Fantasy Reviews #2 – End of Days & The Girl at Midnight

May 27, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

Fantasy Reviews #2 – End of Days & The Girl at MidnightEnd of Days by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #3
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on May 12, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
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End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

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?

It’s the conclusion you’ve finally been waiting for, and do we get to see Penryn and Raffe finally get together after three books? The answer is yes! But in between, it’s a frustrating ride getting there, as all the obstacles under the sun will stand in their way before it happens.

End of Days crams a lot in which resulted in a disjointed, messy plot. From seeking a doctor to reattach Raffe’s wings, to their involvement in a dangerous angel game, to fighting hellions and Belial, and protecting the human race, it seemed like the goal posts constantly changed for Penryn and Raffe. It was annoying seeing almost every character I didn’t care for pop up in this book, such as Dee and Dum and their theatrics.

“This is Penryn Young, Daughter of Man, Killer of Angels.” 

Penryn is one of my favourite badass characters, being able to survive, protect and wield an angel sword, and here she takes charge and becomes the leader and the saviour we’ve always known her to be. I loved seeing her development, and realising that her feelings for Raffe could make her stronger and not make her lose focus. Raffe, being largely absent in the previous book takes a star role here, and he faces a prime role in the angelic civil war and his feelings for Penryn.

But we finally see the romance we’ve been craving between Penryn and Raffe, as they sneak a few kisses here and there and have each other’s back as they navigate angel politics, a false war, badassery from Penryn’s family and a trip to hell. The witty banter between them was short and sweet, as they had other things to focus on. Pooky Bear steals the show again as our favourite cutesy and devastating sword that will play a key part in the book.

But Pooky Bear made me special. I was more than just a girl with it. I was an angel killer. 

epiloguepink

From an epic beginning and an exciting continuation, End of Days seems to cram too much in and simmer along the way. There’s action, epicness and war, but it all seems messy as we try and wrap up the overdue romance that we’ve been waiting for and the conclusion of the series’ beloved characters, such as Paige and Penryn’s mum. End of Days is the weakest of the trilogy, but it does give us a final goodbye.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Thank you to Hachette for sending me this review copy in exchange for an honest review

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey Review: I Tried. Really Hard. 

Fantasy Reviews #2 – End of Days & The Girl at MidnightThe Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Published by Hachette Australia on April 28, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

If there’s anything that a YA fantasy lover will appreciate, it’s Laini Taylor. So when you plaster Laini Taylor all over a new fantasy that is receiving a fair amount of hype, we’re going to take notice. Unfortunately, I’m one of the black sheep in this book. I just couldn’t get into it and I failed to connect to the characters, although I did have an appreciation for the beautiful flowery writing.

What I liked about The Girl at Midnight: 

  • Echo was a really hilarious, intelligent and sharp character who had the best one-liners.
  • The ancient races of the bird-like Avicen, and the dragon race Drakharin were fascinating races I haven’t encountered before.
  • The sweeping, atmospheric writing. Melissa Grey’s writing has a natural, poetic beauty to it that really conveyed the modern New York scenery with the ancient magic civilizations.
  • I shipped Jasper and Dorian, they were totally adorable together as they test the waters inch by inch. Yay for a LGBT relationship that we weren’t expecting!

Taking a life was no easy thing to bear. It changed a person in fundamental ways, as the pieces of one’s old self fractured and re-formed to accommodate a new and horrible truth: the world would keep on spinning, no matter how guilty or wretched a soul felt. 

