Genre: Urban Fantasy / Angel Fiction
Target audience: 12+
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours? 17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross ...only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. Some angels are destined to fall...
I have read many conflicting reviews of Fallen over the past few weeks. Some glowing, some slating and some that were reviwers sitting on the fence. Having just finished it, I cannot wait to post my feelings on this book. I guess my reviewer's block has disappeared, horray!
Fallen's story begins with Luce arriving at her reform school, Swords and Crosses. She is coping with the emotional trauma of the incident that resulted in her enrolment there. But she has been seeing doctors and psychiatrists for years. Luce is desperately trying to piece to together the night of the incident and discover if she is as unhinged as some people believe. She doesn't protest against this change in her life and I related that to her guilt and confusion about that night.
For me, Luce lacks power in this novel. She lacks the knowledge from her past that can effectively set her free or give her control of the events that unfold around her. That is not to say that she is a weak character. I felt that she had the potential to grow into a strong heroine and I'm sure in the next book in the Fallen series - Torment - she undoubtedly will do. Although her actions towards Daniel are compelled by unexplained feelings of deja vu and desire, they had me completely convinced as the reader. I found her first meeting with him so shocking and I couldn't help but be drawn into Luce's world. Daniel was a mystery that I couldn't wait to solve. Cam, on the other hand, I wanted to throttle. He irritated me and I did feel frustrated at times by Luce's naivity when it came to him. I also found it understandable. Alone at a new school, mistrusted by your family and people you thought were your friends, would you not be looking for someone to comfort and love you? I think Lauren Kate's characterisation was superb.
The plot moved at such a fast pace and so I had finished Fallen in just two days. I really didn't want to put it down. As the story developed, I became more and more enthralled by the fallen angel premise. The links to Paradise Lost fascinated me which came as no surprise as I was captivated by it during university. Milton's portrayal of Lucifer as the charismatic leader that is ruled by pride but also self-loathing. He feels hell within him but also he experiences human emotion. It is so compelling to read and bringing this background knowledge to Fallen just enhanced my reading experience. I even have my highly annotated copy of Paradise Lost in front of me. I want to read all my favourite lines.
This is the sort of book that I wish I had written. It has everything that I love in a book. If Torment was out, I would be on my way to the nearest book store to buy it and then would be up all night to finish it. There were many unanswered questions at the end but they're along the lines of "What's the key to the connection between Harry and Voldemort?" The sort of question that I would happily read another six books in the series to find outthe answer. Of course, this is just me and I do love angel books in any format. You may not feel that the connection between Daniel and Luce is explored enough to be convincing. You may think that Luce is a weak and unflattering role model to young women. Personally, I think that all will be revealed in the fullness of time.
Overall, I am seriously and unashamedly addicted to this book. What I would give to have my hands on a copy of Torment right now? I might even be willing to fall for it! I would certainly jump off of any fence to defend it. Fallen is definitely in my top five books of the year. Hell, I'll just say it. I LOVE this book!
Thanks to Lauren at Random House for sending me this review copy.