The Day of the Triffids

Author: John Wyndham0993_john_wyndham_the_day_of_the_triffids_1970

Pages: 228

Genre: Sci-fi, fiction, classics, horror, apocalyptic

Fantastic, frightening, but entirely plausible, John Wyndham’s famous story of a world dominated by monstrous, stinging plants, catches the imagination like the best of H. G. Wells.


Thoughts: Here’s my next book review for March, and I’m moving on from Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom finally. I was convinced to try out the 1951 classic, The Day of the Triffids. Some may have seen the TV series, or even the movie, but this is the original story they were based on. And I’ve got a few things to say about this one, it’s both good and bad. Let’s get started…

“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.”
― John WyndhamThe Day of the Triffids

From the title, and the first line (above), I was intrigued to find out more, and I really enjoyed the first chapter. It introduces Bill, our main protagonist, who is in hospital with bandages over his eyes. The reason for this is later explained in future chapters. What makes it exciting though, is that outside, the world is experiencing the most spectacular meteorite shower ever – and Bill misses it. What nobody realises is, once they wake up the next morning, everyone who saw the bright flashes of light, is forevermore, completely blind. So, fairly exciting start. Then after this, it just gets confusing.

Triffid:

(in science fiction) a member of a race of predatory plants which are capable of growing to a gigantic size and are possessed of locomotive ability and a poisonous sting.

This is the definition that I missed while reading, and probably the reason I was so confused. After the exciting, imaginative start, it goes into a bit of explanation and backfill into Bill’s earlier life. This part lost me for quite a while. Another thing about it is, because it is such a ‘realistic’ sci-fi story, it does get a little boring. For almost a whole chapter, it’s just him walking and wandering around the streets of London, wondering what’s going on, and what he’s going to do, and then on top of that, the explanations. While this is quite possibly what would happen if it were to happen to the real world, this is what makes it a little slow.

In saying this, once he meets another person, Josella, things do start to heat up a bit. And then this continues throughout the entire book. All up, it is a bit of a slow, meandering story of the apocalypse, and because it is so realistic, and believable, it becomes really scary. The fact that Wyndham was able to predict what would happen to the world in so much detail is quite amazing. He got right down into how individual people’s values and ethics go right out the window, and also how different countries react in times of great crisis. It shows and reveals some very true facts about the Human race which some might not have realised.

“It must be, I thought, one of the race’s most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that “it can’t happen here” — that one’s own time and place is beyond cataclysm.”
― John WyndhamThe Day of the Triffids

There was a point at which I had to stop myself from looking at the next page, as I needed to know what was going to happen, but knew I couldn’t look. This generally means there is a rise in tension, and a climax. But, in saying this, I couldn’t tell you where the climax was, or whether it rose in tension at all. It’s just one of the books that stays the same tension the entire way through, which is how lots of these types of classics are, I’ve found.

And now onto the ending. It did resolve, but also left some very big questions unanswered, which annoyed me. I wasn’t sure whether it was going to resolve at all, because it was still going in the last few pages, but it did get there in the end. I really needed to know how it all began in the first place; I feel like this could have added another creative effect, which I would’ve appreciated. But no, I guess it had to leave a bit of speculation.

I sort of feel like I’m sounding very negative, when it’s not that bad of a book. It’s definitely a very creative story, especially for when it was written. There’s been the early versions of Sci–fi before the 19th century, and then there was Frankenstein, and a little after that, H.G. Wells. I’d say this book fits in well with this type of genre of book, even if it is a little younger. So, if you enjoy the classics, especially science fiction I’d say you’d rather enjoy this book. Also if you’re a big fan of just sci-fi, I’d say you have to read this, because it’s one of the early stories before the young adult aspect came into everything.

I’m going to say I enjoyed the story itself, especially the idea, but not the book, just because it was too slow and meandering for me. I get bored quite easily in books, which probably isn’t the best trait for a bookworm, but that’s just how it is, I’m afraid.

