by Susan Ee
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*5 I Cringed So Many Times I Lost Count Stars*
The broken glass reflects the light from the sky like a carpet of flickering fireflies that stretches out as far as I can see. It’s so unexpectedly beautiful that I pause to look at it. How can something so wondrous come out of such devastation?
It’s no secret that I fell in love with the first book, Angelfall. It was shocking, action-packed, and full of undiscovered romance….and to top it all off, the male character took my breath away more than once. Yes, Angelfall was my favorite book of 2013 and only one other series has come close, so World After had a lot to live up to, in my eyes. And while I didn’t love it as much as the first, I still loved it wholeheartedly and read it so fast that my eyes still hurt.
It’s amazing how many times we have to go against our survival instincts to survive.
After that crazy ending from book one, we were left to starve for more…anything-anything at all that would satiate the hunger resulting from our undying love for Raffe and his not-so-surpring concern for Penryn. Here we are, months, years, eons later after waiting for WA’s arrival….and Raffe isn’t present. I can’t say that I didn’t miss his presence throughout the book. He and Penryn’s witty banter is so lighthearted and fun, adding a softness to an otherwise harsh reality, and you can notice his absence like a cold metal rod through your stomach.
That first moment of falling feels like slow-mo, where every sensation is amplified. A sheer knee-jerk survival reaction makes me flail and grab the first thing I can.
What I love most about Susan Ee, though, is her innovative style of writing that gives us just enough of ‘Raffe’ that we hardly…er…well…we don’t miss him as much as we could have had she not found a way to sneakily insert him into the story. As most of you probably remember, Penryn has Raffe’s sword. Raffe’s sword has an attachment to it’s owner that keeps his memories, or rather it’s memories, alive within the sword. And this is why I love Susan Ee so much-she found a way to essentially put Raffe’s POV and feelings into WA without actually dubbing special chapters or breaks in the story to do so. The fact that Penryn is now the only one who can wield Raffe’s sword was a big boost to the story that kept me (mostly) happy until we got to see the actual living form of Raffe himself.
When he looks at me, it’s the look of someone noticing a person for the first time, proving yet again that an angel’s arrogance knows no bounds. Which, now that I think about it, increases the likelihood that this is Raffe.
As I had mentioned above, the shock factor came full force in book one, but the after-effects continuing forth as a result of what all we learned is almost as eye-opening as before. Grotesque truths are revealed and built upon, uncertainty and shame cause shunning of more than one being, causing heartache I didn’t believe was possible, and we begin to see how much worse the world will get before…well we don’t know if it can get better.
I’m no great white but all this knife stabbing and slashing is reminding me of Mom and her victims. For once, I’m okay with the similarities. For once, I hold onto her craziness for strength. Sometimes, I just have to let go and let my inner Mom out.
Penryn is such an amazing herione. She continues to grow as a person, realizing that even as she strives to defend her new and improved sister, that this is a demon she also has to overcome. How can you defend something that you are uncertain and scared of yourself? And despite her strong resistance to the angel race, she can’t stop thinking about the one angel that aggravates her most…yet makes her giddy and want to live out fantasies that could never be possible.
He sprawls on the sand, quietly laughing. His laugh is weak and in need of air but it may still be the greatest sound I’ve ever heard. It’s full of warmth and genuine mirth, as only a living, breathing-um-person can have.
And Raffe-the beautiful, sculpted, protective, and loyal, Raffe. I love his strong personality so much-his trust in Penryn only added to his strength and caused me to melt into my shoes. Raffe’s fierce persona and hard exterior soften when he’s around Penryn, making him one of my favorite, most irresistable book guys-ever. He shines above so many male leads because he just cares so much, even when it’s taboo to do so-he would do anything to protect this fragile human girl who he just doesn’t understand…but he’d die trying to.
Raffe puts his hand on my forehead. “You humans are so fragile. If time doesn’t kill you off, it’s germs or sharks or hypothermia.” “Or blood-crazed angels.” He shakes his head. “One minute you’re fine, the next minute you’re gone forever.” He stares broodily into the flickering fire.
Even as I write this review I realize just how much I adored this story, minimal Raffe or not. Every character has so much to give, lose, gain, and it doesn’t effect the intensity of what they’re willing to do to save one another. Raffe and Penryn want to be together so much, but how could it ever work? The sexual tension was through the roof, and I found myself giggling more than once at Raffe’s not-so-subtle attempts to thwart the desire that was building in the room. I really do hope for the best between these two, and even more than that, I hope they get to be together with her family intact, because I don’t know if Penryn would ever truly be happy separated from the only people she had in the world for so long. So, now I will eagerly await the release of book three, ready for whatever Susan has in store for us-I just hope I can handle it.
|Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
World After #2
End of Days #3