World After by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #2
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
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Also in this series: Angelfall
SPOILER WARNING: I find this summary super-spoilery and would recommend skipping it!
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?
Thoughts: I devoured World After in a single day. Susan Ee has a style that lends itself to fast reading; her writing is engaging and set with quick chapters that make you feel like speeding ahead.
World After had a lot to live up to. Angelfall was such a knock-out success, I am sure there were worries that Ms. Ee may have been a one-hit-wonder. I am happy to say she is not. Although there is a two-year gap between the books, World After felt as though it was written just seconds after Angelfall. The style, characterisations, everything was exactly as she had last left it. That’s something I feel like most authors fail to achieve: even when you love a sequel, it won’t feel like the same book you read before.
So, in a way, I feel rather weird reviewing World After after reviewing Angelfall… because my comments are the same. World After is a fantastic continuation to an already brilliant series. Ms. Ee doesn’t mess around with my favourite characters and she doesn’t go around randomly adding in a romantic triangle. World After answered many of my “And now what?!” questions without introducing any “How could she do that?!” feelings. Thank friggin’ GOD.
That said, there were a few new additions to this book that I adored. For one, Raffe’s sword played a major role. In fact, it was rather a starring role! When I met Ms. Ee at an event hosted by her UK publishers, I told her that I’d be happy to read an entire spin-off narrated by this sword… and I really do still mean that. I probably sound crazy if you haven’t read the book, but just trust me. This sword is amazing.
I also appreciated how World After gave us a brand-new insight into Raffe’s character. Ms. Ee takes you into his head without resorting to any cliché POV switches (something I find a total cop-out). Raffe lovers are going to really, really happy with this book!
Bottom line? A fantastic sequel to a brilliant novel. There’s a reason Susan Ee is so popular!
In this month’s recap: I visit the glorious Gladstone Library, get some serious reading done and decide to feed my ebook addiction.
The Gladstone Library
This month, I spent a wonderful weekend at the glorious Gladstone Library in Wales. This is the UK’s only residential library (or so I’m told), so I actually got to sleep with all the books. It was bookworm’s dream come true. You could take books up to your room, visit in the wee hours, have a glass of wine in their honour bar, and dinner in their dining hall. I wanted to move in forever.
The primary Gladstone collection is made up of Prime Minister Gladstone’s books, so they date from the 1800s and cover mainly theology and politics. However, the Library is also living collection, with a special fund established by Gladstone to buy new books. So while I didn’t spend too long perusing the theology section, I was able to find plenty of fiction and non-fiction to satisfy my tastes.
The historic element of the Library did, however, allow me to handle original copies of the Strand magazine that featured the first publication of the Sherlock Holmes stories. It was insanely exciting for me.
Original Strand magazines from the 19th century. These featured the first publications of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.
Feed My Reader
Book blogging has had a serious impact on my shelves. I buy/receive/am gifted more books than I will ever read. Even though I always try to get rid of the copies I don’t need or want, space has become a serious issue.
So, I’ve made the executive decision to expand my e-book collection. Though you will still see “real” book hauls, I’m going to be doing many more e-book hauls on Dead Book Darling: they’ll be entitled “Feed My Reader”. Though still not my preferred method of reading, I do love the convenience and manageability of e-books.
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
I took part, once again, in the glorious Dewey’s 24-hour readathon. It was an absolute blast and really helped break me back into the reading habit! I loved the hourly challenges, my favourite, of course, being my own. Check out the Show it Off! Challenge I hosted for a peek at some bookish treasures that participants shared!
This month was a pretty good one (thank you readathon!). I read:
- Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee (review here)
- The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks
- Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2) by Patricia Briggs
- Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane, #5) by Jaye Wells
- Rush (The Game, #1) by Eve Silver
My favourite was – surprise surprise – Briggs’ Hunting Ground. That woman can do no wrong (though her publishers can, a fact I covered in #Publisherfail). I was slightly disappointed by Blue-Blooded Vamp, which wasn’t quite as fierce as its predecessors. The Adventures of Superhero Girl wins the title of “most unexpectedly awesome book”. It was unexpectedly awesome – a fierce, feminist, generation 2.0 read. Loved it.