“When almost half a lifetime has been spent in one conception of order, reorientation is no five-minute business.”
― John WyndhamThe Day of the Triffids

Rating: star_rating_3-5_of_5

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

Author: Leigh Bardugo crooked-kingdom

Pages: 536

Genre: young adult, adventure, fantasy

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.


Thoughts:  Well, well, where to start? Again, another masterpiece from Leigh Bardugo, with a little bit of everything I love, all in one book. I don’t know if it’s better than Six of Crows. I can’t decide. Pretty sure that I liked the story behind the first book better than this one, as Crooked Kingdom was a little more focussed on the characters. But then I absolutely loved reading about the characters, so really can’t make up my mind on that one.

Okay, so as I mentioned before, Crooked Kingdom is a bit more about the characters than the first book. Each chapter is from a different character’s perspective again, and I really love seeing the story from different views. And then this caused me to fall in love with them all over again. I have no idea how people who read Six of Crows before this one came out coped, because I was just about ready to burst, and I only waited a day. It’s just one of those novels where you love everyone, and can’t wait to read more about them.

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
― Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom

This book seriously kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way through. I don’t think there is actually a dull moment during this entire series, which is just wonderful. Action scenes, planning scenes (which could be just as exciting as the action scenes, somehow), revenge being taken, character development, and then the twists and turns as well. The plot just seemed to build up as the book went further along. Six of Crows ends on a sort of cliff-hanger, and then, I thought Crooked Kingdom was just fixing this complication. But no. This particular problem was resolved in just about the first quarter of the book, leaving the rest for some more amazing writing.

“Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”
― Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom

Of course, it’s again full of the hilarious banter between everyone, and so much sarcasm!! I loved every minute of it. It’s just so fun and you really feel like you’re in the book with everyone. When this happens, I say it’s a good book, because the author has obviously created a world that fits so well into my head that I can sort of live in it myself. One point to also touch on, is character development. For people who have read the book, you’ll know what I mean when I say it happened for Kaz and Inej, and Matthias as well. Even Wylan has progressed, and it’s nice to see so much of it happening in just the two books. For people who haven’t read it, these are the lovely people you will meet on your Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom adventure. I’d be looking forward to it if I were you.

“Where do you think the money went?” he repeated.
“Guns?” asked Jesper.
“Ships?” queried Inej.
“Bombs?” suggested Wylan.
“Political bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. “This is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered.
He shrugged. “They all seem like practical choices.”
― Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom

I know it does seem like this review was basically me rambling on about how good this book was, but I don’t think I can pick out anything bad about it. It’s not a deep book with lots of talk of ethics and morals, or an emotional contemporary novel, but it’s not meant to be. While both of those styles could be considered a better quality of book, I’m not going to judge a young adult fantasy, series on those criteria. So, I’m pretty sure this series was basically perfect, and it is most definitely one of my favourites. I just wish there was another book (or ten) so I can hear from the characters again, see what they’re doing, how they’re feeling. Obviously, I have become slightly obsessed. Time to distract myself with another book…

Rating: 5-start

Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugosix-of-crows

Pages: 465

Genre: young adult, adventure, fantasy,

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.


Thoughts: I’ve wanted to read this book for so long, but when I finally got around to opening it to the first page, I did get a little afraid. There are so many good reviews and recommendations around this duology that I started to get swept up in its awesomeness before I’d even read it. And when I did start reading it, I finally started to wonder if it was that great… But I needn’t have worried!! It was amazing! I loved every second of it.

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”

Brekker’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”

“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

So, I haven’t read a young adult fantasy series in a while, at least not an amazing one. I’ve been trying to read different types of genres, and have read a few contemporary types recently. But this duology has hooked me right back in again. As I said before – so good, and so addictive!!! I think I’d forgotten how well a story can hook me in, and force me to read it every second of every day, which is basically what I did. Forget about study and exams –pffft, let’s figure out how Kaz Brekker pulled off his impossible heist.

