The World After is a pretty horrific place full of evil angels, genetic experiments and freaky creatures; the really scary thing is how quickly the world became hell on Earth. Penryn is outnumbered on all sides this time around; she may have found the Resistance but since she also fell for an angel while she was looking, they don't exactly welcome her with arms open. Never mind the fact that this angel has devil wings and delivered her to them while she was seemingly dead, for her to awaken to screams from her own mother that she was a devil spawn. And her sister is the sole survivor of inconceivably evil experiments which make Chucky the homicidal doll look like a fluffy bunny.
Penryn struggles to accept this new Paige; she doesn't really talk enough to convince anyone of her motivation, and it seems increasingly likely that the only food she can hold down is pretty gruesome. Still, Penry looks out for her baby sister, right up until a mob attacks them all and Paige runs away, forcing Penryn to follow and go back into the breach that is San Francisco, angel central.
I found every step of this instalment both devilish and gripping. The monsters that Penryn must face are nightmarish, and her own personal demons sometimes risk engulfing her. I am sure she is due a real howling breakdown when this is all over. For quite a while I couldn't see any hope for humanity at all in World After - it is just so bleak - but, in true storytelling fashion, a ray of light was introduced at the end. I don't think anyone would have seen it coming, and it will make the next book into a real Battle Royal.
The pace was great, the imagination was present in spades, and I thought the developments at Alcatraz were the best bit... Horrifying and brilliantly absorbing. That is the World After, and I am so glad that it lived up to the level of Angelfall.