Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review - End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, Book Three) by Susan Ee

Publication Date: November 19th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Where to Buy:

Here's the Summary:

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?

My Thoughts:

Since this is the sequel to World After, I'm not going to break this one down into my "the good, the bad and the ugly" categories. I'm reading this series because the first book caught my eye, and quite frankly, I fell hard. This series is everything. *pensive sigh*

So let's start with everything I loved about this third and final installment, and I'll try really hard not to give anything away. Raffe and Penryn's love is as angsty as ever in the beginning. After they're reunited, they spend a few days in hiding together and things start to get a little steamy... until Raffe has to pry himself away from her again and remind her (and himself) why their love can never be. He remembers what happened to his men all those years ago, how they'd been banished to the Pit to basically rot and become demons. Not to mention, he wants to be Messenger, and he can't very well be gallivanting around with a human if he wants the position. It just wasn't in the cards for them to be together. But don't lose hope, my lovelies, because the ending will more than satisfy. ;) And there are a few more sweet/ steamy/ tear-your-heart out moments in between.

Another great thing about this book is it gives you a little more background story on one of the nastiest characters - Beliel. And you start to find yourself almost feeling bad for him. That, to me, is the mark of a good writer: their characters aren't all good or all bad. Something (or a lot of somethings) happened to them in life to make them the way they are. And sometimes, the good ones started out bad, or the bad ones started out good. And some of them are equal parts of both.

Something else that I loved was the author's portrayal of Hell (the Pit) and the demon lords. And as a Public Service Announcement, her descriptions of the demon lords and their whips with human heads on the ends and what they do to fallen angels will make you lose sleep. These books are NOT for the squeamish, but they're also amazingly descriptive and original.

I'm not worthy!!!

Now for the ending - the most important part of a series! I've already mentioned that readers won't be disappointed with the way Raffe and Penryn's love story ends (and lets be honest, that's what the majority of us cared about), but we also want to know the fate of the world! What's going to happen to the rest of humanity? Without being too spoilery, we learn that there will be a contest where angels will kill as many humans as possible, so will the human race be gone for good now? Not while our feisty little Penryn is still breathing! But that's all I'll say, other than to be prepared to gasp, dig your nails into something, and have to take momentary mental breaks so you can cope with what's going on. Susan Ee gives us one heck of a fight scene at the end!

Now that I'm done with the things I LOVED, I'll dig into the things that took away half a star... though I'll still round it up to five because I'm so obsessed with the story and the characters. And let me preface this by saying that in the grand scheme of things, they aren't even that big of a deal and don't detract from the overall story; we're still given one hell of a ride. But there are a few things that made me go "huh?"


For instance, it's a tad silly to me how an angel can have his wings sliced off and reattached so many times (three times, if I counted right), and then he flies around on them like nothing happened. I get that they're angels and that they heal faster than humans, but when they get injured in other parts of the book, they need time to recover. And they're freaking slicing through his wing joints! Sometimes not even with the careful hand of a surgeon. Twice, his wings are brutally cut off with axes or a sword. I just couldn't reconcile that in my head.

Something else that didn't seem right to me was that Penryn would be off taking care of other things while TRUSTING the winged scorpions to look after her sister Paige. The same sister she fought so hard to find and protect in the other two novels. Granted, Paige had some involuntary... alterations done to her body, thanks to a surgeon, and could better fend for herself now, and these scorpions were like her pets, but they were also unpredictable and it felt out of place for Penryn to trust them with a member of her family.

In conclusion, while there were a few things that bugged me, overall this was a fantastic ending to one of the best series I've ever read. Susan Ee has a way of sucking you with her writing and characters, and it won't let go until the end. Be prepared to miss a lot of sleep! 

About the Author:

Susan Ee is a USA Today bestselling author of the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy, ANGELFALL, WORLD AFTER, and END OF DAYS. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages, and her short films have played at major festivals. She used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.

