Jan 8, 2010

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385738935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385738934
  • Source: won a copy in a contest hosted by the publisher
There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret... even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Fallen was one of Dar's Friday Finds. Ever since, I was dying to read it. I admit, mostly because of the amazing cover. The girl (Luce?) reminds me of Amy Lee from Evanescence, one of my favorite bands. Then it appeared all over the blogosphere and I've read so many reviews of this book that, when I eventually got my own copy, I thought there would be no big surprises. But there were some, and while I had some issues with it, I'm still glad I read it.

The first two hundred pages of the book were very slow. The Prologue, from Daniel's perspective was promising much. Then the POV switched to Luce and her 200-page long introduction of Sword and Cross facilities and the few supporting characters. Someone said that the slow start worked well for them, but not for me. I fought through the first 200 pages waiting for the action to begin.

But when it began, I couldn't have been more excited about it.I had a hard time putting the book down to get something else done. One by one, the characters reveal their true faces and species (is it the right word when we talk about angels?) For some of them, I really never would have guessed, especially Miss Sophia, Arriane and Gabbe; I rather thought Pennyweather was one of them. The revelation of Miss Sophia's intentions was a shock. Molly did seem an imp of Satan from the very beginning (she's not! though she's not far from it...

I better stop before I spoil too much, but I'll just say that the supporting characters were of much more interest to me than Luce. I had a lot of troubles trying to figure her out. Lauren Kate put a lot of effort into telling us (less showing) what a wreck she is, and she's quite messed up. Here I second the thoughts of several other bloggers who found her to be too passive. To some extend, it can be understood; her boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances and she is dubbed to have a fair share of responsibility in his death; she lands in a reform school where she's cut off from the rest of the world; and not to be forgotten, the shadows follow her wherever she goes.She's very insecure and comes across as too helpless and confused. And Daniel's hot and cold game doesn't make it easier for her.

I think that some aspects of the story could have been explored deeper. I want to know more about the shadows, the beginning of the battle and the truce between Daniel and Cam. The book ends with a cliffhanger that will have you crave for more. The second book in the series, Torment, is coming September 2010. Can it, please, come faster?

To sum up; there are some weak spots, but I'm still glad to have read it. What makes it special is the fallen angels thematic; also there's a special atmosphere, dark and mysterious, about the setting, that just soaks you in and keeps you coming back for more.There are many loose ends to be tied up in Torment. Also, it will be interesting to see it on big screen (it's been optioned by Disney).
Lauren Kate was my guest here at Willing to See Less for a little chat. You can read the interview here.

More things to do for fans: grab the Fallen widget, visit the official RandomHouse Fallen website, follow Lauren on Twitter and join the Facebook fan-page Fiercebook 

Watch the trailer:

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