I got some absolutely gorgeous review books this month – every single one of which I am super duper excited about. Here’s what I’ve received/bought lately a-la Showcase Sunday/Stacking the Shelves/Mailbox Monday.
As I said, yup! I am super excited about these books. Looking forward to seeing what y’all received this week!
Angelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #1
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on May 23rd 2013
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself, Received for review from publishers
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Also in this series: World After
It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.
Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.
When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back...
Thoughts: Angelfall has a lot of the typical YA Paranormal story elements to it: it stars a strong female character who can kick ass, features an attractive-yet-deadly paranormal male lead and, of course, there’s the apocalypse. Cliché? Perhaps. But all of these stereotypical YA elements are so well done in Angelfall, I could care less whether or not they are “cliché”.
What makes Angelfall‘s characters so engaging was their complete unwillingness play out their stereotypes. For example, most authors would have written the angel Raffe as a romantic lead striving to avenge his attackers. Instead, he fights tooth-and-nail not to engage in a political war. He also knows full well the consequences of a romantic relationship with a human – and wants none of it. Meanwhile, Penryn, who can be a total badass when she has to be, is far more interested in saving her sister than she is in joining an anti-angel militia. She recognizes that fighting the good fight is a nobel cause but she has other priorities.
These aren’t the last two people you are going to see uniting to save the world. They are going to come to the fight kicking and screaming because, dude, they have far more important shit to be doing. They have lives to live, dammit. Maybe later. It was amazing.
I also have to give Susan Ee serious kudos for giving me shipper feelings for the first time in months. There was just enough romantic tension in this book to make me eager to see more. Then again, maybe I am just a sucker for angel/human relationships (yes, I have noticed my overwhelming emotional attachment to Supernatural (TV) and Mercy by Rebecca Lim).
I could go on about the world building (solid), the secondary characters (surprisingly well developed), the quality of the writing (simple-but-with-sass), etc. When I first bought this book back in 2011, well before it was ever picked up by a major publishing house, I read reviews praising this book as how YA should be done. “If so many people are looking past the self-publishing aspect,” I thought, “this book must be amazing.” And it was. Simple as that.
And now? Now you can pick it up in paperback. Which is so much better.
Bottom line? Thank GOD I didn’t read this book back in 2011, because the 2 year wait would have killed me. Angelfall is completely worth the hype. Pick it up if you want to rock some old-school paranormal YA.
Another month, another book haul a-la Stacking the Shelves (Tynga’s Reviews) / Mailbox Monday. Over this past month the books have kinda just kept coming – mostly due to my inability to pass up a good deal. So, to save my sanity and to avoid breaking the Goodreads servers while getting links, I’m separating the books I’ve received as of late. Let’s start with the books I’ve received for review; I’ll be back later with the (much bigger) stack of recent purchases.
- With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent – Yup, I have 2 copies! That means… giveaway! (It will be up this month along with my review.)
- Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne – I received Heart-Shaped Bruise for review when it first came out, but still haven’t gotten to it.
- The Hit by Melvin Burgess – Not sure if this one will be my cup of tea, but intriguing premise nonetheless!
- Shipwrecked by Siobhan Curham – I am a wee bit confused by this synopsis… “Lost” meets “Gossip Girl”? What?! Could be brilliant – guess we’ll find out!
- Angelfall by Susan Ee – Yup – Angelfall! I bought the e-book of this eons ago but never got round to reading it. But this gorgeous UK printing by Hodder? It has be dying to get started on it. It is really rather shiny.
Read any of these? If so, let me know what you thought of them! I am always looking for first, second, third, fourth opinions. 😉