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?
I HAZ A SAD AND I NEED TO
TALK RANT ABOUT IT.
This is, without a doubt, the most disappointed I have ever been by a book. Which means that this review is going to be looooong. And spoiler-ridden. Read at your own risk.
You know why I loved the first two books in this series so much? Because they are so different than most YA out there these days. I loved this series for the same reason I love theSoul Eater series. Their MCs are a lot alike. Like Meda in theSoul Eater series, Penryn
is was intelligent, logical, and ruthless. In the first two installments she made hard decisions, had questionable morals, and would do absolutely anything for her family.
She was a grey character. She wasn’t some squeaky clean Mary Sue. She didn’t lament over her fate. This is the fucking apocalypse, and if you have any hope of surviving it, you need to fend for yourself. Which she did. She sucked it up and did whatever it took to survive. For herself. For her family.
And then in this installment, she said
Now she’s a carbon copy of any lovesick idiot female lead from any other YA series I’ve rage-quit. Her intelligence gets replaced by hormonal urges. Her logic gets undermined by indecision that centers entirely around the male lead, and her ruthlessness completely disappears. In the first two installments, she made hard choices. Now…
“Wasn’t I wishing for someone else to make the hard choices for me?”
Which, you know, I get. She’s seventeen. Thanks to her paranoid schizophrenic mother, her Frankensteinian little sister, and that thing known as Armageddon, she’s had to act like an adult. She’s had to do all sorts of horrible things. But she doesn’t want to stop making the hard choices because of something understandable, like stress, she wants to stop making them so she can turn her entire focus to the fucking relationship angst between her and Raffe.
“Then he presses his lips to mine. His warmth spreads out from my lips down into my chest and stomach. Time stops, and I forget about everything else – the apocalypse, my enemies, watching eyes, monsters in the night.
All I feel is the kiss.
All I am is Raffe’s girl.”
What kind of anti-feminist bullshittery is going on here? You make out with a hot guy and suddenly your entire sense of self disappears?
This makes me so fucking mad. Because this, to me, is the antithesis of what Penryn was in the first two installments. Yes, she had the hots for the guy, but she never lost focus, she never lost sight of the fact that the world was crashing and burning around them, and that any moment could be her last. She never, for a single moment, forgot the reason she was forced to work with Raffe. An angel. Enemy of the human race.
Because in the first two books, she had one goal, and one goal alone: get her little sister back.
So now we’re in book three, and she finally has Paige at her side. So what does she do throughout this fucking book? Leaves her.
The ENTIRE point of the previous two books was to find her, and now that she’s found her SEVEN-YEAR-OLD sister, she leaves her in the care of her mutant scorpion pets while she goes gallivanting off with Raffe.
She never once thinks about her sister’s safety. Even after Raffe refuses to let Penryn fly with one of the scorpions because:
“Those wings are so flimsy I wouldn’t trust them to carry you. And those overgrown nails – you’d catch an infection if they scratch you.”
BUT IT’S OKAY IF THAT HAPPENS TO A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD???
Penryn goes on to assume that because Paige seems to have some control over these creatures, they won’t turn on her when she repeatedly leaves her alone with them. She continues to make this assumption even after a big, bad scorpion shows up and takes all but four of them away from her, proving that her control is limited and that THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY FUCKING TURN ON HER.
Does Penryn pause to think, “Gee, maybe leaving a child alone with monsters isn’t the best idea”? Or how about, “Gee, maybe Paige could get hurt if I leave her alone. Or die. Or get kidnapped again, since her guards have proven to be completely fucking useless”?
Not fucking once.
Trust me, I checked.
In a complete 180 from the previous two books, she doesn’t spare her sister’s welfare a single fucking thought, because there isn’t any space in her head for thoughts that don’t revolve around Raffe.
And let’s talk about Raffe, shall we? Let’s talk about this male lead. His character pulled the same 180 that Penryn’s did. He used to be funny. He used to let her take care of herself, only interceding when it was clear that she was outmatched. Now he’s Edward Cullen to her Bella Swan.
Now he does nothing but lament over how they can’t be together, and then proceeds to make out with her to prove his point. Now he presses his traditional gender roles on her.
“Although he should be able to protect you. Don’t settle for a man who can’t protect you…I’m just saying you should pick a man who knows that he’s not worthy of you and who will dedicate his life to provide for you and protect you.”
Two hundred pages later:
“You should be with a nice human boy. One who takes your orders and puts up with your demands. Someone who dedicates his life to keeping you safe and well fed.”
There is so much wrong with these two passages that I don’t even know where to begin. But what’s most troubling about them is that Penryn doesn’t contradict him. She doesn’t remind him that she’s perfectly fucking capable of taking care of her goddamn self – which she shouldn’t have to do, because he should fucking know this by now – and nor does she tell him to stop being an emo, sexist, superdouche.
She just goes on to lament about the fact that they can’t be together because of reasons. DESPITE THOSE REASONS BEING LEGITIMATE. As in, if they’re together, Raffe gets thrown into “hell” and will be tortured until he becomes a fallen angel bent on nothing but destruction.
