I recently read ‘Fallen’ by Lauren Kate. I have her book ‘Waterfall’ in my TBR pile but this is the first I’ve read from this author. I’m sort of wishing I hadn’t though. That’s a week of my life I’ll never get back. I normally LOVE stories about fallen angels. But this one, this one was enough to cure me from reading any of them for a while. Honestly, it took me another week and another book to even get up the motivation to care enough to write this review.
From the cover:
“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.”
The premise was typical but with a twist – Angel falls for a human girl. Girl falls for Angel. Both become damned and while he is immortal, she is not. So they spend the next couple thousand years like this: Her finding him (or vice versa), they fall in love (he remembers their past lives but she doesn’t), she dies almost immediately after their first kiss, and he waits around for her to be reborn (approximately every 17 years), and the dance starts all over again. It was a new spin compared to the ones I’ve read where the love story is based on a single lifespan. I am fascinated by past lives and déjà vu so that angle tickled me. Sadly, that’s the only thing I liked about this story.
First of all, I’m all for enduring love. Soul mates, together even in the afterlife, and all that jazz. Two people that find each other again and again, life after life, across the span of the ages. Maybe it’s the rarity of it that draws me. In any case, my realist side tends to rear its head when the theme is not presented realistically, even in a paranormal or fantasy genre. This story completely failed the believable threshold for me. I couldn’t help but want to slap Daniel because he should know better after all these lives. I mean, seriously, at some point you have to let that love go. Decades after decades, millennia followed by millennia, and the cycle repeats. It never changes. She always dies right after he lets himself fall for her. Then he’s left to wallow in his grief until she returns. It’s like he is incapable of learning. Sure, he supposedly tried to stay away, but if he honestly loved her and cared for her, he could’ve done better. He could’ve left when she showed up. He could’ve continued to be an absolute jerk like he started out being in this life. Why hasn’t all this pain and torture twisted him into a bitter person anyway? That would make sense to me. At some point, you need to stop touching that hot stove and burning the crap out of your hand. Continuing to do so after thousands of years is just plain stupid. I turned that last page thinking Daniel was an idiot.
Secondly, the pace started out okay but turned stuttering and annoying. Since the story is written from Luce’s point of view, we only get bits and pieces as she gets them. I was just as frustrated as she was, especially when the angels kept saying that she’d have to “awaken” to the truth on her own or it could kill her. Allegedly, hearing the full story has killed her in the past. I wanted to grit my teeth and force them to spill. Every time she came close to something, was on the verge of discovering some truth, she was shut down and/or distracted. I started to feel like this was a horrible attempt to stretch out the story. An author’s version of the LOTR films, “I can’t give you all the secrets because I want to turn this into a series. I want to suck up as much money as possible by stringing my readers along.” Some stories can warrant this tactic. The ACTUAL Tolkien books, for example, required that much time and effort. To fully understand and appreciate the characters, to grasp the underlying theme(s), it justifiably takes that much time. This story, I honestly believe could’ve been wrapped in two, MAYBE three books. Not 5!
Finally, all she remembers is Daniel but apparently someone else has a past with her too? Why doesn’t she remember him? Why doesn’t she have some inkling of a connection like she does with Daniel? But yes, we’re supposed to buy into that red herring. Right. Try again Ms. Kate. It was a pointless attempt to gain our attention after all the A.D.D. meandering that last half of the story took; no doubt using this to lure her readers into buying the next book. However, if it weren’t for the mega anger issues, I’d definitely like this other guy better than Daniel. Daniel is sweet, albeit an utter moron when it comes to Luce, but this guy has edge. He’s funny, considerate, and a complete sweetheart when it comes to Luce. He’s definitely good at making her second guess the attraction she has for Daniel. If it wasn’t for the cosmic connection, I’m pretty sure she’d choose the other guy too. Nevertheless, the ending of this book sets up for some world shattering war between Daniel and this other Fallen Angel. A war Luce may play an integral part in, and not just as some prize these two guys are still fighting over centuries later.
There were many other things about this book that irked me too – Like why did they have to kill one of her best friends and what was the point of all the references to the Civil War. I can’t help but guess that this will play in somewhere down the line. One thing I can be thankful for is the fact that I didn’t spend any money on this book. Gotta love the local library! Had I bought it, I would be trying to return it right now. Or maybe donating it because it clearly doesn’t deserve shelf space in my home library. Still, I must be a glutton for punishment because I had the library put the next installment, ‘Torment’ (aptly titled, yes?) on hold. The reviews say that the series gets better as it goes on and I sincerely hope so! Otherwise you’ll find me here fussing again about what a disaster Ms. Kate has tried to add to the Fallen Angel Romance genre. So until next time… Happy Reading!
My rating: 2 out of 5 Bookmarks