World After by Susan Ee: Book Review

Author: Susan Ee
Publishing Date: November 19, 2013
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Size: 336
Edition: eBook
Language: English
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult, Angels
ISBN13: 2940012975348

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In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Review

I feel alone reading this book. No Raffe beside me to fool around with!!! In the first half, there's so much longing (well, not that childlike worse like Bella). And I long for Raffe too. But unlike the other books I read, I don't feel so really alone. Just like Penryn, although not entirely secure of herself, I know there are much to mind of and not some silly girly feelings.

There's still the comic note in the book but this one's on a more serious tone. If the first one's fast-paced, this one is slow for the taking. Well, maybe it's only because we mostly had Raffe for company on the first book.

Two major things I noted:

  • I like it when Penryn was fishing for Raffe's feelings. "Heart Broken".
  • I like how Raffe's new wings function just like in the movie, Legion.



This book seems a bit anime-ish to me. Not in a bad way, it's more on the seriousness of the story similar to how mangaka or Japanese comic authors build their stories. It's like some anime/manga tropes:
  1. The first part of the story is so amazing (first installment/book), you'd get hooked on the first chapter and would love to reach the last chapter ASAP only to realize on the second installment that what you've read before is just the tip of the ice berg. It's like if you were a character in the story, everything that you've done and journeyed in the past don't matter. Except for the building of romantic feelings between characters.
  2. Enemies of the past could become your allies. Or the other way around.

Analogy:

Hunter X Hunter (1999) - Until the second season, viewers dread the Spiders, have a high regard towards the Zoldyck clan with their deadly skills and riches. Come Greed Island, the Spiders are nothing and Killua's kin with their skills and fortune would never compare to Gon's father alone.

I know most of you can't relate with that. It's just that the author of this book is Asian and she must have adopted the way Asians make stories (that would include Chinese and Korean movies too). The Resistance had done so much towards attacking the Aerie (on the first book) only to realize that they have just attacked menial laboring angels and a small number of Warriors. Worse, it's as if they have done no damage at all and they've killed not one single angel. Call me a traitor but I don't want to imagine handsome angels getting hurt.

And once again, we are faced with Scorpion-like monsters. They're just a rip-off of Cell of Dragon Ball Z in my opinion. Still doesn't ebb the creeps from me remembering Cell as a kid. I like how the author doesn't deviate much from bible history. I have to admit I'm surprised that these scorpions took from Exodus' locusts (according to Uriel). Well, just minus the venom-stinging steroidal tail.

There isn't that much to get from the Resistance in this book (save for the Weasley twins- I mean Dee-Dum), they're too antagonistic towards the Young family. Who would be if you witness one that has risen from the dead who was delivered by a "devil", another who's a stitched-up-Frankenstein-doll with sharp-filed teeth with a crazy mother to boot? But worse, it was Penryn who was terrified of Paige and Paige could sense it. And that's how basically Paige got away.

I like the dreaming part. It seemed so much like me when I dream lucidly (mine's better though, I could skinchange). It's not uncommon to paranormal stories when inanimate objects talk to the holder and "tell" stuffs about themselves or their master by recollection through dream walkthroughs. I like it when Raffe's sword gives Penryn some "tutorials" so she may wield her properly. And Penryn was so close to knowing Raffe's feelings towards her if only the sword didn't know better.

Funny scene with the Dee-Dum twins:

“Can I name your sword?”
“No.” I pull out a pair of jeans that might fit and one sock.
“Why not?”
“Already has a name.” I continue digging through the pile for a matching sock.
“What is it?”
“Pooky Bear.”
His friendly face suddenly becomes serious. “You’re naming your collector’s-item, kick-ass sword that’s made to maim and kill, specifically designed to bring your ginormous enemies to their knees and hear the lamentation of their women—Pooky Bear?”

And since I used to be an anime-junkie with all the splendor of samurais and ninjas, eventually it would come to Raffe going like this:

“I’ve mentioned that names have power, right? Do you realize that when she fights battles, she’s going to have to announce herself to the opposing sword? She’ll be forced to say something ridiculous like, ‘I am Pooky Bear, from an ancient line of archangel swords.’ Or, ‘Bow down to me, Pooky Bear, who has only two other equals in all the worlds.’ ” He shakes his head. “How is she going to get any respect?”

I just found a little bit of inconsistency. Why is Penryn so worried that the sword might be taken away by some people or these people might spot Raffe’s sword? Can't she remember how much it would weigh when it doesn't want to be carried away by someone? That’s what I thought the entire time until Penryn shows clearly that she has not later in the book. But her actions showed otherwise three-quarters on the way and that got me all confused. Good thing there's always something about the Dee-Dum twins that would distract me from my own frustrations.

So once again, we're on a boat towards rescuing Paige. This time, Penryn got involved with Frankenstein's master, a human doctor who's just a minion of the bad angels who love to experiment on people at the monster factory called the Alcatraz Prison. And that’s where things got heated up with some revelations. Find out for yourself.

Okay, that doctor said something about the Stockholm Syndrome. Paige attached to Beliel? That news was a blast! And I can't help but be gritty about it.

“Stay with me,” says a familiar masculine whisper from above my head. Even over the yelling of the mob and the roaring of the waves, something unfurls in my chest at the sound of that voice.

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.”

Now in the comfort of Raffe's arms finally! My heart just flutters... Their reunion was what I was waiting for.

Some funny dialogues:
I’ve never had a panic attack and I’m hoping I’m not about to now. But I’m hyper-aware of what a flimsy, inconsequential creature I am compared to these demigods. Did I think for a second that I could have my own agenda among them? That I could beat any of them? I’m a little nobody, a nothing. By all the laws of nature, I should be crawling under a table and crying for mommy.
My dad once told me life would get complicated when I grew up. I’m guessing this isn’t what he meant. My mom, on the other hand, agreed with him, and I’m guessing this kind of thing is exactly what she meant.

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