End of Days by Susan Ee (VideoPress and Written Review)

Do you see that? How calmly I wrote the title? No caps. No exclamation points. That’s because I’m mature and I know how to handle my excitement. Just kidding. THE END OF DAYS IS HERE! In the absolutely thrilling, edge-of-your-seat sitting, heart-wrenching, climactic conclusion of bestselling author Susan Ee’s remarkable trilogy, Angelfall, it has finally come time for human girl, Penryn Young, and Archangel warrior, Raphael, to take sides! Who will they side with? Their own kind? Or the one they love? Masterful Ms. Ee brings us a tale of twisted desire and adventure that I guarantee you won’t be able to put down. Only fourteen more days to go until End of Days becomes officially published and is open for grabs! The countdown until the End begins now.

And let the reviewing begin.

200_s The long-awaited election for the position of God’s Messenger has finally arrived, and Archangel Uriel is amping end-of-daysup his charm, his wit, and his campaigning skills in attempts to become the next Messenger and to have the legion of angels here on Earth obey his every command. He has already proven what great lengths he will go to to become Messenger, but how much further will he go? When beasts straight out of the Biblical apocalypse begin to take form, leaping from the ocean and falling from the skies, the angels are becoming increasingly convinced that Uriel is meant to become the next Messenger ― and that he’s right. The apocalypse is at their doorstep. It’s up to the Archangel Raphael to step in and prove that Uriel isn’t fit to be the Messenger. But then, is Raffe fit to be God’s Messenger? The angels aren’t wholly convinced of either of them. And Raffe’s heart is torn down the middle, because if he becomes the Messenger, staying on Earth means that Penryn will be killed, along with the rest of the human race. But leaving means turning his back on the Daughter of Man he’s grown to love, despite his best attempts. Penryn is stuck between two worlds: her human world needs her, calls to her, the “Angel Slayer,” but her heart is with Raffe. She doesn’t think she can leave Raffe, even though he has made it painfully clear that they can never be together, on heaven or earth. So how does this all play out?

I can’t believe that I have finally been able to read End of Days, and it was so amazing that I’m wishing I hadn’t read it just yet, just to be able to read it again! That doesn’t make much sense but it doesn’t need to. Point is, I’m going to wear this book out. Susan Ee did created a masterpiece. While Angelfall, the first in the trilogy, will always be my favorite (just because it was the first time I’d read anything like it!), End of Days comes in at a close second. The trilogy makes it into my Hall of Fame for sure and has become one of my all-time favorite series. I know, I love a lot of series but of all the series I’ve ever read, this one has the most intriguing and unique concept. I applaud you, Ms. Ee. Well, well done! The characters in End of Days were incredibly thought through. Penryn has such an interesting mix of personalities. At some points in the book, she is meek and knows how to gracefully bow out of a fight. She doesn’t want to take the credit for killing an angel and she protects her sister’s purity and innocence for as long as she can, despite her sister’s graphic circumstances. At other points, she has a feisty temper and a hostile personality, snapping at burly angels and befriending monster people whose faces are half torn off. embarassed-for-u Brave, brave girl. In the first two books, Penryn actively fought her increasing crush on Raffe, knowing that it would only get her into trouble. In the first book, she firmly believed that it was nothing more than an, “Oh-he’s-cute” kind of thing, but by End of Days Penryn has quietly accepted that she’s totally fallen in love with him. There’s even an awesome (*cough, cough* sarcasm!!!) scene in the beginning. I think it’s in chapter five or six that it happens. I was so, so embarrassed for Penryn that I nearly had to close the book and take a breath. Penryn has no self control in the beginning. It’s like her feelings for Raffe are all running wild and she doesn’t know how to control them. She’s desperate for him to show that he loves her back but all Raffe ever does is tell her that it’ll never work. He never admits that he’s fallen for her as much as she has fallen for him. He just says that it won’t work. I’m actually pretty impressed with Penryn’s insistent flirting! The girl doesn’t want to take the hint in the beginning. But I kind of feel for her. Actually, I totally feel for her. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to get an angel to fall in love with you, let alone an angel that’s supposed to be killing you since you’re in the middle of the apocalypse! Despite all that, I could totally imagine Penryn going to one of her post-apocalypse buddies (not that she has any besides her sister and Raffe) and saying: anigif_enhanced-12672-1404154320-25 Then Raffe. Oh, Raffe! WHYYYYYYY? Why must you break Penryn’s heart over and over again?! Raffe doesn’t just tell Penryn that he can’t be with her to discourage her, he tells her to convince and discourage himself. Raffe has seen the kind of destruction that comes from falling in love with a Daughter of Man and he isn’t about to take part in it. That is, if he has any control over himself … Speaking of the destruction caused by falling in love with the Daughters of Man, we find out something interesting about our good friend Beliel in End of Days. Remember how horrid he was in Angelfall and World After? Remember his terrible attitude that would always make you want to smash his face in? That annoying, knowing smirk? Well, believe it or not, at one point in End of Days, you’ll feel sorry for Beliel. You heard me right! In the plot, when Raffe is challenged to a blood hunt and needs to retrieve his Watchers from the depths of the Pit (AKA, hell), we meet Beliel in the Pit. And he’s nothing like the Beliel he is now. He’s kind to Penryn, helps her escape the Pit Lords, keeps her from the Consumed, and saves her from a fate worse than death. How do we meet another Beliel in the Pit, you ask? It’s a whole time travel thing that hurts my head to think about so just read the book to find out.

