Published by Skyscape on May 12. 2015
Genres: dystopian, urban fantasy
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End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.
After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.
When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?
Well, it’s the end of an era isn’t it? I wasn’t even a little bit nervous that this book would fail to deliver on all the promise of its predecessors and I am so happy to tell you that I was right in my confidence. If you are looking for heart pounding action, a fierce but all too human heroine, the swooniest of swoons and, of course, intense creepiness you will find it, and more, in End of Days.
Like World After, End of Days picks up almost immediately where its predecessor left off. Penryn is reunited with both Raffe and Paige, but they are still plagued with problems. The world is still a mess, overrun with angels, humans, and other monsters. Raffe still needs his wings back and Paige needs help steering back to humanity.
As is to be expected this book is super creepy. You thought you’ve seen creepy in the previous installments? Don’t worry, Susan’s imagination had some seriously hellish (yes, I went there) treats in store for you. I mean, nightmare inducing creatures that will burrow into your brain (literally) and stay there. We get to see The Pit. Is it the Hell? Who knows. But it is a look into what becomes of a world that was completely consumed by the angels and it is not good. Bleak would be an optimistic description.
The World After is a brutal place, but in many ways so was the World Before. Humans have always been at each others throats, it’s just that at the end times there is an acceleration to our ruthlessness. I’ve always appreciated how the series explores and acknowledges this ugly truth. But there may be glimmers of hope left for us yet.
I love the apocalyptic setting, the insidious and gruesome truths of our world revealed, but I have always cared about the characters most. Penryn is as snarky and funny and fierce as ever. One of the things I’ve always adored most about this series is what a sharply distinct voice her character has. Susan Ee has done a magnificent job crafting this character who is both incredibly vulnerable and incredibly capable.
Penryn’s relationship with her mom also makes tremendous strides and it’s very touching. Her mom even gets her own important role to play in the final stand and it’s immensely gratifying to see this person that so many would dismiss or underestimate have that agency. I just love that Penryn’s family is such an integral part of these books. We may not necessarily have the family we would choose for ourselves, but it’s great to see that we can accept each other for our faults and stick together through it all.
The biggest and most welcome change from World After is that Penryn and Raffe are together throughout the vast majority of this installment. These two have always been the heart of the series for me and their relationship only intensifies in End of Days. Both evince so much character growth and the chemistry and tension is intense. There is a scene early on in the book that is “fan yourself” levels of hot. And there are so, so many moments of serious swoon. Penryn and Raffe are finally coming to terms and acknowledging their feelings for each other. Perhaps even more than the swoons, but the level of sincere caring they show for the other is intensely moving. This book was an absolute dream for my shipper heart.
End of Days is a practically perfect series ender. These are the sort of books that leave me always wanting more, always wondering about what the characters are getting up to in the future, and those are my very favorite kinds. The action of the final battle, the sacrifice entailed, and the love at the heart of this series have all ensured its place as an all time favorite.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
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Have you been with Penryn since the beginning or are you a newer fan? Or could you even be a lucky duck who’ll get to devour all three books at once? I can’t believe this series is over but I know it’s one I’ll be revisiting again and again.