Series: Penryn & the End of Days #3
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on May 12, 2015
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.
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.The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Published by Hachette Australia on April 28, 2015
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.
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.