Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

‘Some angels are destined to fall.

Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar…The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can’t shake the feeling that she has…and with him – a boy she doesn’t remember ever setting eyes on.

Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her – or destroy her?’

It took me a long time to finally pick this book up to read. The cover is gorgeous, atmospheric and haunting, but also looked a little… melodramatic, which just put me off. After reading Fallen I have to say my initial misgivings were justified.

The concept was what drew me to finally pick up Fallen (I know – years behind everyone else). A tale of fallen angels battling one another with us mortals caught in the middle should have been exciting. I’m not quite sure, therefore, how this book ended up being so dull.

My main issues with Fallen were with the characters – I just couldn’t bring myself to care about any of them. The main protagonist Luce is just about the most pointless protagonist I have come across. I went from finding her foolish and silly, to being just plain irritated with her. The fact that she never seems to feel any guilt over what happened to her previous boyfriend didn’t help, either. But it was her actions that really left me exasperated. I quickly grew tired with her obsession with Daniel, how quick she was to defend his behaviour, her dithering between him and Cam. By the time she started stalking said love interest, I lost all respect for her. Not only did all this make her an incredibly weak female character, but it just made no sense to me. Daniel is not only boringly angsty, he’s a jerk. He achieves nothing except look pretty for 467 pages, while being rude and frustratingly cryptic the few times him and Luce do interact.

Not much happens in Fallen, so I can only assume Kate was aiming to build up the tension and pace dramatically. I suspect more answers will be revealed in the next book, but I don’t particularly care enough to find out. There is a ‘big reveal’ about who Luce and Daniel really are and their past relationship towards the end of the book, but as this is something the reader has quite easily deduced from the opening chapter (or by Daniel’s name if you know your angel mythology), it has no impact whatsoever, it’s really just frustrating that the author hasn’t moved the story forward by this point.

There are some more interesting secondary characters and I liked Cam most of all. With these sort of stories, there is always a ‘love’ triangle and I have to admit I’m rooting for Cam (despite the bizarre 180 his character took at the end, I suspect, in an attempt to make Daniel look better), though it seems a foregone conclusion which boy Luce will end up with by the end of the series. Love triangles are rarely difficult to guess.

Nothing much to excite here, sadly, despite the promise of some angel mythology. Just the typical cliché of an unhealthy, bordering on obsessive, overly dramatic teenage romance.

Not for me, though I can see why some readers are big fans. I thought Lauren Kate’s writing was better than a lot of paranormal YA out there at the moment. Fans of supernatural romance such as Twilight and Evermore will probably love this one.

Recommended Reading Age: 16+

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