World building: 7/10
Writing style: 8/10
Character building: 8/10
My Opinionated Review
Note: World After is the second book in Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. For a review of Angelfall, first book in the series, visit
World After is an enjoyable and satisfying sequel to Angelfall. However, it does not possess the same quality and intensity as the first book. Although with flaws, it is still an utterly enjoyable and action-packed story, displaying many twists and terrifying moments, as well as powerful scenes, and taking the war between humans and angels, as well as Raffe and Penryn’s story, to the next level.
The book begins straight after the intense ending in Angelfall: Penryn is waking up from her paralysis state, scaring many people with her ‘resurrection’. She is now with the resistance group, trying to ensure the survival of the human race, as well as get used to her sister’s drastic change. Separated from Raffe, who now embarks on his own journey thinking she is deceased, Penryn has to undertake a new mission of survival, filled with tragedy, horror, surprising reveals, and separation anxiety.
Upon starting this book, I had worries about the progression of the story. Since the first instalment was a young-adult fantasy masterpiece, the second book felt much weaker and disappointing. The main reason why this story lacked feeling and captivation was the separation between Raffe and Penryn. The majority of the story focuses on Penryn’s journey alone, and although the beloved angel is never forgotten, the lack of passionate and witty dynamics between the two main characters played a vital part in flagging the storyline. The reader was rewarded later on, plus, the plot never seemed boring or action-less. Still, the absence of delightful character dynamics affected the quality of the book tremendously.
Despite all the disappointing feelings that the sequel has brought out of me, I still very much enjoyed it. The plot, although not as strong as in the first book, had all the right elements, surprising and horrifying the reader along the way. Moreover, absence always makes the heart go fonder, and the separation between Raffe and Penryn worked out quite well in the end, resulting in a lot of angst and longing, and a heart-shattering epic reunion. Since it is a trilogy, I am quite impressed how the author is portraying the forbidden romance, never giving the two lovebirds a break, and torturing the reader with the absence of romantic scenes. It results in the romance never being boring.
I do miss the witty Raffe though. I know, the whole tragic and terrifying plot prevents the character from being too happy. Still, Raffe in Angelfall was a delight, and I wish he would have made an appearance more often. Having said that, I did enjoy the character development. Seeing his attachment to Penryn, and breaking quite a few of his believes because of his feeling for this human girl, was a satisfying factor.
It was also quite refreshing to see Penryn interact with her family. In the first book, it was made clear that the character was ready to do anything for her sister. Yet, we got very little interactions between them. World After explores the Young family bonds in more depth and allows Penryn to develop as a strong heroine by herself.
I am not sure whether it is an already established connection to the characters, an epic romance, or a really captivating premise, that made me love the story despite noticing all the flaws. Nevertheless, I believe this sequel is definitely worth reading. Although it does not possess the strong points of the first book, the plot remains to be intense and surprising, and the characters and the dynamics between them – complex and remarkable.
It is a highly addictive trilogy. There is no way to take a break in between the books. I guess, binge-reading the series adds to the enjoyment since the connection to the characters is fresh and not forgotten. I definitely recommend this trilogy but warn you to prepare for the first book being the strongest one in the series.
Have you read this series? Tell me what are your thoughts on this trilogy, and whether you like it or not.
- Apocalyptica ft. Ville Valo and Lauri Ylonen – Bittersween Symphony
- Raveonettes – War in Heaven
- Sarah McLachlan – In the Arms of an Angel
- Ben Howard – End of the Affair
- Frances – Don’t Worry About Me