A Disappointing Sequel

World After  - Susan Ee

2.5 stars

I have one word for the way I felt as I read this book.INDIFFERENCE.I don't know what happened betweenAngelfall and World After, but I couldn't bring myself to enjoy this one. There are so many aspects of the story that irked me to the point where I debated not finishing at all. If it hadn't been so short, I might have just put it aside.

For me, World After fails to live up to Angelfall in so many ways. To be fair, I've always struggled a lot with writing in first person and present tense. While it can sometimes feel like you're experiencing everything along with the character, it can also be limiting and narrow. By the time I was halfway through the book I was tired of the short, clipped sentences Penryn uses to describe what's happening. This aspect bothered me so much that it actually ended up detracting from the dark atmosphere that other readers loved about the story.

I was also disappointed with the character development, not of major characters like Penryn and Raffe, but of minor characters. This is one of those times that I wish I would pause in my reading to take notes and highlight so that I could provide some examples, but unfortunately I don't. Generally, I didn't feel like I was getting anything from characters who weren't Penryn, Paige, or Raffe. Some characters, like Dum and Dee, were absolutely fascinating, but only two-dimensional. Even Uriel, who I expected to be a dark, intimidating force, came across as vapid and ridiculous. His character didn't inspire any fear in me, which made it difficult to connect with Penryn and other characters who are terrified of him.

Although we get some helpful insights into Paige's kidnapping and what she experienced at the hands of Beliel, as well as some more background about the apocalypse, it felt like there was no plot for the first 50-60% of the book. Penryn wakes up in a Resistance van with her crazy mother and mutilated sister, lives at the Resistance camp, gets in a few scuffles, and dreams A LOT about Raffe. Afterwards, the plot picks up a bit, but I didn't find it to be tightly woven at all, to the point that I questioned why almost everything was happening. For me, it didn't seem like there was a clear sequence of events, or even cause and effect, which left me confused and lost. 

Overall, a disappointing read, made even more so by the excitement I felt about continuing this series. Penryn's mom continues to intrigue me. Finding out about her and Paige may be the only reason I continue with this series. On a side note, I couldn't stand the way Penryn thought about her mother throughout the first half of the book. I was actually a little disgusted with the way she describes her mom (again, I should really start taking notes). So while there were parts I was impressed with, like Penryn being totally kick ass, but my issues with the book unfortunately far outweighed the parts I enjoyed.