Series: Penryn & the End of Days #3
Published by Skyscape on May 12th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Angels & Demons, Post-Apocalyptic
End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.
After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.
When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?
A couple of years ago, Angelfall by Susan Ee, an indie-published, unknown book took the reading world by storm. And now, we’re finally there: the end. End of Days was, for me, a very highly anticipated 2015 release and one I greatly enjoyed.
I should say up front that I reread Angelfall and World After before diving into End of Days. And I feel like that helped me so much. I was once again fully on board my ship, I remembered all the creepy creatures and horrific scenes, and I was cheering for Penryn and Raffe all the way. Had I not done this, End of Days could have easily felt clunky or anti-climactic. But I didn’t experience it as such.
End of Days picks up right where World After left off. And I mean the next SECOND. No time is wasted – but I didn’t mind, because Penryn and Raffe were together again. I don’t want to make it sound like this series is all about the romance – because it absolutely is not. The freaking world is coming to an end, okay? And Penryn’s not the type to whine and moan about a boy while it’s all going to shit. BUT. Oh boy did I swoon for this book. The chemistry between these two characters is undeniable, and there were some scenes that just made me into a total flaily fangirl.
And I actually loved these scenes even though for those readers really expecting end of the world shenanigans it might have felt too dominant. It actually made me like Penryn more, because even in dire circumstances, she acknowledges the fact that she has urges – and, well, it’s been a long ass time since a guy’s been close enough to touch her (or that she let them close enough to touch her). I like it when my female MCs get a little horny, soooo, yeah. That happened. And it made me happy. As far as romance goes, this book was pretty ace. I was very much pleased with it – even though it sometimes approached the line of too much sap. (A bit too much “this romance is forbidden” drama for me.) But this is one of my favorite YA ships, make no mistake, for the simple fact that the banter never ends.
Following World After‘s dramatic conclusion, the war between the angels and the humans is definitely heating up. I loved getting to see the political scheming on the side of the angels – the entire lot of them are so excellently manipulated by Uriel that it’s fascinating to dissect for the realism and plausibility. It’s just so smart! And in this book, we finally get some more background about the Fallen, the horrifying torture of the pits, and Beliel even kind of manages to redeem himself. Seriously, that story arc did pack a punch of complicated feels.
But I was talking about the war. Yeah. There is actually a major action-packed battle, in which once again Penryn manages to impress us all with her strength and fighting techniques and one final terrifying creature is revealed: a sixer – a seven headed beast with 666 stamped on its forehead. Anyway, it’s a last stand for humanity against the angels, who fervently belief that by killing all the humans, they will reach Judgment Day. How does that pan out? Well, obviously, you’ll have to read it.
You’ll notice, however, that I didn’t give this book the highest rating ever. At the end of the day, I’m a bit let down by it. I think it’s mostly because the last half of the book felt super duper rushed. (Probably because this was originally meant to be a 5-book series.) Whereas the previous books in the series really took the time to create a haunting atmosphere, creepy bad guys, and oodles of suspicion, I feel like End of Days had less depth and just focused on action. And maybe Penryn’s romantic musings about Raffe came once too often, making her voice a little less fierce. I also felt like the very end was shoddily tied up, leaving more than one gaping plot hole. View Spoiler »The angel plague? That just… disappeared? Really? « Hide Spoiler Kind of a Deus Ex Machina ending, and I don’t like it.
But overall, I definitely enjoyed this book, and this series remains one of my favorites. It’s scary, it’s thrilling, the main character is fierce, and the ship is ace. Susan Ee has created a fascinating mythology around the angels, one that really made me think – and I loved how she dissected human behavior in general. So though that very end maybe could have been better, I would not hesitate to highly recommend this series.