Crowd Psychology: A Review of Susan Ee’s “World After”

Posted: April 28, 2015 in Book Review, Young Adult
Tags: ,

Goodreads.com Description: “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?”

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

Susan Ee’s World After was another superb read! I loved this follow up to Angelfall.

Ee used an interesting technique to give insight into Raffe–visions provided by the Sword affectionately named Pooky Bear (P.B.) by Penryn. P.B. helped her learn how to use it in fighting. The visions also helped Penryn to develop affection for Raffe. She was finally able to understand that he was not a bad angel.

The concept of good vs evil was the premise of World After. Raffe represented Good. Beliel (a Fallen Angel) and Uriel (an Archangel determined to become God’s Messenger) were the representatives of everything Evil. Ee added the idea of principles to differentiate between the concepts. Raffe was highly principled. He would not break nor bend the rules no matter how he felt about Penryn. Beliel and Uriel, on the other hand, broke rules if it got them what they desired. And, what prompts this war between good and evil? Power. It’s nice to know that even angels aren’t immune to the lure of absolute power.

World After also included an insight on crowd mentality aka herd mentality. Mob or crowd psychology “describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items” (Wikipedia). The Resistance was founded on this psychology–angels are bad, we must band together to fight back. The reaction after the attack by the Scorpions hinged on mob psychology. No one listened to Penryn who survived a Scorpion assault. This mentality prevailed when Paige attacked and killed a man and in the treatment of Clare (another Scorpion assault victim).

Ee incorporated great details in World After. I’ve never been to Alcatraz, but she’s probably taken the tour. I got a clear picture of a place I’d never want to visit. She included common detail expertly. Everyone knows that the water is bone chilling and filled with sharks. It kept the convicts on the island. But, she didn’t just tell us that. We got that concept from Penryn’s experience in the water.

Finally, readers got a bit of humor from Ee. I found it hilarious picturing the Sword introducing herself to other swords as Pooky Bear. Even Penryn’s inability to put together a coordinated outfit was funny.

I highly recommend World After. I’m anxiously awaiting End of Days.

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