right thing and she does it with flare! Anyone who can keep their sense of humor in the midst of the hell she’s in is a boss in my book for sure! I absolutely adored the addition of Pooky Bear!!! Seriously. A sentient Angel sword with feels…HELL YES! The way Penryn and the sword communicated was super cool as well.
I had hoped to see more of Raffe in this book, because come on, who in their right mind isn’t shipping Penryn and Raffe?! But Penryn had so much excitement going on, and with the bonding moments with the sword, Raffe was never really too far away, at least in spirit.
One interesting theme that came to mind here was the contrast between the things/people that appear beautiful or good, when really they’re something to be feared or evil. As opposed to the things/people that appear frightening or evil, that in reality are actually favorable.
You saw this same idea play out in so many ways throughout this story, and I really thought that was cool.
“I even offered Raffe asprin when he was unconscious before I ever got to know him. I offered the enemy pain relief but never considered it for my own sister. Why? Because she looked like a monster, that’s why. And it never occurred to me that monsters might feel pain.”
I really can’t praise this series enough!! If you haven’t started it yet, you are missing out! Good news is the next book, End of Days releases on May 12, just a few weeks away! So you have some time to catch up, I am super glad that I did!
**Seriously….does anyone know if there are Arcs of End of Days out there?? I need this in my life like ASAP!!!**
I received a copy of this book from Amazon Children’s Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review