From just about the first page, I was in love with the characters, and this was one of the few books where I didn’t mind the multiple points of view. I found every single character was exciting and interesting, and couldn’t wait for the next chapter of theirs once it was over. Leigh Bardugo described each of them so well, and gave them each a little unique metaphorical trait, and so she could introduce them without even having to say their name. The world she created was just so real that I almost felt as if I went on the adventure with them. And it’s been a while since that’s happened to me, so I’m more than a little obsessed right now.

“Always hit where the mark isn’t looking”

“Who’s Mark?” asked Wylan.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

Then there’s the humour – buckets of it streaming from the pages. While most of the book had quite a scary, serious outlook (remember they are planning and initiating an impossible heist), the easy-going banter and chat from each of the characters was hilarious. I laughed and snorted at the ridiculous, or sarcastic jokes they made about each other, and with each other. Even now, scenes are replaying in my head, and I can remember most of what all of them say. It’s definitely as if I travelled with them, because it’s like I know them all personally.

“No Mourners.
No Funerals.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

One thing I did note while reading was how the author backfilled in for the characters when we weren’t expecting it, and transitioned between the now and the past so smoothly that a lot of the time it wasn’t until I was right in the middle that I noticed. We are left quite in the dark at the beginning of the book, and it’s written so we can understand what’s happening, but are still curious why certain things are happening. For example, the group’s leader, Kaz Brekker, always wears gloves, and never takes them off until he is alone. This was one of the many mysteries that were revealed as the book went on, in the backfilling. Leigh Bardugo has found parts in her story, and matched up parallels of a point in that character’s past, and then has made the connection there, meaning it flows smoothly. And after a while, I began to realise she did this almost every chapter. And by the end of the book, we knew a whole lot more about each of the crew, sometimes without even remembering that we’d learnt it.

To finish, I’m just going to say that if you want to find yourself a good, fast-paced read, then this is most definitely the series for you. I feel sorry for the people who read Six of Crows before Crooked Kingdom was released, because I needed that next book when I finished. After finishing Crooked Kingdom as well now, while it resolved and everything, I find myself wishing for another one, just so I can hear from the characters again. *Sigh* Oh well, I’ll just have to find another book. Shouldn’t be too hard…

Rating: star_rating_4-5_of_5

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen & Seth Graeme Smith

Author: Jane Austen & Seth Graeme-Smith

prideandprejudiceandzombiescoverGenre: classic, dystopian, Horror/zombies, Humour

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5899779-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies


Thoughts:

I’m going to start off with a statement that might be quite shocking to some readers: I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice or any other Jane Austen books. I know, I know, how can I call myself a bookworm, when I haven’t read the classics, but I’d just never gotten the chance. So when I spied Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I thought I might give it a try…

Because I only had a vague idea of who the characters were, and what was going to happen, most of the events were new and exciting. Especially the new zombie scenes, that were dotted all over the place, filling the classic novel with horrifying ‘unmentionables’ or ‘dreadfuls’, as they were called in the book.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
― Seth Grahame-SmithPride and Prejudice and Zombies

I think that the zombie aspect was a very interesting idea, (that Jane Austen would never have seen coming), and in the very few, short scenes where they featured, it was a fun, yet horrifying read. But they did only feature in a few very short scenes. If you are going to introduce a whole new aspect to a classic novel, especially one as big as a zombie apocalypse threatening England, then it needs to actually play a big part in the story. The changed characters were perfect for it, but the scenes where they had to showcase their skills just weren’t there. Instead, the book kind of seemed like a spin-off Pride and Prejudice, with a few random scenes where they killed some zombies… then back to normal Pride and Prejudice again.

“Elizabeth lifted her skirt, disregarding modesty, and delivered a swift kick to the creature’s head.”
― Seth Grahame-SmithPride and Prejudice and Zombies

In saying this, they did begin to feature more toward the end, which made it a little better. I think that incorporating a topic so different from the original story might have proved a little difficult to Seth Graeme-Smith, and it seemed unnecessary or not important.

“The business of Mr. Bennett’s life was to keep his daughters alive. The business of Mrs. Bennett’s was to get them married.”
― Seth Grahame-SmithPride and Prejudice and Zombies

The language used for the book and characters was still the original formal polite speech, but this time mixed in with some funny sarcastic humour, spoken both by characters, and the author of the book as well. This made it quite entertaining, and had me snorting sometimes.

