End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days #3) by Susan Ee

End of Days - Susan Ee

Penryn, Raffe and Paige are on the run after an epic showdown with angels.  Penryn is so tired and confused.  As an archangel Raffe is a member of the invading army, yet Penryn is drawn to him.  For his part, Raffe knows he is forbidden from the daughter of man and with an impending fake apocalypse in the works by Uriel.  Pookie Bear the ancient sword is determined to through it's own issues into the mix by delving into Raffe's past.  Penryn has fallen deeply for Raffe but after seeing that he hasn't always been faithful to his friends, Penryn must decide if she can trust him not with her heart but with the fate of all humanity.  Which side will the archangel choose?

I really went into End of Days hopeful but alas it seems that my hope is sadly misplaced.  I wanted End of Days to be absolutely epic, particularly given that World After (book 2 in the series) felt like a placeholder.  End of Days ended abruptly after a large battle scene and Ee swiftly brought about the HEA as though there was always one way for this book to end - Penryn and Raffe becoming a couple. There are plenty of instances where the typical YA HEA just doesn't make sense and End of Days is certainly an example of this.

It made absolute sense to me that Raff is resistant to a relationship with Penryn for much of the book. To be clear, Penryn is a 17 year old girl and Raff is not only immortal but has been alive since before Lucifer was cast out of heaven.  What could he possibly have to talk with Penryn about? Other than the circumstances which brought them together and keep forcing them together, there is no basis for a romantic relationship.  Affection between Raffe and Penryn make sense considering all they have been together but romantic love?  The very idea is ridiculous.  

Penryn's idea of dealing with Raffe's reaction is to ask him repeatedly if she's his daughter of man.  When that doesn't get her the answer she wants, Penryn takes the opportunity while Raffe is sleeping to place his hand on her breast.  Ummm that's assault.  It doesn't matter that Raffe awoke and caressed and squeezed Penryn's breast of his volition.   This incident really moved Penryn into just an annoying, lovestruck teen into someone who doesn't believe in consent and is absolutely selfish.  Her continual mooning over Raffe, often at the most inopportune moments couldn't erase reading about Penryn assaulting him.  

When the HEA does finally happen, it doesn't feel joyous or wonderful, it feels like Raffe capitulated because he couldn't take Penryn's badgering him anymore.  The cynical side of me pictures Raffe realising that Penryn, while only 17, is still human and destined to die and therefore; whatever commitment they have to each other will be short lived.  The fact that Penryn is mortal and Raffe is immortal and ageless is more than enough reason for them to never ever be a couple.  Ee softens tries to make Raffe's declaration of love makes sense but even Ee cannot hide the capitulation despite the pretty words she has Raffe say.

‘Don’t you know a heartfelt declaration of love when you hear one?’ 
I blink dumbly at him with my heart pounding.

 He caresses a lock of my hair out of my face. ‘Look, I know that we’re from different worlds and different people. But I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter.’

‘You don’t care about the angelic rules anymore?’

‘My Watchers have helped me realize that angelic rules are for angels. Without our wings, we can never be fully accepted back into the fold. There will always be talk of taking a newly Fallen’s wings and transplanting them onto us. Angels are perfect. Even with transplanted wings, we’ll never again be perfect. You accept me just the way I am, regardless of whether or not I even have wings. Even when I had my demon wings, you’ve never looked at me with pity. You’ve never wavered in your loyalty. That’s who you are – my brave, loyal, lovable Daughter of Man. (pg 262)

Even if Raffe goes home, he will never quite fit in again after all that's transpired and he most certainly cannot become a Messenger.  What options does he have left at this point but to decide to be with Penryn while she lives out her mortal life?   It would have made sense of Raffe left with the angels and little overly persistent Penryn learned you can't always get what you want.  Putting Raffe and Penryn together was always going to be coarse and ridiculous because as a romantic couple, they are absurd at best.

 

 

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Source: http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2015/07/end-of-days-penryn-end-of-days-3-by.html