End of Days by Susan Ee | Review

Posted June 10, 2015 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Reviews / 8 Comments

End of Days by Susan Ee | ReviewEnd of Days by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days #3
Published by Skyscape on May 12, 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Angels/Demons, Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 344 •Format: PaperbackSource: Purchased

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?

My Review“Power is best held by the ones who don’t want it.”

 I’ve been meaning to write this review for weeks, but for some reason have been unable to fully form my thoughts about this book into coherent sentences (a strange occurrence for me, as it’s common for my reviews to easily be 1000+ words). I think the dilemma of being able to form a concrete opinion about this book stems from the fact that I was equal parts satisfied and disappointed by the way that Penryn and Raffe’s story ended, an odd juxtaposition of individual scenes I really enjoyed that led to an overall conclusion that felt lackluster.

End of Days picks up right where the action in World After leaves off, and there’s enough recap that I was able to jog my memory despite not having read the first two books in about a year. The story jumps right into the romantic tension that’s been brewing between Penryn and Raffe for the past two books, and Ee does not disappoint with giving readers some not too graphic yet satisfying scenes (and without compromising the integrity of the survival story, because there’s only so much making out a character can do when they’re also trying to save the world). I was truly curious to see how Penryn and Raffe would fare at the end of the trilogy, with such clear lines drawn between the angels and the humans, and Penryn and Raffe each feeling a deeper loyalty to their own kind than to their short, if intense, relationship. I appreciated that they didn’t have the let’s-throw-all-of-our-values-and-concern-for-fellow-human/angelkind-to-the-wind-because-we’re-attracted-to-each-other mentality, and I was intrigued with how Ee brought in certain plot elements to create the climactic battle of the story. I especially loved the inclusion of Raffe’s Watchers, her take on hell/”The Pit,” and more glimpses into angel politics, although I wish more had been revealed about heaven/the celestial realm.

What I most enjoyed about the novel was how large a part the secondary characters played in the plot and final battle. Rather than used as a crutch to support Penryn’s heroism, Penryn is very aware that she could not take on the angels without her fellow humans, as ragtag of a bunch as they may be. I continue to have an awe of Penryn’s mother, who may be the most hilarious/fearless/badass supporting character I’ve ever come across in YA (even the angels are scared of her) and though Dee and Dum can seem overly silly at times, their wit and optimism is often what spurs Penryn into action and ideas. There was also a lot of character development for the angels, with Raffe’s watchers being explored and Beliel’s past being revealed, and I think it’s a true testament to Ee’s ability as a writer to not only be fair to her representation of her antagonists by developing their characters, but doing so in a way where I sympathized with them and understood their motivations while still abhorring their behavior. It made them wonderfully complex.

So with character development on point, creative mythology, and some swoon-worthy scenes, what went wrong for me? I would have to say it was the last third of the book. Once things started prepping for the big showdown, I couldn’t help but think it was a little silly, if ultimately effective. View Spoiler » I was really unsatisfied that after everything Penryn and Raffe had been through, there was such little time to explore their relationship at the end of the book, and certain things happened at the end that made me extremely frustrated because I felt like I went on a journey for a purpose and as soon as it was accomplished it was revoked again. View Spoiler » (I apologize, I know some of these complaints are super vague but I don’t want to spoil anybody!) And then there was the ending…which was…nice. “Nice” as in it checked the boxes of wrapping things up but it was no where near the unbelievable, horror-inducing, gut wrenching endings and emotions of the other books. It was like everyone just acted so nonchalant and normal, especially in the epilogue. After everything that had just gone down, I was expecting to be emotionally torn up for either better or for worse by the end.

Overall: Considering End of Days was one of my most anticipated books of 2015 that I pre-ordered months in advance, I wanted to convince myself that I was satisfied with it. Ultimately though, World After set up for a standard of storytelling that End of Days was unable to deliver, despite enjoyable individual moments within the narrative. The writing in End of Days is great, as always, the cover is beautiful, and it stayed true to its snark and crazy secondary characters that are oddly endearing. Yet it seemed to be missing the edge that set it apart from other YA paranormal romances/dystopians: the edge of horror, of desperation, of tension and of heartbreak. While I’m glad I read it, it fell short of the epic expectations the first two books in the series set up, and I just didn’t feel it tug at my emotions the way Angelfall and World After did.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Goodreads Challenge

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8 responses to “End of Days by Susan Ee | Review

  1. It’s so horrible when the final book in a series doesn’t live up to the others, I’ve had this happen quite a lot recently as I’ve been trying to finish off a few series. But then again, it’s hard to please everyone and I don’t envy the authors, there must be so much pressure on those final books!

    Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic) recently posted: Quoting the Quill #52
    • I agree, I think it’s incredibly hard to end series well (especially fantasy series, there’s so much more buildup often with plot devices and paranormal elements that you have to get so creative with). Have you read Angelfall?

  2. The last third of the book really disappointed me too :/ It just felt so formulaic. I wasn’t too impressed with the rest of the book either but I did love Penryn’s and Raffe’s relationship as always.

    • I loved their snarky banter and that they got to have a few intimate scenes but I was just expecting something much more…epic? (It is called End of Days, after all) I think it also wasn’t as dark as the previous books too…it was missing some of the edge we’ve come to expect with the series!

  3. I agree with this review whole heartedly. I actually haven’t been able to write my review because I didn’t know how to word it but you managed it perfectly. I agree with the talent show. That was so weird. I don’t understand how that could’ve been a good idea in what I thought was a serious book. As well, I found that Raffe and Penryn’s relationship lacked so much 🙁

    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted: My/Blog Birthday Post (+ GIVEAWAY!)
    • It was SO hard for me to write this review, because it wasn’t a BAD book by any means, but portions of it were just…strange and lacked a certain gravity and seriousness for me. So I definitely understand how you feel!

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