Why should you read it: I don’t know whether to recommend it to Jane Austen readers or not. You could find it quite hilarious, and enjoy the spin-off, but then you could also feel like it was a silly, unnecessary book. It’s not a bad book, and I enjoyed reading it, and getting an understanding of the story-line, but I also wouldn’t read it again.

Rating:star_rating_3-5_of_5

 

 

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Author: Ray BradburyFahrenheit-451-original-cover.jpeg

Genre: science fiction, classic, dystopia

“Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.”

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17470674-fahrenheit-451


Thoughts:

“It was a pleasure to burn.”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

This 63-year-old classic is definitely not a disappointment. Ray Bradbury has masterfully crafted this novel, using almost more figurative metaphors than words, to create the dystopian setting and story. The first line (above) is considered one of the most interesting first-liners ever, and I think the whole story can also be added to that category.

“With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

While it was quite confusing at the start, the language used and the general setting, did start to make sense after a while. With virtual ‘families’ living in the walls of your house, society eats up the words and news that is delivered to them. Little do they know it was just a pretence to get them all doing and thinking the same thing. And the only people that see this for what it really is, are the few outcasts that haven’t already been killed. The main protagonist, Guy Montag, being among them. The only thing that makes him different, is that he is a fireman, doing the exact job that all of them hate. Once he meets one particular person, and sees one particular thing, Montag realises that he is doing the wrong thing, and Fahrenheit 451 is about his struggle to understand society and let other people understand what is really happening.

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

It is a very interesting book, with a very interesting take on the future of society. The scary thing is, with all the new technology of late, it very nearly could become true. We are starting to rely very heavily on technology, just as the characters in this book do, and if it is taken away from us, we find we can’t function, just as they do as well.

It’s the same with computers becoming ‘smarter’ or more ‘independent’. The earplugs in everyone’s ears in the novel, deliver messages and news to everyone in the city, putting words and thoughts in their mouths and heads, and this doesn’t actually sound too far from the future.

“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

So, while I don’t think I can say that I enjoyed reading it, it certainly wasn’t a bad book, and it really made me think. It is definitely an amazing book, and very well written, with some very important messages.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
― Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451

Why should you read it: I think everyone should read this book, just because it is an important classic that carries a big message behind its words. But, if you’re not one for metaphors, or a dystopian setting, this probably isn’t the most enjoyable book for you.

Rating: I don’t actually think I can rate this one, just because it was so interesting and strange. While I didn’t exactly enjoy it, I don’t think it deserves a low rating, because it is amazingly written and thought out. For a classic, I think I’d have to give it  5 stars, even if I probably wouldn’t read it agin.

The Rain – Virginia Bergin

Author: Virginia Bergin

Genre: pthe-rainost-apocalyptic, young adult, science fiction

It’s in the rain…and just one drop will kill you.

They don’t believe it at first. Crowded in Zach’s kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach’s parents’ frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, “It’s in the rain! It’s fatal, it’s contagious, and there’s no cure.”

Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who’s been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby’s only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he’s even still alive.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21116887-the-rain


Thoughts: The Rain: Just one drop will kill you. Quite an interesting subtitle if you ask me. I didn’t really put much thought into this book when I first started reading it, (I know, it sounds bad) but after the first chapter, I was quite interested. By about halfway through, I was really getting into it, and could not put it down. The author, Virginia Bergin, wrote her novel in a very specific way, that I found myself enjoying. It made it fun to read, and very engaging.

The language and story line, while a little dark in some places, was quite informal and funny, and the narrator was super sarcastic all the time. I think that’s what made it different from every other post-apocalyptic, young adult novel. 