What I didn’t like about The Girl at Midnight:

  • I couldn’t connect with the characters. This could be a combination of having heaps of secondary characters, the third person perspective and the flowery writing.
  • Yet another book that centers the plot on romance, especially when there seems to be much more at stake than which guy you end up with. I didn’t even realise Echo had a boyfriend until most of the book was over! While that adds a bit of a spanner in the works, she’s still attracted to Caius in an insta-love romance.
  • Where is the plot again? We’re given one strong plot point, Echo is trying to find a Firebird, and we get almost no advancement here until the very last few chapters of the book. There seems to be a lot of dilly dallying and character switching and I got bored halfway through.
  • Lack of world building. It’s a somewhat modern world, with New York being the same, and yes there are two ancient races at war. But where did they come from again, what are their beliefs and more importantly, why are they at war? 
  • The plot twist was way too similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which made it super predictable.

epiloguepink

I tried really hard to get into The Girl at Midnight. I tried pushing through, giving it a break, reading something else, and when I came back to it, I still couldn’t get into it and it put me to sleep. I know it has beautiful, scenic writing, vibrant characters, magic and ancient races and a main character with a spark. But I shouldn’t have to try this hard to enjoy a book, and it just failed to grab me.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy.

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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38 responses to “Fantasy Reviews #2 – End of Days & The Girl at Midnight

  1. UGH I am so scared to read WORLD AFTER and END OF DAYS, because I just haven't been hearing (reading, more accurately) very good thins about either of them. Which just sucks because ANGELFALL was so amazing, and just awesome. Eep. But I still want to read them. Who knows? I might just love them. XD

    And BOO @ GIRL AT MIDNIGHT. It's such a shame to see that so many people are "meh" about this book. I am still keen on reading it because it sounds like something I might like, but I guess I'll keep a bit of an open mind when I do.

    Great reviews, Jeannie 😀
    My recent post A Letter To: Azael from Ignite

  2. I had to skim over End of Days, I haven't read World After yet, but have both on my shelf ready to go. But I loved The Girl at Midnight, it reminded me of of a cross between DOSAM and TOG. It was the lyrical prose that completely immersed me though, as soon as it mentioned plumage for hair I knew I was a goner. I love lyrically beautiful books, there's something that calls to me and any issues I would have had normally tend to be quickly forgotten. Sorry you couldn't have enjoyed this one more Jeann, but wonderful review <3
    My recent post An Ember in The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir… Absolutely Brilliant

  3. danielleisbusyreading

    I'm sorry The Girl at Midnight didn't work for you. 🙁 I haven't read it yet, and apparently the publisher is making the author extend the love triangle into the next book even more… so, yeah, this won't be a series for me. 🙁

    Loved End of Days! Penryn and Raffe are as fantastic together as always. Will definitely miss them!

    • I know, I kept thinking it was my mood or something but I dunno, it was just really hard to get into. End of Days had such a great conclusion!

  4. Faye M.

    Sounds like you had very mediocre reads this week, Jeann! 8 times out of 10 people loved the conclusion to the Angelfall series, so it's nice to see another perspective about it. I still plan to read the series though just to cross it off my list. And I heard about Girl of Midnight! On one hand, I want to read all about that lovely writing… anything that resembles Taylor's is curious for me because I did love LT's writing. But the insta-love? A plot that centers on the romance? The reason to go to danger for the sake of a guy? Um, NO. JUST. NO 🙁
    My recent post Say It With Bubbles: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

    • Yeah, I was expecting to love it but it fell short IMO which was a shame. A lot of people enjoyed TGAM but I just struggled you know?

  5. I just got the audiobook for Angelfall, and I'm planning on listening to it soon, that's too bad the finale was kind of a let down compared to the rest of the series!

    I'm been seeing mixed reviews with the Girl At Midnight. This "Echo was a really hilarious, intelligent and sharp character who had the best one-liners." sounds awesome, that's too bad the rest of the book/hype didn't live up! Hopefully next time!

    Thanks for the review, Jeann!
    My recent post Review: The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

    • Oooh I hope you enjoy it Cyn! Yeah, there were some parts of GaM that I really liked, but it was just so hard getting into it you know?

  6. From the looks of it, it seems like Penryn and the End of Days should've been a quartet! I don't really like it when too much goes on in a single book, either. It just becomes messy and cluttered. Good thing I actually don't have plans of finishing this trilogy since I didn't like Angelfall.

