The “Penryn and the End of Days” Trilogy is a post-apocalyptic young adult series about vengeful angels who have destroyed most of humankind. Penryn, a teen with a crazy mother and crippled sister to take care of, struggles to help her family survive. When her sister is abducted, Penryn will do anything to get her back, even if that means working with an angel.
Overall, I found the concept and execution of this series incredibly original. In a market flooded with post-apocalyptic, dystopian titles (many of which I’ve read, they are addicting), finding something unique seems to get increasingly difficult. This series was definitely unlike anything I’ve read before.
The first book, “Angelfall,” was a solid five-star read, and I loved it so much I gushed about it for weeks. It was as remarkable to me as any other first-book staples of the genre, like “Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” It was original (see above), fast-paced (I haven’t been so engaged in a teen book in ages), and contained one of the most organic romantic relationships of any teen series I’ve ever read. In a genre famous for its “insta-loves” finding a relationship that develops naturally was a treat, and quite possibly my favorite element of the story. Those positive elements remained true for the following two books in the series.
But beyond the first book, she lost me, conceptually.
The first book promised to take a plethora of interesting directions, all of which were compelling. But after finishing the series, I never felt as though it lived up to its potential. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve read quite a few teen dystopian, post-apocalyptic novels over the years, and the motto I adopted from them is “Question everything.” I initially went into the “Penryn” Trilogy skeptical if the destructive angels were in fact actually divine beings or if they had some other, more earthly, origins. I feel compelled to save other readers the same frustration by disclaiming: My questions regarding that were never answered. And in fact, I finished the series with most of my questions and theories unanswered, which is one of the reasons I feel the story was somehow incomplete and inconclusive, even though it was entertaining.
Overall, I don’t regret reading this trilogy, because it really was a breath of fresh air in the genre. The first book was easily the best of the three and still one of my all-time favorites despite my lower rating of the final two books (2.5 stars — I liked them, but I didn’t really like them). What can I say? The first book set such a high standard that it would’ve been difficult for anything else to compare.