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Khanh the Killjoy

Nobody messes with my sister and gets away with it

World After  - Susan Ee

*no spoilers*

Was that you, Pooky Bear?

There are a lot of themes of good vs. bad, the nature of evil, the length of which man will go to survive. As far as I'm concerned, the only message in this book that mattered is: you do NOT fuck with my sister, because I will hunt you down and I will make you pay. I understand it, and I admire Penryn for it.

I have a baby sister, I love her. We are the same age apart as Penryn and Paige.



...aaaand some years after.



It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but I will do everything I can to damn sure she has a happy life. Nobody hurts my baby sister. A good sibling vengeance story will get me every time. I loved it in the Fever series, and I love it in this book.

I really enjoyed this book...with some reservations. This is one of the situations where I find myself to be the odd man out. I think every single one of my friend loved the first book in this series, whereas I enjoyed the originality of the first book, but was largely indifferent to it. However, I'm happy to find that I liked this book a lot more than the first. Don't get me wrong, there was absolutely nothing I disliked about this book. Penryn is a strong female character, with a tremendous sense of morality and loyalty to her family and friends that I admire, and the romance was well done in that it developed over time and was not the focus of the book. I had some problems with the plot, particularly towards the second half of the book, but overall, I think my reaction to the book is just one of chemistry.

That's right, chemistry. It happens with people, and apparently, it happens with books and the characters within. In life, you meet a lot of people. Some, you like, for no fucking reason. Some, you hate on the spot, despite the fact that they are perfectly pleasant, perfectly nice, completely inoffensive whatsoever, and yet, try as you might...there's just something lacking that prevents you from completely liking, from completely enjoying that person's company.

For me, the Angelfall series is a perfect example of chemistry gone wrong. This book has pretty much everything I could ever want, action, a light romance, awesome characters, horror, death, blood. SO MUCH BLOOD. And yet...like, not love. What can I say? It's just chemistry.

I'm starting to sound like I don't like this book. That's not true! I liked it a lot. I just find myself largely indifferent to the characters; that is a matter purely of personal taste, and not a reflection on the book itself. I truly did enjoy this book.

Summary: I didn't remember much from the first book. I didn't need to. This book summarizes the ending of the previous book well enough so that I didn't have any trouble being reimmersed into the World After. We are back in the Silicon Valley and it it a fucking (glorious) mess. This is what I loved. This is what I wanted. This is what I didn't get much of from the first book. People are scared, hungry, in hiding. They're forming into groups, gangs, because you can't survive alone, not in a world like this. Penryn, broken Paige, and their schizophrenic mother have just escaped the aerie, and are with the Resistance, planning to slowly retake their world from the destructive Angels. Penryn has no idea where Raffe is. All she gets is flashes of his thoughts and dreams, projected by the sword he has left her. Raffe is so tantalizingly close, yet so far away.

It's a tough life made tougher when Paide, Penryn's broken sister gets kidnapped. Penryn will do anything to get her back.

The Plot & Setting: A lot better this time around. Things just made more sense, and there is more of what I wanted to see. Call me morbid, but I love reading about a broken world. It's what drew me into post-apocalyptic fiction, and dystopian fiction. It's what hooked me in The Walking Dead, and I felt that this book delivered that scenario so much more than the previous one. We get to see more of the remnants of society as they cower in fear and try to raise a meager resistance. We get to see people imprisoned, starving, willing to go to the extent of cannibalism because they are so desperate for sustence. It is a gripping setting and scenario, it's not overly detailed on a grander scale, since Penryn only knows what she sees, so it is fine with me.

This book moves fast. There is too much action at times, for me, because I'm the sort of person who needs a moment of quiet and introspection amidst all the chaos. I still HATE the concept of the Aerie. The thought of angels getting into frat boy parties and swigging champagne and chilling with gorgeous "daughters of men," was absurd to me in the previous book, and it remains completely stupid to me in this book.

I liked the fact that this book did not feel the need to force Penryn and Raffe together unnecessarily. It shows that Penryn is independent, it shows that she is capable of survival without Raffe, however foolhardy her actions are, at times. And it makes the eventual reappeance of Raffe so much better, when it finally happens. It felt like taking a deep breath after holding it in for so long.

I look up to say something but he puts his finger to my lips and whispers, “Don’t talk. You’ll just spoil my fantasy of rescuing an innocent damsel in distress as soon as you open your mouth.”

^____________^

The Characters: I liked most of them. I really enjoyed Penryn's character, she is strong, she means well, but she is imperfect, and so very human. Penryn makes foolish decisions, she makes mistakes, and she realizes those mistakes. I liked that about her. Penryn knows all too well that no matter how good your intentions, no matter how bravely you try to act, no matter how much of a hero you try to me, shit can always go wrong.

I feel sick.
Sick from fear. Sick from anger. Sick from the stupidity of what I’ve done.
I came here for my sister and instead I’ve gotten myself recklessly caught.

I liked the other characters in the book, and how well they were portrayed. They don't appear for too long, but the twins, Dum and Dee greatly reminded me of Poison Study's Ari and and Janco, the "Power Twins." Dum and Dee are strong, tough guys, who often act exaggeratedly silly, and they inject just the right amount of humor into a serious book.

I find myself altogether fascinated and horrified by Paige and Penryn's intrepid, unstoppable, and completely insane mother. She is truly bulletproof, and I can only shake my head, aghast, at her actions throughout the story.

The Romance>: Penryn is not altogether strong, she has her moments of weakness. She aches, thinking about Raffe but there are better things to think about. Priorities, Penryn has them! Penryn allows herself a few moments of wanting him and missing him, but really, it's the end of the world, and she ain't got no time for romance when her SISTER's missing.

I’m dying to know what he felt during our kiss.
I know it doesn’t matter. I know it won’t change anything. I know it’s juvenile.
Whatever.
Can’t a girl be a girl for, like, five minutes?

I felt the romance was very well done; it was light, it was believable, and I love the fact that Ms. Ee has the courage to not force Penryn and Raffe together unbelievably and unnecessarily.

Altogether, a really good book, with likeable characters, in an interesting setting. You want your kick-ass heroine, you got your kick-ass heroine.