Top critical review
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felt like an introduction
on 24 February 2016
WORLD AFTER picks right up where ANGELFALL left off. Raffe and Penryn are separated. He thinks she died at the aerie, and has no idea that the Resistance is observing him and everyone else, planning another attack on all angels.
What intrigued me: The first book, ANGELFALL, felt like an introduction. I was hoping to find the good stuff here.
Where is Raffe?
WORLD AFTER and ANGELFALL might as well just be one book. The narration continues with Penryn's paralysis and I think this is where it makes its first mistake. The action is over, the exciting thing just happened - so we're back to filler and filler and filler. It seems like Ee is trying to make up for the lack of world building in the first novel, hastily adding scavengers, hurt people, and near-starvation.
What made ANGELFALL interesting and pretty much saved the sadly very generic post-apocalyptic novel from being forgettable, was to me Raffe's and Penryn's banter. This is what hooked me. To see Raffe and Penryn save each other and still insist they can't stand the sight of one another. I wanted to see more of the angels, to have them spill all their secrets.
In a way, this is what WORLD AFTER tries to do. Despite basically having written herself in a corner with having them separated, we get flashbacks to past memories from Raffe's sword Pooky Bear (sadly this name is not a typo). Not only are these flashbacks extremely awkward to read, since the memories are all from Raffe's perspective when the rest of the novel is from Penryn's, they're also poorly done. The memories hardly connect to the actual present tense plot and it feels again like Ee is trying to cram in as much info as she can.
Separating Raffe and Penryn turns the book into an almost unreadably boring collection of filler, with the occasional slapstick joke.
Did I stumble into a comedy club?
Another thing I loved about ANGELFALL is the dark atmosphere. It's end of the world, and you can tell by Penryn's narration alone. WORLD AFTER is trying to be funny too much, starting from The Sexist Sword who isn't amused about her using a teddy bear as a sheath and rejecting traditionally feminine things, to Dee-Dum, the twins who spout nonsense nonstop and are exactly as headache-inducing as their namesakes Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
I lost interest almost instantly, and the memories from the sword made me cringe. I wish the novel had begun around Raffe's and Penryn's reuinion. Like this, WORLD AFTER made sure I won't read the sequel. There is no structure, just filler, and tries to pull the same story again. Reading about Penryn saving her sister for the gazillionth time, and doing that very poorly paced, isn't really a way to keep me interested in this series.
Overall: Do I Recommend?
I contemplated quitting this so often, I'm surprised I even finished. No recommendation.