End of Days by Susan Ee

End of Days by Susan Ee

Title: End of Days
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days, #3

Penryn and Raffe have escaped from the malicious angel Uriel and the host of angels that have invaded our world. Now with Paige in tow, Penryn searches desperately for someone to undo the horrors inflicted upon her sister while Raffe seeks to finally be reunited with the wings that were stolen from him. Penryn is sure she can rely on Raffe, but as the battle between man and angel intensifies, each faces impossible choices, choices that may turn ally into enemy and separate them for good.

“All this time, I’ve been thinking I’m the strong one, that I’m making the hard choices and carrying the weight of responsibility for my family on my shoulders. But I realize now that the toughest choices, the ones that will haunt us for the rest of our lives, are the ones that my mom is still sheltering me from.”

End of Days, Susan Ee’s final installment in her Penryn & the End of Days series, sets up the final battle between angels and humans. Throughout the series, Penryn has been pulled in different directions, but her loyalty to her family remains constant. Now more than ever it becomes imperative that she reconnect with the doctor that first experimented on her sister or risk watching Paige slowly waste away. As difficult as it is, Penryn finally begins to recognize her sister’s capabilities and even though Paige may be irrevocably altered, she still remains the strong little girl she was in the World Before. Penryn also gains new insight into her mother’s madness and as strange as she can be, Penryn’s mother manages to be both unnervingly blunt and wise in her own way. She is the unsung hero of the series and I found myself liking her more in more with each book.

Penryn and Raffe found common ground in Angelfall and the bound between them could not be severed by their separation in World After. In End of Days, their relationship takes on a different challenge. The differences between their two peoples that were once easy to overlook in light of their mutual respect for one another are harder to ignore. Penryn is a fierce heroine, who never turns her back on those she cares about, not even for Raffe. Both are faced with hard decisions, from embracing leadership roles that put them on opposing sides to accepting mistakes they’ve made in the past. Each has their own path to follow and even though they care about one another, neither is blind to their own peoples’ needs. One thing I did find missing from this last installment was a definitive answer to the real role the Messenger plays in the relationship between God and angels, as this was both debated and was a key factor in the main storyline.

End of Days is just as fast-paced as the previous books and introduces new settings and horrors that bring a deeper complexity to many of its characters. As someone who isn’t really into angel books, this series was an amazing experience, with a unique twist on angelic beings, a terrifying post-apocalyptic world and a main character who is a force to be reckoned with.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★

World After by Susan Ee

World After by Susan Ee

Title: World After
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days, #2

Penryn Young risked everything to save her little sister, Paige, from the angels that kidnapped her, but the child she got back bears little resemblance to the one that was lost. Paige, along with other children, have been altered, changed into something to be feared. When her sister runs away, convinced she is a monster, Penryn must find a way to see past the damage and accept this new Paige before she is lost forever. And somewhere in the chaos is Raffe who still believes Penryn is dead and is determined more than ever to take back the wings that were stolen from him.

“A part of me still expects her to cringe in disgust at the sight of the corpse. There is disgust there. But there’s also a flash of longing. Hunger.”

In the sequel to Susan Ee’s Angelfall, Penryn deals with the aftermath of the physical experiments done on her sister. More feral than child, Paige has become a different person and much of World After deals with Penryn’s mixed feeling toward what her sister has become. Paige, like so many other things in this new world, has become a casualty in a larger war in which humans are inconsequential. The angels are faster, stronger, and have their own political motivations that have nothing to do with humanity. For angels, humans are either prey, trophies, or something to be used for their own gain.

Penryn has taken every step believing her responsibility in this post-apocalyptic world lies with her mother and sister. In this second installment, Penryn’s actions propel her forward into a different role, one she may not be ready to accept but one she may have to. When Penryn speaks, people listen, when they lose hope, they look to her, and when there is a call to action, people follow. There is something to be said of Penryn’s mother as well. In a world gone mad, this woman who lacks mentally stability somehow never looses sight of her daughters. Her will to survive is at times frightening, but also incredibly impressive.