“The rain—” That’s all I remember hearing to begin with. “It’s in the rain,” and everyone staring at the radio as if it was a TV.”
― Virginia Bergin

I don’t know how she managed to do it, but Virginia Bergin also captured my attention so well, that a couple of times, I thought that the story was real life, and I had to keep checking if it was raining. Whether it was using descriptive words, or just creating a story that can get readers involved, it was definitely a book that was hard to put down

I will say one thing, even if it’s not necessarily a negative, and that is, even under all the sarcastic humour from the narrator, some scenes still gave me the shivers, not because of the ‘scariness’ that was happening to her, but because the world wasn’t too different from our own. Meaning, that if some terrible disaster happened to Earth, we would be in the exact same position.

Why should you read it: Generalising the book, if you like a post-apocalyptic story, with a strong female lead, doubled with some very sarcastic narration, you will love this book.

Rating:     star_rating_3-5_of_5  

Library of Souls – Ransom Riggs

LibraryOfSouls_final_300dpi.jpgAuthor: Ransom Riggs

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, photography, Sci-fi, Historical fiction

Thoughts: Amazing, amazing, amazing! That’s what I thought of not just this book, but its entire series. I thought this was the perfect finish to this series, it tied everything up and was just super amazing. Library of Souls picked up right where the last book left off, which I really like about this series. It’s not like it skips a bit and then restarts – it could literally be the next chapter of the last book.

“It had become one of the defining truths of my life that, no matter how I tried to keep them flattened, two-dimensional, jailed in paper and ink, there would always be stories that refused to stay bound inside books. It was never just a story.”
― Ransom RiggsLibrary of Souls

This book definitely had a new and different feel about it than the other two. Not as eerie, I don’t think, and I’m not sure how to feel about it. I did like the creepiness of the last two books, and it may just be me getting used to all the information.

So, plot lines… I’ll just say, it starts with a bang. Still following our main character, Jacob learns more about his peculiarity, and we learn more about him. After this passes, it is still action packed. Something new and exciting happens basically every page. And now, for the climax. It had me on the edge of my seat, it was so nail-biting. Some twists and turns happen, a few new found friends, and some betrayals as well, all mix together to create one big ending for this series. It kept me reading, as I thought it was all resolved, and then something went wrong, and then they fixed that, and something went REALLY wrong, and then somehow, all the loose ends were tied up. I also really liked the ending of the book. A nice finish to this series

“An opportunist disguised as a friend can be every bit as dangerous as an outright enemy.”
― Ransom RiggsLibrary of Souls

Another reoccurring setting in the series is Victorian England, which I always find interesting to read about – and this time it was the slums (Devil’s Acre). The descriptions Riggs give are amazing, painting the picture right into my head. A lot of new information was included in this book, which was nice to learn. We discover more about the time loops, including the infamous ‘panloopticon’. It was a nice touch, using the original idea of a panopticon, (A building, where all residents can be observed by a single person, without them knowing they are being watched)

“There was, in fact, a street sign to that effect—the first I’d seen in all of Devil’s Acre. Louche Lane, it read in fancy handwritten script. Piracy discouraged.
“Discouraged?” I said. “Then what’s murder? Frowned upon?”
“I believe murder is ‘tolerated with reservations.’ ”

― Ransom RiggsLibrary of Souls

One significant factor I did miss in this novel was the original set of peculiar characters. I loved all their relationships, and it’s nice when all is resolved. Also, for a lot of the last two books, Miss Peregrine herself has not been present, which I find a little annoying just because I like her so much. I believe she may be my favourite character (she’s just so quirky and intense, and just altogether awesome!!) We did meet a few more characters, including some more peculiars, and the new ‘bad guys’. A certain boatman named Charon was a nice little touch, using a bit of Greek Mythology, which is one of my favourite things to read about.

And last thing, the photos. I think the entire series has used them very effectively, especially the first book, but this book was definitely not a let down. I like the ones depicting peculiar children the most. Basically, I think this should be the next ‘big’ series – it’s that good. I loved the characters, the setting, and the genre. It was a fantasy book mixed with a bit of sci-fi – my favourite! It also ended well. Everything was resolved perfectly and it was the perfect ending for a perfect series.

