Penryn & the End of Days (Angelfall, World After, End of Days)

Penryn & the End of Days (Angelfall, World After, End of Days)
Susan Ee, 2012, 2013, 2015

Premise: Six weeks ago, the world ended. Or, at least, a series of catastrophes and an army of angels decimated the human race, which amounts to about the same thing. Penryn is 17. She only wants to keep her little sister safe, and her schizophrenic mom alive. When her family is separated, she will do anything to get them back. Even make a deal with an angel.

For a series that, if you emphasize certain parts of the plot, falls squarely into many Paranormal YA tropes, this had some serious bite. The action was fast and furious, the story fascinating in its twists and turns.

I'll say up front that there is a romance and I didn't hate it by the end, because it ended up tying into the plot in a really interesting way. If it had ended up being a romance for the sake of angst or for the sake of romance itself it might have driven me crazy, but I actually think all the relationships are purposeful and build the backbone of the story here. It did frustrate me some in the first and second book, though.

I really liked the slow reveal on the world. It's very bleak, but not without moments of hope. You get the general idea of how bad things are right away, but what happened, and why, is strung out in pieces as new facts come to light. The technology, while not described in depth, is really interesting. The angels have a magic-esque level of science, and also maybe magic? Even they don't seem to fully understand it.

A lot of this series ended up being about the nature of humanity, and the nature of societies. How far will you go to protect one person? All people? Other sentient, non-human races? What happens to sentient races when civilizations fall? If horrible things happen to us, must we become horrible in turn? How do you choose who to listen to? Who to follow? There's actually a lot to unpack here.

By book three, the angels pick up a lot more nuance as well, raising questions of whether they are right to follow their leaders. Interesting stuff for dystopian YA to play with. It doesn't really delve as deeply or as intelligently as I might really love, but there's interesting stuff here.

All three books are short, I read them very quickly and enjoyed them.

3 Stars - Good Books.


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