Monday, December 2, 2013

Knitting While Reading: World After

 Reading: World After, by Susan Ee
Knitting: Barret, by Veronik Avery

So I spent the day after Thanksgiving reading this whole book, between bouts of vomiting.  I got a migraine after Thanksgiving dinner (it tasted great on the way down, not so great on the way up) and was down for the count.  So since I don't have too much to report on our Thanksgiving visit, I thought I'd give a book review instead.

This is, mind you, not remotely the only book I've read since Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but it's the only one I've wanted to talk about.  Because really--I finally read the Divergent series, and felt a resounding meh, but it's a bestseller!  My meh does not weigh against the upcoming film.  And there've been others, but nothing I wanted to either champion or slander.

Until now.  Man, if ever there was a book to get you through a migraine and a day in bed, this is it.  I read and loved the previous book in the series, Angelfall, which you absolutely must read before this one, and really this review is of the series because the books flow so smoothly into one another it feels like one piece.

The story is essentially this: Penryn, daughter of a paranoid schizophrenic and sister of a paraplegic, is fighting for survival after the angels arrived on earth and wiped out much of humanity.  What little humanity is left barely deserves the name--gangs roam the streets, people kill each other for food, etc.  Like all humans, Penryn hates the angels, but when she sees an an angel-on-angel attack, and watches an angel's wings get cut off, she helps him--and in so doing, watches her sister get carried off by the attacking angels.  Penryn and Raffe, the wingless angel, team up as a matter of convenience--he wants to get his wings back, she wants to get her sister back, and their relationship develops predictably (but wonderfully) from there.  What isn't predictable is the story.

I am a lover of post-apocalyptic fiction.  I mean, I spend inordinate amounts of time fantasizing about how I would survive the apocalypse, and every novel I read is basically a book of tactics.  But even I have gotten bored with the glut, and something has to really stand out in order to feel like it's offering anything new. 

This book isn't just new, it's crazypants.  There's some wacky stuff going on here, but it's all believable (within its context, that is) and it all begs some very interesting questions.  I can't tell you any of it, because that would give it away, but take for example Penryn's mother.  She is really, truly, no way around it, it's not that she has visions and really saw all this coming and so she's the only sane one all along--no, she's just nuts.  And Penryn loves her, even though she's nuts--and hates her, and fears her.  She's hilarious and terrifying--and she loves her children.  Adding this character is a choice that most authors wouldn't make, and I'm delighted she's here.

Neither Angelfall nor World After are, um, particularly well-written, as far as language and dialogue go.  Some sentences are cringe-worthy.  But the pacing and plotting are excellent, and I can't wait for the next one.


Unknown said...

I must add my endorsement to yours. I really loved the first book and enjoyed the second as well- I wish I didn't have to wait for the next one :)

toni p1 said...

thanks for the review. I am thinking of reading Divergent but reviews after publication of the third book have me hesitant. This sounds interesting though. Hope you feel better.

Nikki Van De Car said...

I strongly disliked the third book. Veronica Roth inserted a 2nd POV. That is just not done.