Sign up to hear about her next book at or follow her on Twitter @Susan_Ee.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Little Teaser Before Vacation - Lilliana

Happy-almost-Friday, Angels! For the next ten days I'm going to be on a beach somewhere with little to no contact with the outside world - sorry to rub that in ;) - so what kind of an author would I be if I didn't leave a little something to hold you over until October 1st? We're literally 16 days away from the release of Lilliana! *squeals*



Excerpt from Lilliana,
Novella to the Captivated Series


The last living LaRoux sister is pissed and out for revenge. In "Lilliana," the second and final novella to the Captivated Series, follow the brazen, immortal dark conjurer as she sets out on a quest to make her sisters' killers pay.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Links to Pre-order:



When Kat snuck back to her room, I took the opportunity to slip out behind her and make my way through the unlit halls to the Principal’s office. Luckily I’d already passed it when I’d followed Ronnie around earlier, so I knew where it was. I needed to know more about these cameras – when they would be installed. What kind of cameras they were. But of course his door was locked, so I’d have to wait and come back again during the day.
My next order of business? The woods. Kat seemed to think Gabriel was still out there with his hybrid buddies, and though the woods (the place my sister was killed) was the last place I wanted to be, I needed to know more about Pretty Boy and the others.
On my way to one of the nearest exits, I realized I was passing through another dorm wing. Part of me wanted to try snooping around to see if I recognized any of the kids inside the rooms, but I refrained because I didn’t want to open a door and risk one of them being awake. The last thing I needed was a screaming kid. I’d already almost gotten caught two times today and I didn’t want to push my luck.
Speaking of getting caught, when I made it to the door with a big red EXIT sign above it, I realized I hadn’t considered that they might have alarms on these things.
I didn’t see any type of sticker or sign suggesting that an alarm would sound, but did I really want to find out?
Way to think this out, genius.
This was when having Daemon around would have helped. Maybe he would have thought to keep something propped open. Or maybe he would have known how not to trip an alarm. Me? I was useless on the subject. It didn’t involve men or borrowing appearances or manipulating emotions. And of course, I’d left the marbles back at the hotel, so I couldn’t just smash one and ask Daemon what to do. A frustrated laugh worked its way out, and I’d be lying if I said my former confidence hadn’t deflated a little.
I looked down below my feet. I’m your one hope for revenge, sisters. Me. I’ll go ahead and apologize for the disappointment.
* * *
The only thing I could think to do was slump against a wall and wait until morning, and though I was in desperate need of a glass of wine and a bed, I’d have to settle for nothing and a tiled floor… courtesy of my own stupidity.
An hour or so had passed, and I was now lying against the floor with my head nestled into the crook of my arm, my white-blonde hair splaying across the checkerboard tile. This was the only position that didn’t cause my butt to go numb, but it was far from comfortable. At least I wasn’t at risk of falling asleep, not that my brain would have let me anyway. This was the first time I’d been alone, really alone with my thoughts since my sisters had passed, and as I laid there against the cold floor in this dark hallway, just a good walk away from the woods where Iris died, I couldn’t help but think about our childhood. Our bond. Our deceased parents. Our once promising future. It wasn’t supposed to be this way – me lying lonely in the hallway of a school where my sister’s killers lived. My immortal sisters and I should have been on a remote beach somewhere, sipping margaritas and laughing about how Trueblood never would have stood a chance at finding us.
 A door creaked open somewhere in the darkness, interrupting my pity party, and I stiffened, momentarily forgetting that whoever it was couldn’t see me because of the invisibility spell.
The silhouette of a teenage boy slipped from one of the dorm rooms, paused to scan the hallways. Something about the set of his shoulders, his athletic build, his light hair, made my insides clench.
Speaking of my sister’s killer….
When he assumed he was alone, he hurried down the hallway and around a corner, and I sprang to my feet and ran after him. Where the hell was he going in the middle of the night?
I followed him down hallway after hallway (this school really was absurdly big), and just when I thought he was probably playing some kind of outsmart the patrolling officers game, he skulked his way to a door with EXIT over the top and gingerly pushed it open.
I winced expectantly, waiting for alarms and red flashing lights and a rush of officers. Surely this idiot was about to give himself away. But… nothing happened. He made it out into the night without any issues and took a hard left.
Well, shit. I’d stayed holed up in here for nothing. Either Levi knew that this door didn’t have a working alarm sensor on it, or none of them did and this particular door led to somewhere he wanted to go.
I followed him out into the cold night air, around a few corners and along a stretch of the building, and as we passed exit after exit, I realized my first assumption was true – Levi had gone out of his way to leave through that particular door because it wouldn’t cause the alarm to sound. I made sure to memorize how to get to it from the inside (and outside) so I could come and go as I pleased.