Even after she magically falls into a fallen angel’s memories and sees exactly what lies in store for Raffe should they ever bump uglies, she doesn’t give it a second thought. Because she wants him. So she should have him. Regardless of the consequences or how he feels about it.
Don’t believe me? Okay, after he waxes poetic about how they can’t be together, she gets fucking pervy while he’s sleeping:
“His hand is hot on my ribs. I am exquisitely aware that his thumb lies along the bottom of my breast.
A thought slips into my head. I can’t seem to get rid of it no matter how hard I try to shove it aside.
What would it be like to have Raffe’s hand on that part of my body?
While my head rages in argument and confusion, my hand covers his. Gently, oh, so gently. What would it be like to have Raffe’s hand caress my nipple?
Am I really thinking this?
But thinking is not the right word for what’s going on inside me. It’s more of an…urge.
I slowly inch his hand up so that his thumb presses against the soft flesh of my breast.
Then I nudge it up just another fraction.
Raffe’s breathing is still steady. He’s still asleep.
A little more. Just a fraction…
Until I can feel the warmth of his hand spreading over my chest.”
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK???
No. NOOOO. This is not fucking acceptable. It is not okay to sexually assault someone while they’re sleeping. Which is what she did. Because a sleeping person cannot give their consent. I almost stopped reading right there, but this was only TWENTY THREE pages into the book, so I thought for sure she had plenty of time to apologize.
She never did, by the way. Which makes me that much angrier about this complete clusterfuck of a book.
Speaking of clusterfucks, let’s talk about this plot, shall we? Remember when I mentioned that Penryn fell into the memories of a fallen angel? That angel was Beliel, bad guy extraordinaire. He tells Penryn that Raffe isn’t to be trusted, and because of all their relationship angst, she decides to take him up on his offer to prove it.
So she pokes him with Pooky Bear (a sword), because somehow this allows him to share his memories with her? While she’s sharing his memories of hell – which are truly horrific, and should make her back the fuck away from Raffe, but obviously don’t – demons crawl out of his memories through this connection.
Which everyone thought was just a myth. Because how the ACTUAL fuck could a memory crawl out of someone and into our world? I still have no idea, because this is never actually explained.
About the 50% mark, Penryn and Raffe want to recreate this connection so they can go INTO hell to retrieve Raffe’s legendary Watcher’s so they can back him in a fight to be the Messenger of a God he doesn’t even believe in.
As if this isn’t “Dafuq?” enough, Raffe used to lead the Watchers. They were the angel’s most feared and revered soldiers right up until the point that they slept with human women (which, in keeping with all the anti-feminist themes in this book, the characters would have me believe is the women’s fault – because, you know, we’re so innately sexual and seductive that our magical vaginas negate things like FREE WILL).
These Watchers are condemned to The Pit (Hell) for their sins, and does Raffe defend or save them? No. He lets them rot there. Like Beliel, the fallen angel that Penryn poked with her sword. Who fucking HATES Raffe. Which you totally get after seeing just a glimpse of the suffering he’s endured.
So if Beliel hates Raffe this much, it would make sense that the rest of the Watchers should also want to see him die a thousand deaths.
This is a logical fucking conclusion. One that anyone with two brain cells can make. So why the fuck do Penryn and Raffe think that they could use the sword to not only go into The Pit (which no one has ever fucking done before), but to recruit the Watchers once there, and then escape the demons who rule it and make it back to earth?
No idea. But they do. And of course they get sent back to a memory in which the angels don’t yet hate Raffe. Why? How?
I DON’T FUCKING KNOW. IT’S NEVER EXPLAINED. DEUS EX MACHINA, MOTHER FUCKERS!!!
Now let’s talk about the huge world holes. Of which, there are many. I was willing to excuse them in the first two installments, thinking that everything would be explained in the third.
Almost nothing was explained in the third. I still have no idea where the angels came from. I still have no idea why they are on earth. I still have no idea what their initial end goal was. I still have no idea what their history is, where the human legends of heaven and hell came from in this world, and how we even created those legends to begin with.
At one point, you’re led to believe that hell is actually a world that the angels took over. You learn this while Penryn and Raffe are in hell. Making out.
I shit you not. After fighting against a horde of demons, they decide to go for a joy ride through hell? When they don’t know where the demons are? Just the two of them? Alone? To tour hell? When their enemies could be anywhere? And help is far away? So while they’re on this magical mystery tour, they make out while flying. Making them an easy target.
But of course, nothing attacks them, because get the fuck out of here with your logic. There is none in this book. This is merely another machination to get them alone together so they can make out.
And the “ending”. FML, I don’t even know how to describe it. In a nutshell: the rebel humans hold a talent show to draw the angels to them so they can have their final showdown.
Yup. That happened.
No really, I can’t. I need to stop bitching now and start day drinking so I can forget this book ever happened to me. Because if I don’t stop now, I’ll write another 2k worth of complaints.