This is a series I just finished recently, and it’s staying on my shelf. I even put it on the same shelf as my Robin Hardy books (a true honor).
My Story with This Book: I was given this book by a book reviewer who I met at my daughter’s charter homeschool. She is basically the reason I’m here doing this blog. I started talking with her about reviewing books and getting on street teams, and she inspired me to start my own reviewing blog. Anyhow, she was downsizing on her substantial book collection (built by all the reviewing she does) and this was in the pile of books she handed over to me.
Author: Susan Ee
Rating: 5/5 — Highly Recommend!
Genres: YA Supernatural/Paranormal; Apocalyptic/Dystopian Fiction
Synopsis: Penryn is the narrator in this series (set in first-person, present-tense), detailing her adventures as she survives the apocalypse. Angels came to punish humans, but after the humans shoot down and kill Archangel and Messenger Gabriel, chaos ensues not only for humans, but also for the angels, who now have no one in charge to call the shots. Angels want Judgment Day to come (for their own ends) while humans want vengeance against the angels. Penryn soon discovers there is much more to this story than what meets the eye when she finds an unlikely ally in Raffe, an angel whose wings were cut off by a gang of angels. After her sister is abducted, Penryn will need his help to get her back, and he will need her help to get his wings reattached–and to get to the bottom of the political upheaval within the angels’ ranks. As she finds camaraderie with side-characters who range from annoyingly lovable (like DeeDum) to constantly teetering between crazy and genius (like her mother), Penryn finds her own sense of purpose and strength of character. By the end of the series, Penryn discovers that some humans who didn’t fit into the World Before become their best selves–heroes, even–in the World After.
Response: This was not my usual genre. I never read Twilight and I’ve never had any inkling to, either. I’ve never been a big fan of YA Supernatural/Paranormal. Just not my style. But this series may have converted me. With short chapters in the first-person, present-tense narrative, the story moves quickly and immediately engages the reader. There’s no building up with tons of backstory and fluff–it just gets right to the action, explaining the past as succinctly as possible. Penryn’s struggle to be who she needs to be for her family (and for the Resistance) while still being so young is soon compounded by her reliance on Raffe as she sets out to save her sister. He’s tough–almost to the point of unfeeling–but we see him crack jokes here and there, always in his dry, sarcastic tone. He’s this strange amalgam of “bad boy who doesn’t care” and “seasoned soldier with unwavering convictions”. The author has a strong voice and includes plenty of action to keep you turning pages. I love this series and I will definitely be reading it again. Soon.
Content: It’s rated at YA, so no overtly mature content, though there are some “mature” moments. Some sensual content, but it’s brief and there is no actual sex. Language is relatively mild. Nothing you wouldn’t hear on prime-time television. Violence is not overly descriptive or gory, though some images (of apocalyptic “monsters” and what they do with their prey) could be unsettling to some readers. It’s quite clean for being a secular book about the apocalypse. I would place age appropriateness closer to 16+ due to some of the sensual descriptions and innuendo.
Theology: As mentioned above, this is a secular book. Because of its premise of “angels during the apocalypse”, there is some eschatology and biblical history thrown in, but because of the author’s take on how the events actually relate to the biblical narrative, and because it’s understood from the beginning that it’s purely fiction, I found it easy to overlook the “bad theology” and just enjoy the ride.
Where to find it: I received the first book as a freebie from a fellow reviewer, but I purchased the second and third books on Amazon. Here is her Amazon author page.