Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dark YA Lit

World After, Susan Ee
I called this book's prequel a "little ripper," and this follow-on is just the same -- a charging, engaging story...with ripping.  Violent, gore-filled, sometimes foul, ripping.  So...stay clear if you aren't a fan of darker tales (it's darker than Pure and Fuse -- if you liked both of those, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you'll probably enjoy this world and its heroine, but if you thought Pure was grisly, yeah...you won't like these).  It made me wince more than I care for.  If the next book is more affronting, I may bow out of the series.  Maybe.  I'm pretty invested in the peop's.  (Yes, I said series, this isn't a trilogy!  Waawoot!)  Also:
  • For those who did read DOSAB and DOBAS, it is kind of like these books start where Laini's Book 3 is going.  And it has more blood and ugliness.  Digression: When Haki and I finished watching World War Z (yes, I did), I remarked that so many of these films are barely watchable, but watchable, because they stay away from certain things I will never watch; there were no zombie children.  Don't bring the kids into it.  Realistically, if zombies are going to swarm as they do in these zombie apocalypses, the kids are gonna get bitten too.  See how I used "realistically" about zombie swarms there?  Yes indeedy.  These books bring the kids into it.  I can barely stand it.  I think because it is Penryn's sister, not her daughter, I cope.  If I was projecting up in there I'd be a goner.  This is not to say I don't love my sisters.  I do.  They're just big girls now and can fend for themselves and I don't project the story onto them and twitch in fear.  /end digression
  • So Penryn -- the lass' name I just threw around?  She kicks butt.  She is loyal, sometimes reckless (and I like it), and still believably young in her thoughts.  I like her.
  • I didn't reread Angel Fall, and this had me back there in no time, without painful rehashing -- my memory of the closing action flooded back, fast.  I find few authors get the balance on the refresh just right.  Susan Ee does.
  • What a motley crew.  It's clear Ee prides herself in the ragamuffin band the novel opens with (if not then, it becomes apparent later), and I don't think what she's achieved should be scoffed at -- it's not an everybook ensemble, and she's worked her way there fair and square.  I won't say more, at risk of spoiling Angelfall.
  • She is also a master of contrasting sentence lengths.  I dig a punchy short sentence.
  • Some of the undertones and dialogue are really funny.
  • The writing is so strong for a YA reader.  The language is very current, the humour is spot on, and the needs and wants of the characters matter for this age group.  I know, because I'm so YA.  Na, but really, I know.
  • The story is on speed.  Seriously.  It lets up once that I can think of, and then it really is only a brief rest, near the end.
  • Romance is on the back burner here, but so masterfully simmering in absentia.
  • Ee also achieves the hot-cold rapport between Penryn and Raffe that City of Bones tried to create, (but failed). 
Want a second opinion?  Read Sarah's review here (although there be spoilers...so this is a great place to swing by post-reading the book to get juicy specifics! I loved reading someone else's reactions to these details!)
Thank you, Hachette, for the review copy. We luff you.
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