Thanks, Levi, I thought as I watched him leave the protective cover of the building and head toward the courtyard. The same courtyard from earlier today. He basically gave me the keys to the building.
I tentatively followed him there, unsure if I could control myself if I were alone with him, this kid who’d cut Iris’ head off, for an extended period of time. But really, what would be the harm in killing just this one? Maybe I could temporarily get it out of my system and then I could concentrate on the others better. He was the one who deserved it the most anyway... other than Kat. And who would see if I decided to snap his neck? Strangle him until his heart stopped beating?
I clasped my hands together so hard my knuckles popped, and I swallowed against the temptation.
As satisfying as it would be, a dead or missing kid would cause a panic. A heavier police presence.
Iris’ voice echoed through my mind: Control yourself, Lil.
I found myself sitting on a bench across from him so I could watch him for a while. See if he went anywhere else or if someone else might show. Maybe he was supposed to meet someone here. But as the minutes dragged on, as he dove deeper into his solitude, he seemed to drift into sadness. His strong shoulders were drooping; the attractive lines of his face had hardened; his eyes were glistening with tears. He let out a long, shaky sigh, a cloud of icy breath drifting away with the breeze, and he ran a hand through his blonde-tipped hair, rested his forearms against his knees as he stared at the ground between us. Something about this place – maybe a memory? – picked at a raw, gaping sore in his heart. Probably something to do with Kat and the way she’d ripped him to pieces by cheating on him. To be honest, though, it kind of surprised me that he looked so sad over it. When he’d been around her and the others at dinner, he seemed a lot more comfortable with their situation.
Leave it to a guy to bottle shit up. But at least that meant it would probably lead to an explosion later.
See? Iris said in my thoughts. Aren’t you glad you didn’t go ahead and kill him?
Okay, fine. So maybe not going ahead and killing him had been helpful, after all. Now I needed to figure out a way to make his wound a little bigger. Not that I still didn’t want to snap this kid’s neck. But sure… I guess I could wait until I’d played with him a little more. Found a way to make him a little more miserable.
I sat there with him for another good hour, nearly freezing my tits off, but nobody showed. He really was out here just to brood about Kat.
I cupped my hands over my mouth and blew into them (not that it did much good. Next time I would bring a jacket and gloves), looked to the sky to see that the moon was already on the descent. Damn. I’d been at this school a good fourteen hours and I still wanted to visit the woods before dawn to see if I could find Pretty Boy. Footsteps in the forest would be harder to mask in the daylight. It would be like walking in snow – they’d see me coming. Not to mention, it would already be hard as hell to get to them without them hearing me.
I then made yet another mental note – levitating. I needed to find something about that in the spell books. That way I could float my way through the school and woods to spy.
I looked back to Levi and started to stand, but in a way I found it hard to leave. Like if I left him I’d never see him again and would miss my chance at killing him forever. And there was something else there, something I’d picked up on as I sat with him in the quiet. I’d sensed it a few times in the air between us – something looming and ominous. Potent. I couldn’t quite figure out if it was a gift he possessed or if it was the promise of something in his future. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that it might affect me and my plans. Like if there was anything at all that could thwart my quest for revenge, this boy would hold the key.
As I turned and walked away, I had to clasp my numb hands together again to keep from launching back over to him and killing him. Patience, I reminded myself. Levi wasn’t going to go anywhere, and I’d kill him before he would have a chance to ruin things for me. Besides, fate had obviously brought me to him tonight. I'd been at the right place at the right time to follow him out of the only door without an alarm.
These kids were meant to be delivered over to death, and I was meant to be the one to do it.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Music Crush Monday - Vice by Miranda Lambert

Happy Monday, Angels! As we gear up for the release of Lilliana, I wanted to share a song that fits pretty dang perfectly with a small piece of who Lilliana is. We see touches of it in Iris, but this time around we're getting up close and personal with not only who she is as a person, but what she's been going through in the wake of losing her sisters, as well as with some of her vices... like men and alcohol. Devastation has a way of making us want to escape into something else, even if it isn't the healthiest. Miranda Lambert even has blonde like Lilliana and has that 'bad girl' air about her. Too perfect! So have yourself a little listen below and check back on October 1st for when Lilliana is officially released...

Love to all

Another vice, another town, where my past can't run me down
Another life, another call, another bed I shouldn't crawl out of
At 7AM with shoes in my hand
Said I wouldn't do it, but I did it again
And I know I'll be gone tomorrow night
Another vice