    I've been hearing awesome things about Echo. Funny characters are my favorites! But oh joy, look at that romance. It's just all over the place and I'm SURE I'm going to hate it. Also it seems like it's like DOSAB in more ways than one: an amazing premise, but characters who are hard to connect to. At least that's how DOSAB was with me.

    So sorry you didn't like these two more, Jeann. 🙁 Wonderful reviews!
    My recent post An Exciting Announcement (P.S. I’m Not at BEA)

    • I know, they crammed too much in and there was just no direction you know? Wow, you're the first one I know who doesn't like Angelfall!

      Yeah, Echo is pretty hilarious. Ah, if you weren't the biggest fan of DOSAB then this one probably wouldn't be up your alley then. Thank you Aimee!

  7. The Girl at Midnight was a fail for me, I actually DNF it. So many people have said it's similar to Daughter or Smoke & Bone. End of Days was the better book here, I thought the ending was satisfactory but it was missing the epic factor you know? I couldn't feel the raw emotional factor at all. I'll still miss the series though especially Pookie Bear.. :/ The covers are gorgeous though! Awesome reviews Jeann.
    My recent post Mini Reviews ♥ Tiny Pretty Things, Killer Within, Black Iris &amp; more.

    • Ah, I totally felt like a black sheep with the book so glad it wasn't just me, my review twin! Yeah, I thought End of Days would be more epic, but it didn't quite get there…hahah Pooky Bear is a great character! Thank you Benish.

  8. Zoe

    Aww…I'm sorry these were both so mediocre for you Jeann. 🙁 Especially after having such wonderfully written predecessors, it's a shame that End of Days didn't live up to the first two books. It definitely sounds like it might have crammed a bit too much into too few pages, which stinks. And I've heard some relatively good reviews for The Girl at Midnight, so it's interesting to hear a different perspective. It's always frustrating when you just can't connect with a book and you can't figure out why. 😐 Thanks for sharing these and, as always, beautiful reviews! <33
    My recent post Daughter of Deep Silence

    • I know, End of Days was very messy although it was fun still. I've heard great things about Girl at Midnight too, but sadly it wasn't for me. Thank you lovely!

  9. Ah, it seems like some books I was very excited for doesn't seem like they are as fab as they first seem. It's a shame that End of Days comes across as a bit crammed because it was trying to summarise everything nicely, but it's good that it gave a satisfactory ending to the series. And I was never sure about the Girl at Midnight but I think I might wait until the future to try that one now.

    Check out my recent review: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2015/05/devons
    My recent post Devon's Choice (Review)

  10. booksbonesbuffy

    I'm sorry you didn't like The Girl at Midnight, I really had fun with that one. I know a lot of plot points and some of the world building didn't make sense, but for me it was ok, because I loved the characters.

  11. I've been hearing the same kind of things about The Girl at Midnight which is a shame. I was really looking forward to it, but I'm not a huge fan of flowery writing. It just seems too excessive and I get bored haha. As for the End of Days books I haven't read any of them yet but now that it's over I think I'll grab all three and binge read haha.
    Thanks for the honest reviews 🙂
    My recent post Waiting On Wednesday: Mindwalker

    • Yeah, I think it depends on what your thoughts are about flowery writing. Binge reading the series would be the best!

    • I know, it was so hard to get into unfortunately! I've heard other people completely loving it though. YES to DOSAB, it is amazing!

  12. I quietly skipped the End of Days review because I still have to read World After. I KNOW I AM SO SLOW. *glares at ereader* I really ought to do that next month for the blue cover challenge, hehe. AAANYWAY. I'm sad it wasn't an epic finale.

    As for the Girl At Midnight. I cautiously avoided that book because it looked too…purple? And it sounds like it is chock full of purple prose which isn't my favourite. I like stories that get to the point. *le sigh*

    NOW AM I THE FIRST COMMENT??? *hopes hard*

    • YOU ARE THE FIRST. I really enjoyed World After actually! IT IS PURPLE CAIT. But yeah, it certainly takes the scenic route.