Although I really enjoyed World After, I missed the banter between Penryn and Raffe, who are separated for the majority of the novel. Raffe’s sword connects Penryn to him through its memories and it’s really interesting to have a little more insight into who this archangel is. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Susan Ee wraps up this fast-paced and heart-pounding series.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Title: Angelfall
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days, #1

When the angels descended upon the earth, they brought with them death and destruction. Penryn struggles to keep her little sister, Paige, and their mother alive in a world gone crazy. When she inadvertently gets tangled in a fight between two angels, Penryn watches helplessly as one of them kidnaps her sister. Left with an injured angel and no way to find Paige, Penryn is forced to save him. Now, in order to rescue her sister, Penryn must put her trust in a foe that has already wrecked havoc on her world.

“I shove the horrible, screaming images in my head into the dark, silent place in my mind that is getting deeper and more crowded each day. One day soon, the things I stuff in there will burst out and infect the rest of me.”

Susan Ee’s Angelfall was a surprising favorite of mine back when I first read it a couple of years ago and for whatever reason, I haven’t been able to return to this world. Now with the recent release of the third book in the Penryn & the End of Days series, I simply had to reread this one. One of my favorite things about this book is its ability to make me laugh and at the same time terrify me. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, where death can literally fall from the sky, Angelfall still manages to be fun. This would be an impossible feat if it were not for the two main characters.

Penryn Young has had a difficult life. With a mother whose mental illness manifests itself through paranoia, Penryn grew up learning how to defend herself and knows when push comes to shove, the only person she can rely on is herself. Raffe, the angel at odds with his own people, is not how Penryn imagines the malevolent beings, bent on destroying humanity, would be. Sarcastic and arrogant, Raffe is far too human for Penryn’s liking. The first time these two interact had me laughing hysterically, despite the fact they were trying to kill one another at the time.

Angelfall is a fast-paced post-apocalyptic novel full of cheeky characters and frightening antagonists. Penryn is one of the most fearless protagonists I’ve ever come across and I cannot wait to read the final two book in the series.

Rating: 5/5

★★★★★

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Title: Boundless
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly, #3

Boundless is the conclusion to Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series. It is the conclusion, right? I don’t think my emotions can handle another book. I’ve had this book for almost a year and haven’t had the stomach to pick it up. Why not? It isn’t because the series hasn’t been good, it’s just the opposite. I dreaded the agony I knew I was going to feel, knowing the book was going to explore all those unanswered questions swirling inside of me.

Boundless opens with Clara beginning a new chapter in her life. Leaving Wyoming, she is determined to move forward and start afresh at Stanford, away from the memories of her mom’s departure, the danger from the Black Wings, and Tucker Avery. But Clara is part angel and she is once again burdened by visions of the future, a future filled with darkness and terror.

“It’s funny. Here I’ve been seeing this dark room for months, and I know something bad has happened…and I know it’s not going to do any good for us to hide, and I know that this whole vision could be life or death. Those people, whoever they are, want to kill us. I’ve sensed that from the beginning. But I don’t think I ever truly considered that I might die.”

If I didn’t love books so much, I would have torn the pages of this one to shreds while I was reading. Of course if I didn’t love books so much, I wouldn’t have felt the urge to tear the pages of this one to shreds while I was reading. I confess that most of my agony centered around Clara’s mixed feels for Christian and Tucker. Make no mistake, I am all in when it comes to Tucker Avery. This is probably why I dreaded reading this book so much because I knew Christian would have a more prominent role. Every time he showed up I wanted to throw something. It’s very immature of me and I’m okay with that. Clara definitely cares about him, but I just couldn’t allow myself to like him. I’m either incredibly pro-Tucker or…no, I’m just incredibly pro-Tucker.

I won’t get into all the specifics as to why my conviction goes so deep, though I think it’s pretty clear when you read the two prior novels. Suffice to say, Tucker represents who Clara is apart from her angel roots, whereas Christian is her link to that side of her.

What this book had me contemplating was destiny. What happens when you are given a glimpse of your future? What if there are other things you want? Both sides pull at you. Do you give in and accept the inevitable or do you dig in your heels? What kind of world would it be if we all saw what life held for us? The stubborn part of me (and it’s a large part of me) would resist till it hurt. I couldn’t live like that and because of this I respect the conflicting emotions that Clara experiences. But by golly, Clara, I wanted to scream at you sometimes!

Not every story line is tied up as nicely as I’d have liked. That being said I won’t take away from the rating because this less than tidy ending evokes a sense of realism. I should probably be more extensive, but I just finished this book tonight and I can’t get my emotions righted presently.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★