I dropped the ball a bit with the first book Angelfall and never posted a review. I loved it though and recommended it to all I saw for weeks afterwards! So I was quite excited when I heard the second book World After was about to be released and would soon be in my hot little hands.
You know when you read a series of books or watch a series of movies, you often compare each installment to the last. Was it better? Was it as good? Was it worse? Well, this second book was... different. It was the same in that the pace was fast and gripping and addictive, the characters we've grown to love were there and we loved them but it was somewhat overshadowed with the violence and horror elements. I can't help but think Ee simply sprinkled blood and gore over each chapter just to keep it juicy. Which in my mind, was unnecessary and just plain gross. In saying that I still could not stop reading, and will most probably read the next book albeit rather cautiously. Maybe not during a meal.... maybe I could get someone to read it first and let me know if I can stomach it or not!
Anyway, I spewed these thoughts below as soon as I'd finished the book. They are in no particular order and CONTAIN SPOILERS...
- As an avid fan of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone - I can't help but compare all angel books to her. So the masquerade party - when they see each other through the masks, it felt tried and done before. Yet I still enjoyed it.
- I still don't believe that Penryn is THAT capable. We go from helpless to strong and then helpless to strong over and over again. Although better than the likes of Bella (Twilight) who is just plain helpless ALL the time OR even Katniss (Hunger Games) who is impossibly awesome all the time. ya know? I struggled with this.
- Loved Raffe - HATED how long it took to see him in the book! gah!
- Love the tension between the two characters, the rules, the unrequitedness... so good.
- Horror and gore - not so great, first few chapters seemed to over do it. Was nice to have a bit of a break at the aerie but then straight back into it again huh.
- Couldn't help but think of the Matrix with those underground labs and then that exact word was used. Could this have been a deliberate name drop? Yes. Was it really? Probably not.
- Loved the facebook and google founder digs, the modern speak and at some times the almost social media speak/ text language style feel to the dialogue. This would go down well with teenagers who use it I'm sure.
- Love the connection with Paige and the scorpions.
- LOVE the twins! They made the book easier to read, gave hope and hilarity right when it was needed. Classic.
- Clara and family reunited wasn't totally necessary but totally worth it. Almost shed a tear.
- Only saw a bit of Laylah which I thought was disappointing. I'm hoping Penryn gets to rip her to shreds in the final installment.
- LOVED the sword's personality and relationship with Penryn. Loved the visions, loved that Penryn was embarrassed to ask it questions. It kept me going through the gore having those visions dotted throughout (thanks Suze that kept me going). LOVED the renaming of the sword very very funny. Handy that the sword can act on its own as it would be too much to expect Penryn to also be a master at it after a couple of fumbling fighting encounters - but then as I've said above apparently Penryn can do ANYTHING.
- Very very good bad guys! I hate them! That's the point right?
- Loved the living art girls.
- Hated the scorpions and the sucking, the references to beef jerky, the descriptions of their bodies... everything. Like I said - bad guys were pretty bad.
- Hated the paralyzed, seemingly dead people, being buried alive (totally reminded me of the exact same scene in an early Lost episode so not totally original either).
- Loved the idea of the wing covers and the humans wearing wings.
- LOVED Penryn's Mum - could possibly be my favourite character.
Ok so I think that's it. I think the horror and gore is one of those things that you get used to or even put up with because you want to get to the lovey dovey parts or just to get to the end. I'm still weighing up whether it was worth it and whether I'd put myself through it again or attempt the next book.
I enjoyed most of this World After, and since finishing I miss Raffe. BUT I don't think I'll re-read it (like Laini's books) and I didn't flop on the bed after the last few words on the last page and sigh a contented sigh.... you do that too after you've just finished a book right? Right?
Angela read this book alongside me, see what she thought too! Read her review here.
If you've read all this and haven't read the first book Angelfall, Angela has a great review here.