Anyway, the entire time Raffe is telling his Watchers that he’s going to get them out … all but one, whose memories they came through. This one would not be able to come back with them. Beliel is so excited to see the world, to see the sun, to feel the breeze, that it’s heartbreaking when Penryn and Raffe have to tell him that he’s the one that has to stay behind.

sad-kratoBut it’s very clever how Ms. Ee uses his staying behind to tie back into the story. It’s another time travel thing that is so confusing but basically, Beliel is the way he is in the story because of what Penryn and Raffe did: taking the other Watchers back with them, leaving Beliel to suffer in the Pit until he managed to move up in the ranks or something.

The romance between Penryn and Raffe is so perfect. I’ve always thought that their relationship was one of the best relationships I’ve ever read in a book. Actually, I’d venture to say that it was the best relationship I’ve ever read! There’s so many pent up feelings and bridled emotions and you can actually feel Penryn’s desperation. I think Susan Ee did a fantastic job at painting a picture in which Raffe has to hold Penryn at a distance, but it’s killing him every second to resist her. Throughout the story, their relationship doesn’t really develop a whole lot. In fact, it sort of loses traction. Especially when Penryn finds out what the blood hunt really is and what Raffe is required to do. Penryn clearly feels betrayed and feels that Raffe has made his choice. In Penryn’s mind, Raffe has returned to his place as Archangel and will never return to her ― other than when the apocalypse begins and he comes to slaughter her. Harsh. Thankfully, Raffe doesn’t come to slaughter her. I might have to be a little mad at Ms. Ee if he did.

Something I respect about the Angelfall books is that there’s no clear, concise plot. That sounds bad, but that’s not how I mean it. Most books go by a certain play-by-play outline, just like screenplays do. There are certain plot points that have to hit at the exact time they need to hit. Good examples of these play-by-play outlines can be found in Legend by Marie Lu, In the After Light by Alexandra Bracken, and many more. The plot points generally are:

  • Opening written picture that gives the reader an idea of the world they’re stepping into
  • The set-up, where we see our main characters and establish who they are
  • The catalyst, which is where we establish the problem of the story
  • The reaction, which is where the character must decide how to respond to the problem
  • The effect of the reaction, which generally turns out to be a false-hope sort of thing
  • All is lost moment, where the character learns that they’ve been played, betrayed, etc.
  • Inspirational moment, which is where someone delivers an inspiring speech to the character which drives them to come up with a new, better plan
  • The finale, in which the final battle occurs, the last lines are exchanged, and good triumphs over evil (hopefully)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with following the above plot points. The two books I mentioned (Legend and In the After Light) are extremely successful books and they followed similar plot points! Movies basically have to follow plot points like this in what is generally called a Beat Sheet, which lays out the points (or “beats”) so that the writer can clearly see how to set up the next scene, and so on. No, the point I am trying to make is that despite not really following the points used by so many other extremely successful authors, Susan Ee managed to pull off a very well organized book! It managed to keep your attention throughout the entire book, which is generally difficult when you don’t have the plot points of every other book to follow. I’d say that’s a job well done, Ms. Ee!

The best scene I have ever read in any book, I read in this one. The scene just before the final battle between the humans and the angels is absolutely incredible. If you continue reading past this, be warned! There are spoilers. In order to get the spirits of the freedom fighters that have come to make a last stand against the angels up, the twins, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, put on a hilarious talent show, in which all of the freedom fighters have a chance to perform. The twins’ speeches are moving and their attempts to rile the crowd get me riled! Impressive work. When I was reading the scene, I thought that the sole purpose for the talent show (which was Penryn’s idea) was to get the spirits of the freedom fighters up but by the end of the book I realized what it was really for. The incredible twins used the bright, talent show lights to blind the incoming angels, and the loud speakers to blast metal music into their highly-sensitive ears. E13RXPR.jpg FRIGGIN’ GENIUS. The adrenaline in the battle and prior to the battle is palpable. It’s easy to plunge headfirst into the pages and take in every word written. From the boyish way the twins laugh and sing along to the metal music, even as angels are pouring from the skies, to the powerful way that Raffe and Penryn fight back-to-back, switching tactics as the lights flip on and off. When the lights are on full force, Penryn fights the blinded angels, then when the lights go out and the angels have the advantage, Raffe takes the sword and battles, keeping Penryn out of harm’s way.

One thing I should warn Christian readers about is the Biblical inaccuracy. In some areas, it’s extremely Biblically accurate, and in others it’s very against the Bible. Raffe actually encounters a Pit Lord (a demon) in Hell and then summons it when Penryn is in danger. And then the Pit isn’t really Biblical hell. It’s just another dimension or another world, one in which the Hellions are native and the Fallen angels are invaders.

A warning to those younger than 13: This book contains graphic written images! There are vivid descriptions of the mutilations some of the humans have undergone and the torture that some of the Fallen angels endure. There is enough violence in this book that I would strongly suggest that readers under 13 reconsider reading End of Days. But it isn’t just violence. The scene in the first seven chapters isn’t explicit and could have been far, far worse, but I wouldn’t suggest that a 13-year-old read this scene, if only to avoid embarrassment! Because it is such an embarrassing scene for Penryn!

Well, that’s about it, guys! As one formal disclosure, I do not own the song used in my VideoPress. It is owned by Nick Jonas and his producers.

Later, babes!

What’s on your bookshelf?


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