Living Within the Pages – Book Review #10

13 12 2010

Title: Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate

Series: Fallen (#1)

Amazon Rating: 3.5

Goodreads Rating: 3.81

Alex’s Rating: 3

I was excited to start Lauren Kate’s novel Fallen, as I am an avid YA genre reader with personal research and interest in vampires and angels. As many Amazon reviews state, the marketing for this book was extremely generous. The book was definitely hard to get into, I had to keep persevering, if only to get to a reconciliation between Luce and Daniel. The hot-and-cold, back-and-forth emotional rollercoaster Daniel put on Luce was exhausting and annoying. I am surprised the author’s editor didn’t tell her to bring it on sooner.

It wasn’t until around 250 or so that I felt Daniel really did have more of an interest and feelings for Luce than he let on. In actuality, it was Cam’s character that intrigued me most up until this point and I kept reading to see how his and Luce’s relationship progressed. Call me a sucker for a mischievous boy who you just can’t pin a label to, but I enjoyed his character very much.

At about page 300 was when I really saw Daniel’s feelings for Luce. The incident in the library with him fighting Cam and the several succeeding chapters are what really hooked me. The love triangle I had been waiting for was finally coming to fruition! It was also at this point Luce started putting things together: Daniel is from a line of “Watchers,” he is an angel, and he is involved in a millennia long war against (well this is where I get confused) other fallen angels, demons, shadows?

Although I was happy to see that this time around, the love between Daniel and Luce was “different,” I was still left dissatisfied by the end. We are told they are able to kiss because something is different this time around with Luce. We are told it is because her parents did not baptize her, leaving her soul “up for grabs.” But again, with this point I was left hanging. What does it mean her soul is “up for grabs?” Up for grabs with the “good” fallen angels or the “bad” fallen angels? What exactly is Luce’s role in the longest and greatest battle of all time? What exactly is this battle? Good versus evil? None of these ideas were fleshed out. I realize this might have been on purpose because the book is part of a series, but I can’t help but feel that a good development editor couldn’t have really steered this book onto the right track.

I had several more qualms with this book. The “shadows” that were so prominent in Luce’s world were never explained enough. Sure, Daniel says they are “Announcers,” gossips reporting to someone else. But who is this someone else? What do they want with Luce? Why are they sending shadows to her? As warnings, omens? Again, I am lost.

I think the reason I gave this book a chance was because of its premise. I love angel novels, and I haven’t really found one I feel really fulfills me (although the Grace series by S.L. Naeole is really wonderful). I have so many questions still for this series, and it is because I want those answered will I continue to read this series. I think Lauren Kate has a story with great potential, but I just couldn’t get myself to “love” this story or even the characters (sadly, except for Cam). What is it with people writing wonderful villains but not so great heroes/heroines?

My largest questions are:

1) Why are Cam and Daniel both fighting for Luce? It seemed Cam wanted her genuinely, but then told Daniel he couldn’t wait to annihilate her, only then at the end of the book to say he “just wants her. You know why,” (Cam speaking to Daniel as they watch Luce sleep). What is this triangle?
2) Why were all of these angels at Sword & Cross anyway? They were there before Luce came, so they could not have been there because they came to protect her.
3) What really happened the night her boyfriend Trevor died in the fire? The fire that got her exiled to Sword & Cross in the first place.
4) What are the shadows really? Why can Luce see them? Who do they belong to?
5) What is this “longest, greatest battle ever fought?” Is it the fight between “good” and “evil?” I feel like I need this spelled out better.
6) What was Miss Sophia’s role? I feel like she all of a sudden went nutso and we were left with the explanation that she is part of a secret sect of Heavenly Elders. I need more on this subject please Miss Kate.
7) And what did Miss Sophia mean that fate of everyone’s eternal souls lies in two lovers? What exactly is tipping the balance when Miss Sophia tried to kill Luce? Why does Miss Sophia want Daniel “freed up?”

I’m hoping to get some of my questions answered in the sequel Torment. I have that sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Although I am not in love with this series, I don’t regret that I read them. Just get through the grueling first half and you shall be rewarded. Perhaps it was “first book in a series” syndrome and numero dos is much better. Let’s pray. (Pun intended.)

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