Title: Angelfall | World After | End of Days
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: May 21st 2011 | November 19th 2013 | May 12th 2015
Penryn is trying to survive. Because after the angels came to destroy the modern world there are no rules. Streets are ruled by gangs and angels are hunting for humans. When her sister is kidnapped Penryn will do everything she can to find her even if it means working with the enemy. Everything could happen in this new dangerous world.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
Even before the angels arrived on Earth life wasn’t easy for Penryn. The day Penryn and her family decide to flee the city, leaving their apartment before they’re forced out by the gangs, they find themselves in the middle of a deadly battle between four angels. When the fight is over Penryn finds herself alone, her mother fleeing when the fighting started and her sister kidnapped by the angels, save for the angel she tried to save who lost his wings in the battle.
Finding her sister means travelling to the heart of the aerie but Penryn is prepared to do anything, go to any lengths, to get Paige back. She makes a deal with Raffe, if he takes her to the aerie so she can find Paige she will give him his severed wings so he can have them re-attached. However travelling that far on foot is dangerous in the world after; it’s not just the angels Penryn and Raffe have to worry about but the low-demons who hide in the shadows and Penryn’s fellow humans who have survived the apocalypse.
Penryn is very much a realist, she doesn’t sugar coat the situations she finds herself in but at the same time she doesn’t let the insurmountable odds discourage her. She knows how dangerous travelling to the aerie is, she knows she could die long before she finds her sister there, but she doesn’t let it stop her making a deal with Raffe. What Penryn finds herself going through throughout the course of the trilogy shapes her into an incredible character. She’s a fighter to the bitter end and stubborn, she won’t back down from what she believes is the right thing to do.
Penryn’s and Raffe’s relationship was one of my favourite parts of this trilogy. Both of them are very stubborn and opinionated, neither of them are willing to back down or to compromise on what they need from the other so watching them go head to head was always entertaining. In World After, when Raffe believes Penryn died, we see her come into her own more. Rather than just following Raffe’s lead and his plans she is forced to come up with her own answers.
The relationship between Penryn and Paige, especially in World After, was truly heartbreaking to read. After everything she went through to get Paige back Penryn can’t bring herself to look her in the eyes. She struggles to accept what happened to her sister and the guilt that she feels over the whole situation; believing that if she’d only gotten to the aerie sooner she could have saved Paige from her fate. However there’s still that close bond between them, and when Paige runs away a Penryn is never far behind her.
One of the issues I have with this trilogy is the plot of last book. Using the angel sword Penryn and Raffe create a gateway through Belial’s memories into the past and into the Pit, where Raffe’s Watchers have been imprisoned. This was a little too unbelievable for me, and it didn’t seem to fit in with the tone of the previous two book. Even in a trilogy featuring angels and the apocalypse there are rules, and Penryn’s and Raffe’s time travel seemed to break them especially when it hadn’t really been hinted at before.
Re-reading End of Days a second time I didn’t find the plot as bad as the first time I picked it up, possibly because I knew what was coming and my expectations were already low, but the last book in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy still felt really rushed. What I did love about this book was the insight it gave us into Belial’s character, as the angel whose memories Penryn and Raffe travelled through he is the one who must remain in the pit while he brothers escape. Seeing what happened in Belial’s past to turn him into the creature he is now made me understand a lot of his actions.
The fact that Raffe is an angel and Penryn a Daughter of Man is something that sits between the two of them for most of this trilogy, but I wish there had been a little more focus on the fact that the two species are standing on opposite sides of the war the angels arrival seems to have caused. As much as they try to make it an issue there’s never really a question of where Penryn or Raffe will stand when the battle lines are drawn. Penryn trust Raffe over the resistance with her and her families lives, and Raffe always chooses to protect Penryn over his kind.
The world the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy is set in is a dark one. The gangs have taken over the streets, it seems like every human is out for themselves, and even in Obidiah’s resistance, which has banded together to fight against the angels, people are selfish and cruel. They fear anything different and for Paige and the victims of the locusts it makes seeking shelter there very dangerous. It added to the overall tone of the story, it was rare for Penryn to come across a truly good Samaritan but she never gave up appealing to people’s faith in humanity.
End of Days:
Penryn and the End of Days is always going to be a favourite trilogy of mine, these were the books that first got me into the dystopian genre, although re-reading the series I did find that some of the shine has worn off. World After was just as amazing as I remembered it being and End of Days wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but Angelfall wasn’t as good this time around as it was the first time I picked it up. Still one aspect I loved the first time I read the trilogy, and again this time I re-read the trilogy was the hilarious back-and-forth between Penryn and Raffe.
What did you think of the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.