… “Hey, you! Dinnertime! I’m over here, you scabby rats! Come and get me!”
The Hyundai is rocking with hellions as they pile on. I’m about to screech out of the lot – or at least make donuts until all the hellions head my way and leave the rest of the people alone – when I feel a thump. The car drops on one side. Then I see the shredded rubber of a tire being flung over the hood.
That was the front tire.
I stare dumbly at the ripped-up tire as it flops and wobbles to a standstill in the parking lot.
Then so many hellions pile onto my car that I can’t see the tire anymore.
I stroke the fur of my teddy bear. It’s all I can think to do.
Pooky Bear can’t help me in a vehicle. Not a lot of room to slice and dice.
That means I need to exit the car if I want a chance at getting out of this.
I sit in the car.
I wonder how long a person can stay in a vehicle.
But then, of course, the hellions begin pounding on the windshield. (p. 105)
Seven years old. That is how old poor Paige is when the angels take her from her mother and sister and do medical experiments on her. Seven years old is how old Paige is when Penryn manages to rescue Paige and seven years old is how old Paige is when she sees the rejection of her new self from her sister and others. The only one who accepts Paige as she is happens to be her schizophrenic mother. Seven years old. Seven years old.
Paige’s story is the one that affects me the most in World After. Paige’s story is the one that causes my mind to ponder the concept of rejection and how rejection creates invisible wounds in an already visibly wounded body. And Paige’s story is the one that brings to mind the many people out there who have been changed visibly and invisibly themselves. How do I meet them? Am I one of them? How many wounds can a person bear before they become lost?
Penryn and Paige’s mother is a paranoid schizophrenic. Except in The End of Days serial many of her paranoias are real. Now the monsters are here and doing their best to off humanity. My grandmother was a paranoid schizophrenic. From what my father has told of his childhood Susan Ee‘s description of how a paranoid schizophrenic can appear to others seems right on the dot. The pain of the fear a person carries in such a condition is incomprehensible.
Penryn feels guilty at not being able to accept Paige as she is. I believe that is probably a common feeling when a person comes back changed from an accident or war or disease. After all, the person we loved seems to have disappeared. Perhaps they have. Perhaps we just need to see past the wounds and scars. Penryn is only 17 and 17 is awfully young to have experienced what she has. So Penryn carries wounds of her own, although hers are invisible. Her childhood and the responsibilities she ended up with, the first days after the world ended and having an angel steal her little sister would threaten to destroy a person. In part it does. But not completely. Penryn finds short-term solutions to deal with her inner wounds and a way to hold on to hope.
Penryn And The End of Days serial is a difficult serial to read for an old woman due to Susan Ee’s amazing writing. This is definitely a serial I recommend, painful as it is.
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (21 Nov 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1444778536
- ISBN-13: 978-1444778533
My review of Angelfall
Cover art by Silverlute
Angelfall is Susan Ee’s debut novel and the first book in the Penryn & The End of Days series. Wow. That woman has talent. The story of Penryn’s hunt for her sister is moving and exciting. It shows how low people can stoop and high they can rise once they are thrown into chaos through war. The angels have decided to destroy civilisation as we know it and Penryn and her family are one of the many victims. The situation is not made any simpler by Penryn’s mother being schizophrenic paranoid or her little-sister Paige having to use a wheel-chair.
Penryn’s mother is nuts. She is a frightening person that comes around every once in a while. But Penryn manages to communicate with her and is the parent in their little family. She has to make all of the tough decisions.
Then they are torn apart when the angels decide to take Penryn’s little sister – all because Penryn happened to throw a sword. Now Penryn ends up saving an angel (Rafe), making a deal with him and traipsing through dangers in her search for Paige. It isn’t easy being 17 years old and stuck with this kind of life.
There is plenty of action and the author manages to get whatever messages she has across without preaching. I loved it.