This review does not contain spoilers.
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?
Penryn and Raffe’s emotional connection was one of the highlights of Angelfall and I was worried that World After would fall apart when the two of them were separated. True, their long separation means that we don’t get as much of their enjoyable banter but Susan Ee cleverly keeps the emotional connection strong. Their romance may be a strong component to the books but, in my eyes, it’s only a portion of why Penryn’s story is so engaging.
Penryn’s narrative voice grows stronger, and her adventures have made her even more confident in her worth and ability. She was never an especially timid character, but her cautious stoicism has given way to a sarcastic sense of humour that I really enjoy.
With the romance taking a backseat in this novel, there’s heaps of room for plot development. World After delves deeper into the elements of horror that Susan Ee does so well. While it’s sometimes sickening to read about the mob mentality of both angels and humans, I find it eerily realistic. At the moment, the humans are only worried about survival; they don’t have the luxury to stop and think about how they will live with the things they’ve done.
This book delves further into Uriel’s political campaign. We learn in vivid detail how the locusts are created, exploring why they exist and why children like Paige have been experimented on. Just when you think you have it all figured out, there’s another fascinating layer of deceit.
World After undoubtedly focuses more on plot development and world-building than its predecessor. In a romance-heavy market saturated with love triangles, it’s a breath of fresh air. The writing and the characters are strong enough to carry it through until Penryn and Raffe are reunited—as we all knew they would be. All in all, it’s a worthy sequel to Angelfall.