My Rating: ★★★★☆
Series: Penryn & the End of Days, #2
Release Date: November 19th, 2013
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.
When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.
Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.
Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?
*No spoilers for World After, but one spoiler for Angelfall. Go read it first!
3.5 Stars. Yeah, I said it.
“You broke me out of the grasp of a living horror when I thought all hope was gone. You gave me the opportunity to crawl back to life when no one else could.”
She glances over at me, her eyes shining in the dark. “You’re a hero, Penryn, whether you like it or not.”
And there you have it. Penryn Young is a reluctant hero.
I think we’ve all become so accustomed to the typical YA heroine, that when a “Penryn” comes along, the masses lose their damn minds. That’s the craze that this series has brought about. It’s not the same as the hype of many shitty YA books past, though. When I read a YA, I’m usually bracing myself for the worst. TSTL Mary Sues have become the norm, though it still baffles me. Penryn is neither TSTL nor too good to be true. She’s a different kind of animal.
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They say the world used to turn. They say that night would follow day in an endless dance. They say that dawn rose, dusk fell, and we worshiped both sun and stars.
That was a long time ago.
The dance has died. The world has fallen still. We float through the heavens, one half always in light, one half always in shadow. Like the moth of our forests, one wing white and the other black, we are torn.
My people are the fortunate. We live in daylight, blessed in the warmth of the sun. Yet across the line, the others lurk in eternal night, afraid… and alone in the dark.
I was born in the light. I was sent into darkness. This is my story.
**No spoiler. Or spoilers, either.
Well, that was surprisingly good. I wasn’t sure what to expect of Moth, but with that kickass synopsis (seriously, did you read that frikkin thing?), I had an inkling that I would like it. And I did.
Without taking into account the logistics or science, it’s a fascinating world these people live in. Half is bathed in eternal sunlight and half is cloaked by eternal night. Yesss. I dunno why I hissed, but I really like that.. There’s more to it, though. The people of each half know little of their neighbors. Both sides are shrouded in mystery for one another and myths and speculation abound. Much like in our own world, their respective ignorance breeds fear and hate.
We get a few POV’s that are, thankfully, not in 1st person. The “main” POV, Torin, is a likable fellow with a fantastic sidekick who would have made an even better MC. Bailey is a kickass chick with a big heart. I instantly liked her. I want her to have her own storyline. I think she’s capable of great things.
At first, I was concerned about one character in particular – Koyee – who had a very boring and immature voice. In time, her story managed to ensnare me and I came to care for her deeply. The majority of my personal angst, as evidenced by my angsty status updates, can be attributed to this character and her journey.
The truth is that I cared for nearly all of the characters. At one point, we’re introduced to a new group and again, I didn’t think I’d care much about their story, but in time, I did. You have a gift, Mr. Arenson.
All the characters are rich, flawed and endearing, except for those few that are rich, flawed, and infuriating. Even they are great characters, though. They certainly make you sit up and feel, be it indignation or rage. Kudos to the author for provoking so many emotions. I also wanna make note that there were no weak, feebleminded female characters. All the ladies were tough as balls and that was super-refreshing.
Arenson certainly pulls no punches when it comes to violence and gore, but it all fit well within the story and wasn’t overdone in any way. It was perfectly suited to my tastes. I like my stories gritty and dirty and there is much grit to these interwoven stories. The oppression and injustices affected me tremendously.
There were only a couple of things that put me off slightly. As I mentioned, I found Koyee’s POV in the beginning to be very dull. I wanted to tear my hair out. Though it did become interesting, it made it hard to get into the book at first. I know this is typical for Fantasy, but personally, I like a faster pace. The other POV’s were great, but I felt like the story nearly stopped when it would switch to her. Thankfully, it was short-lived.
The other thing that threw me off was that same character at the end. She kept yelling out these melodramatic battle cries reminiscent of Lionheart, but cheesy instead. It really took me out of the intensity of the story. Everything had come to a head and there was Koyee, yelling out corny warrior cries. I forgave her, because the girl has heart, but I wanted to shake her.
Despite these couple of things, I really enjoyed Moth. For the most part, I was riveted and found myself rushing to get back to it whenever I would put it down. That doesn’t happen to me often anymore, so this was definitely a treat.
Be forewarned, this is the first in a series and for that I’m glad. Though it didn’t end on a cliffhanger, there were a lot of loose ends and I can’t wait to see where Arenson takes these characters next.