Why you should read it: I think I’ve already mentioned everything there is to love about this book. Basically, if you’re a fantasy reader, enjoy sci-fi, or are just looking for a relatively short young adult series, this should be the thing you pick up.

Rating:    star_rating_4-5_of_5

End of Days – Susan Ee (Penryn and the End of Days #3)

Title: End of Days

Author: Susan Eeend of days image

Genre: Post-apocalyptic, dystopian, drama, action

Thoughts: The final instalment of the trilogy is finally here! I was waiting and waiting and waiting for this book to come out, and here it is!! Ee’s End of Days is a great example of a book that you literally can’t put down. You read it as you get ready for the day, while brushing your teeth, before and after bed every day. It had me hooked. I read the whole book in two days, and they were school days.

End of Days has the same sarcastic humour that the last two books had. The same characters, but somehow, they were made better in this book. The plot is very different from World After and Angelfall with Raffe and Penryn falling into hell. Literally. There they find all sorts of unspeakable horrors and we all find out that Penryn is afraid of maggots. Luckily Raffe saved the day.

Again in this book, the metaphorical ‘vault’ in Penryn’s head gets fuller and fuller as she experiences more and more strong emotions. She reunites with her mother and her sister. The world seems to be getting better. Until she falls into Hell. In the Pit, Raffe’s Watchers are there, and both Penryn and Raffe do the unthinkable. It’s here we find out that Penryn is terrified of maggots.

“Maggots are freaky hideous,’ I say, getting up. I try to salvage some dignity, but I can’t help but shiver and shake my hands in the air. It’s an instinctive impulse, one I’m not up for resisting right now.
‘You’ve fought off a gang of men twice your size, killed an angel warrior, stood up to an archangel, and wielded an angel sword.’ Raffe cocks his head. ‘But you scream like a little girl when you see a maggot?’
‘It’s not just a maggot,’ I say. ‘A hand burst out of the ground and grabbed my ankle. And maggots crawled out of it and tried to burrow into me. You would scream like a little girl too if that happened to you.’
‘They didn’t try to burrow into you. They were just crawling. It’s what maggots do. They crawl.’
‘You don’t know anything.”

This ending wasn’t the best, if you ask me. It might be slightly because I didn’t actually want it to end at all, but all books must. And this one ended way too quickly. When I heard End of Days was coming out, I assumed it would be a big book, with all that’s going on. But no, most of the problems are solved in just 435 pages. And yes I say most for a reason. There is one trouble that doesn’t get solved. But I believe it needs this not-happily-ever-after ending, to match the dystopian mood of the rest of the book. Still, I believe Ee should have done an extra chapter at the end, maybe set 10 years after the book ends to see what’s happening. That would have made it much better.

Why should you read it: If you loved the post-apocalyptic, dystopian setting of ­Angelfall, and you should have, then you will absolutely adore End of Days. It will make you sad, and laugh, and sometimes, like all books, it’ll make you want to yell at the characters in the book. But that happens in all good books, which just backs up my theory that the Angelfall series is one of the best I have read.

Book in a word: Addictive

Rating: 9/10

World After – Susan Ee (Penryn and the End of Days #2)

Title: World After

Author: Susan Eeworld after image

Genre: Post-apocalyptic, dystopia, drama

Thoughts: The amazing sequel to the bestselling Angelfall is here. And it was awesome!! It starts off right in the action with everyone thinking Penryn is dead. Her stitched up sister is holding her hand, her crazy mother is rambling in her made-up language and Raffe is still in shock from seeing Penryn ‘die’. Not to mention having deadly bat-like demon wings sewn on instead of his beautiful snowy white ones.

Also, sarcastic and funny comments are back in book 2. Ee is just great at creating the dark and sinister mood in the right places, but can also change it in an instant to a bright and happy one.

To tell the truth, this book was great but not as good as Angelfall, I just wasn’t into it as much. Still, it’s better than quite a few other books, and still a great read. I’m not sure why I didn’t like it as much. The writing is still amazing, the plot unfolding with unexpected events, and the characters are still generally the same. One reason might have been that most of the book was describing Penryn, her family and where she is, whereas in Angelfall, the book is more about Penryn and Raffe. I liked this feature in book one, especially the never-ending sarcasm between the two. Even though, World After does have a little more of Dee-Dum, which is quite entertaining.

