Review of End of Days by Susan Ee

EndofDaysEnd of Days
By: Susan Ee
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Format: Print ARC
Source: McDuffie Communications

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

My Thoughts:
How to write the review for the end of a series that has been one of my very favorites? It’s impossible to express how much I adore Susan Ee’s writing and the characters she has created. I fell so deeply in love with Penryn, Paige and Raffe I was devastated before I even began reading End of Days, knowing I’d have to say goodbye to them.

I don’t know if you follow the series but originally it had been said that there would be 5 books total. While reading World After I thought that I’d have 3 books remaining but in between then and late last year it was announced that instead the series would end after this next book, End of Days. I’m not entirely sure of the reasoning but I was so sad because I looked forward to years to come with these characters and world.

Knowing that this would be it for this series I was highly emotional even receiving the book to review. I wanted to savor my reading of it but once I started I couldn’t put it down. It was painful to stop to do anything else. I’ll admit, I was worried that something would be off about the novel, Ee wouldn’t be able to pull me in, etc. None of that happened. The first page had me entranced and I knew I’d love the book.

I would hope if you are reading this review or have followed me for any length of time I’ve convinced you to give this series a try. Just think, you could get all three books and binge read them now. Well, this last installment ups the stakes–well, I’ll say, what made all of these books incredible is that there has always been tension, fear and really high stakes. I never felt that Susan was going easy on me as the reader. I was scared of what might happen next.

End of Days picks up from where World After left us. I was so thrilled to see Raffe and Penryn sharing scenes again and having their classic banter and that incredible attraction. I ship these two so much it’s insane. Seriously, this ship is one of two of my favorites. I can’t get enough of both Raffe and Penryn and the entire series I’ve just waited for them to smooch together and never leave each other’s side. I will say there are a few swoon-worthy scenes, but as always Susan leaves you wanting so much more.

I felt that the first third of the book was absolutely amazing. There were scenes that had me in tears and moments I’ve thought about long after having read them. But, I’ll admit (and it pains me) that the last third didn’t work as well for me. It felt rushed and the climax sort of felt to easy? It just didn’t feel as true to the series as I’d hoped but it was still good just not amazingly epic. Do not let that detract you though! The first third of the book is some of the most emotional and breathtaking writing I’ve read of Susan’s.

Final Thoughts:
If you find that you have similar taste in books as I do then please, for the love of all that’s good, give these books a shot. Of course, if you don’t love them don’t tell me! These books are high on a pedestal for me.

Extras:

Review of The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

TW&TDThe Wrath & The Dawn
By: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Format: Print ARC
Source: Won in giveaway

My Rating:
star

Summary:
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

The Story:
When I heard this book was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights I knew I had to have it. I’m so happy that this book did not disappoint and will be added to my shelves as a favorite.  The story begins with a prologue that sets up some of the mystery behind why the Caliph, Khalid, has his new bride murdered every dawn. I was immediately captivated. Ahdieh wasted no time in throwing us into the story and having Shahrzad thrown into the palace and danger. The book was beautifully paced and kept me riveted and tense.

The setting was absolutely breathtaking. I had to break while reading it to do some research on Khorasan and A Thousand and One Nights. I needed to see pictures, read more and educate myself about this area. I love when a book can pull me that deep into the setting that even while I’m not reading I’m thinking, researching and seeking more knowledge on the location or topics presented.

Ahdieh was more than capable at painting the scenes with her words and really had me completely immersed. I could picture the palace, clothing and landscape clearly.

I wasn’t sure when starting this book if it would have any magic or fantasy and I’m so happy that it does! It was small tidbits, magical realism, but beautifully incorporated. It’s so hard to describe how much I enjoyed this storyline.

The Characters:
Not only did The Wrath & The Dawn have a beautiful setting and intense storyline the characters were multidimensional. Time was spent to give the reader a sense of the main character, Shahrzad. I immediately respected and liked her; I wanted her to succeed and felt fear for her when she was caught up in sticky situations. She was a bold personality that was brave, smart and loyal. She wasn’t perfect by any means though and I felt that she was very relatable.

Khalid on the other-hand was more of a mystery. The reader isn’t certain of his motivations right off and we learn of him as Shazi does. I felt that I had a sense about him that I was able to prove as I continued to read. I loved that he was given grief, guilt, anger and so many other emotions. He was very complex and complicated which made him a favorite of mine.

All of the characters dealt with their own personal demons, motivations and guilt. I thought that Ahdieh did a brilliant job in giving all of her characters immense depth.

Final Thoughts:
The Wrath & the Dawn became an instant favorite and I’m so eager to read the sequel because wow…what a strong world, story and amazing characters. I’m in love.

The Wrath & the Dawn will be available May 12th 2015

Extras:

  • Look for my interview with Renee next month!
  • I created this cover in LEGO (click on the image to see it larger)

TheWrath&TheDawnLego
You can see more covers redone in Lego here.