Book Review: World After by Susan Ee

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?

Rating:

A

Picture this; the world’s ended and you’re left with a schizophrenic mother who’s fallen off the deep end and a kid sister that looks like an autopsy victim with razor-blade teeth.

The humans around you are half-convinced that you’re hell spawn due to an unfortunate rising-from-the-dead incident, your one non-familial ally now looks like a creature from your nightmares and since he also thinks that you’re actually dead, he’s abandoned you.

Now you’re being carted off to God knows where with a group of wounded, dirty survivors that are probably half a step away from turning cannibal. Things can’t get much worse, can they?

WRONG.

Things can always get worse. I just didn’t realize how much worse they’d get in a YA novel. I have to say, I love that Ee took it to the place she did. There’s a darkness in this book that clings to the pages, leaches from the paper and seeps into your fingers to wrap its icy tendrils around your heart as you read.

This book is terrifying, but not in the way you might expect. Sure there are some suspenseful moments and more than a few scenes that will get your adrenaline going, but the real horror in this story comes from a surprising source. Not the angelic invaders, not the monsters that come buzzing out of the darkness in this latest installment, but the humans.

We think we’re so advanced, with our smart phones and our global connections, so above the rest of the animals on this planet. But take away our modernity, starve us for a little while and lock us in a cage and you begin to realize why we’ve climbed to the top. It’s because we’re ruthless. Savage. At our core, we’re still fueled by the primitive need to survive and this book serves as a haunting reminder of the things we’re capable of and the depths we’ll descend to.

Penryn is a survivor in the true sense of the word. She’s what so many other heroines in this genre claim to be and fail to achieve. She’s ruthless. Savage. And absolutely believable. She’ll do anything for herself and her family.

This makes her a complicated character by nature and one not everyone might warm to because those same instincts drive her to put herself and those she loves above all others. She has to make hard decisions in this book, has to choose which battles to fight, and those choices were part of what made this such a compelling read.

So prepare yourself, because this book pulls no punches. It picks up the blink after its predecessor ended and provides the same non-stop action, the same gritty, dirty and sometimes ugly story of post-apocalyptic survival. This is easily my favorite YA series of all time and after this latest installment I have infinite faith in Susan Ee to continue to deliver.

Speaking of which…when’s the next one come out?

*glances at calendar*

*dying animal noises*


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