“I’m gonna be sick,” I said
“I’m ordering you not to,” says Obi.
“Ah, don’t say that,” says Dee-Dum. “She’s a born rebel. She’ll puke just to make a point.”

Another thing that is talked about in this book is the ‘vault’ in Penryn’s head. This metaphor describes all the emotions, feelings and things that are going on around Penryn. In the book, she can’t let these things get to her head, as they will distract her from the responsibility of looking after her family. After something happens, or she feels a strong emotion, she will quickly throw it into the ‘vault’ in her head and lock the doors. Penryn can’t afford to open it, as all the memories, emotions and feelings will come flowing out.

The ending of this book, I think is in the right place at the right time. Even though I didn’t really want it to end, I knew there was the final book to come, so I took comfort in that.

Why should you read it: This book is still one of my favourites even though it’s not as good as the first. It was quite a bit of sarcastic humour, as well as some sad, slow-paced events. It still has the amazing Penryn and Raffe as the main heroes, with added ones on the side.

Book in a word: satisfying

Rating: 8/10

Angelfall – Susan Ee (Penryn and the End of Days #1)

Title: AngelfallAngelfall

Author: Susan Ee

Genre: Post-apocalyptic, dystopian, drama

Thoughts: This book was awesome!!! Plot, setting, characters, and genre. It was perfect. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where angels rule. But these angels aren’t your normal angels. They have destroyed the human world, reducing them to barely less than animals. Tsunamis and earthquakes have ruined cities and towns. Street gangs rule the day, while fear and angels rule the night. Penryn, her younger, disabled sister Paige, and their crazy mother are just another one of these scavenging families trying to feed themselves. Until and angel warrior falls outside their doorstep. This book has a very fast paced story-line, dramatic and action-packed. Definitely not what I expected from a dark, dystopian story. Ee includes sarcastic dialogue, which made me snort out loud a couple of times, as well as some tragic events. The hero, Penryn, is a strong and fighting teen left in charge of the family when her mum went insane. She is smart, witty and knows how to lead.

“You’re lying. Why would you tell me that?”

“Maybe I’m not afraid of you.”

“Maybe you should be.”

Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))

But if you take all these witty comebacks and entertaining comments, Penryn is just a teenage girl struggling to deal with what the world has come to. Quite a few time in the book, she mentions taking the weight of the family, on her shoulders. As her mum is completely mad, her dad gone and her sister in a wheelchair, Penryn alone must deal with this huge responsibility. So she uses the attitude and sarcasm to hide this struggle. So really Ee has created, not only an amusing, laugh-out-loud story, but a novel which deals with troubles in the family and self-esteem.

“We have to get out of here,” says Mom with her arm protectively around Paige. Her voice is clear and full of purpose. I look up at her in surprise. Before I can stop myself, hope blooms inside me. She sounds full of authority and confidence. She sounds like a mother ready and determined to lead her daughters to safety. She sounds sane.

Then she says, “They’re after us.” Hope shrivels and dies inside me, leaving a hard lump where my heart should be. I don’t need to ask who “they” are. According to my mother, “they” have been after us for as long as I can remember… I nod, taking the weight of my family responsibilities back on my shoulders.

Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))

So as you can see, there’s actually quite a deep meaning.

Some parts of this book made me want to laugh, but Ee can change the mood so well from smart and happy, to dark and sad. Also the ending. The ending is just excellent, and explosive. And those are just the E’s. Totally unexpected. And the best thing is… It’s part of a trilogy. Two more books written by the amazing Susan Ee, just waiting to be read!

Should you read this book: This book is undoubtedly my favourite book at the moment, and I guarantee you’ll love it too. I will remember it and if you haven’t read it yet, get your hands on this book now! Reasons include strong female character, 5 star plot and characters, and just… Everything!

Book in a word: Enthralling

Rating: 9½ /10