World After by Susan Ee
So, I raced through the second installment of Penryn & the End of Days. World After is the sequel to the immensely popularAngelfall which I read last week (was it last week? I think so...with Christmas and time off of work the days seem to blur together).
World After starts out shortly after the end of Angelfall. Paige has been rescued but something is just not right about Penryn's little sister. Penryn struggles to not only accept Paige in her new form, but to also accept that Raffe is gone and may never return. One thing leads to another and Paige is missing again with Penryn hot on her trail to try and rescue her little sister. Again. Will Raffe return? If he does, will he get his angel wings back from Beliel? And what's with those scorpion things? All questions that are answered in World After.
I enjoyed this installment better than the first one. It was just as quick of a read as Angelfall, yet I felt that Ee explored Penryn as a character a little bit more and the story didn't seem so rushed. The angels seem rather two-dimensional...for the most part they're arrogant, chauvinistic warriors. Raffe seems to be the only angel with any depth at all. I'm still rather "meh" about the romance between Penryn and Raffe...just doesn't seem believable yet. Hopefully as the series goes on I'll become more invested in the romance (if the romance continues? It probably will, but you never know...).
All in all, an enjoyable book and a solid continuation of the series. Let's see where this series goes!
...you totally loved books one and two of a trilogy and get stuck on the final installment.
The Kingdom of Gods was so different from books one and two in The Inheritance Trilogy. Books one and two followed a similar pattern and book three is totally different. Not a huge deal, but when it's not what you expected going in, it can be a bit off putting.
I will back to The Kingdom of Gods...but after it sitting on my nightstand for a month and a half without being completed I think it will have to be relegated to a "time off" corner for a while.
Until we meet again, The Kingdom of Gods...until we meet again.
Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
Endless Knight picks up right where Poison Princess leaves off...almost like it's part of one giant book that they cut in half at the end of a climactic chapter.
This second installment in The Arcana Chronicles is excellent...maybe even better than the first book. Endless Knight delves deeper into the world After the Flash and introduces the reader to more Arcana Cards ready to do battle.
I wonder if I liked Endless Knight better because you see less of Jackson in it? Oh, Jackson (or "Jack" as he's suddenly called in this book) is still there, no worries...but the focus is definitely on Death - when will Death show up/who is Death/what will Death do to Evie when he gets her/etc? Cole did a great job of creating a sympathetic figure...Death seemed to fall into the gray area of bad, but not quite bad.
While we're at it...let's point out the elephant in the room. Evie definitely has a type she goes for, doesn't she? This shouldn't be a huge spoiler since you can see the cover art and all...but inPoison Princess it's all about Jackson...now we are intoEndless Knight and she's easily distracted by Death and their previous history.
Yep...Kresley Cole has implemented the tried and true (and tired?) trick of young adult love triangle. So, let's go ahead and pick teams now...are you Team Jackson or Team Death? I know a lot of people are sick of the YA Love Triangle, but it doesn't seem to be a weary plot point in this story. Both guys are sympathetic enough that you can root for either of them and still feel bad that the other guy is going to lose out.
I'm curious to see where Cole will take The Arcana Chronicles. This next bit might be a spoiler so stop reading now if you aren't interested in my hypothesis...
Seriously - you've been warned - potential spoiler ahead.
Ok - so I did notice the one line thrown into this book about the Card that doesn't know he/she is a Card until he/she kills another Major Arcana. Pretty sure that will be Jackson. And I think Jackson will turn out to be the Sun Card. Evie as the Empress is attracted to Death because he is her antithesis...yet, the Sun is what would make the Empress (ie. life) grow and flourish...so the Sun seems like it might be the right choice.
I guess we shall see. Going to give this one five stars because it was a great read that stuck with me even after the last page was read. Can't wait for number three!
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
So...couldn't finish this one.
Seemed like it should be a fun premise, yet the characters were trite and the story line tired and old.
There were some funny one-liners in the book which almost kept me going...but in the end it just wasn't enough.
Looks like I won't be going to Hex Hall/Hecate/whatever it was called anytime soon.
There is a lot of love out there for Angelfall. I think it's well-deserved love.Angelfall is one of those books that hooks you by its bat wings and drags you along for all 247 pages until you finish and go "whoah!". It's compulsively readable and so fast-paced you feel like you are sprinting away from the killer angels right along with Penryn.
So you may be asking - if you liked it and if it's such a readable book...why knock it down two stars?
It lost a star because it was just too short. Yes, 247 pages is not enough for this book. It easily could have had another hundred pages to flesh out the world and the situations Penryn and Raffe found themselves embroiled within. Because the book IS so readable and fast-paced, it felt like I was flying by each plot point within the book. I know it's set in a modern-ish world, but I still felt like more world-building and more building up of the plot could have really made this book a lot more satisfying.
It also lost a star because there wasn't much character development. It's hard to feel anything for a romance or for a character's suffering when you hardly know the character. I think the lack of character development may have been a result of the book being too short...again, another 100 pages would have allowed Ee to really establish the characters. As it stands, I could really care less whether Penryn recovers her sister and/or she gets together with Raffe. *shrugs*
Don't get me wrong - I really enjoyed this book. Despite my ambivalence towards the characters and their plights, I already went out and got my hands on the second installment. It really does deserve all the love it's been receiving as well - it's one of those books that makes you scratch your head at publishers wondering why they chose to pass on this gem. It's always great to see an indie book make such a huge splash.
Bottom line - check out Angelfall. While I may have not liked its shortness and/or lack of character development, I am definitely in the minority. It's a fun, quick read with an interesting premise