I got this at an airport Borders because I couldn't have my Kindle on during takeoff or landing. It was a NYT bestseller and the plot intrigued me, it seemed like a book that would be incredibly interesting!
I admit to being disappointed in this book. I never really connected with any of the characters and felt like a little more detail throughout the book would have made things much more interesting, as would moving the plot along more quickly. I know there are more books planned in this series, but it felt like too much information was being withheld for a later book. I got a little tired of how long the "not knowing anything" dragged out...like another reviewer I felt myself rushing through the book; however, my reason was just to get to a place where something moved the plot forward and we could learn more about the weird deja vu and odd behavior of some of the main characters.
Unfortunately, I think we'll really need to read the next book to get questions answered, though from the reviews I"ve seen of that one it doesn't really happen there either. I don't see myself buying the 2nd book outright; I'm really kind of indifferent to what happens to any of the characters as I never really connected with them. Maybe in a million years when it comes available on the swap I'll check it out, but the wait list for Torment is pretty long and slow moving. We'll see if I continue with this series.
If FALLEN is the future of YA supernatural fiction, then I fear for this genre. FALLEN is painfully dull and slow, with very little besides the concept of fallen angels and the suggestion of an impossible romance to recommend it to readers.
If the plot of FALLEN were to race a glacier, the glacier would win. From the moment Luce arrives at Sword & Cross, the plot feels like it's always tripping over its own feet in order to explain itself, and to no avail. I don't mind a gradually building plot if it contains atmosphere and sets up the exposition well, but the setting of Sword & Cross was never fully realized for me, and the events in Luce's past that landed her at reform school never attained credibility. Luce floats through boarding school life in a series of disconnected and awkwardly written encounters with her schoolmates, none of which helped me understand Luce or any of the other characters. All of the action and scenes required to get the gist of the story occurred within the last 60 pages, and what happened was not worth plodding through 400 pages of irrelevance to get to that point.
All of the characters in FALLEN were static and artificial, something that less discerning Twilight-fangirling tweens won't mind but that more well-read readers will definitely take issue with. Luce is about as passive as a bowl of rice pudding. You think Bella didn't do anything for three-and-a-half 400-plus-page-long books? Luce just might make Bella look like head of the school spirit squad. She flits from scene to scene, never being fully integrated into the immediacy of the story and never coalescing into a comprehensive character. The thing I most remember about her was that she had short hair from when it got burnt off in a fire. If the way I describe a character is by the length of her hair and not any, I dunno, actual personality traits, you better believe that is a serious problem.
Along those same lines, Cam and Daniel were similarly bland male love interests whose only identifiable characteristic was their inexplicableâand inevitable, in this sort of bookâattraction to Luce. I constantly got the two mixed up and couldn't pick them out from a handful of YA male love interests if I had to. I am hardly questioning the appeal of stalker-y, unequal-power-dynamics loveâthere is a reason why so many of us love bad boys so muchâbut to have Cam and Daniel be so one-dimensional and predictable, while the story practically insists that we're supposed to find them heart-stoppingly attractiveâ¦sorry, but I really don't need that.
We've all heard the quiet rumblings that fallen angels might be the Next Big Thing in YA lit, but only if they're done right. FALLEN read like a boarding school story with smatterings of the supernatural dashed throughout, the angels-and-demons element only manifesting itself in the final few chapters. It was a discomforting read because it was so detached from those elements of humanity that make even the most fantastical novel relatable: the Southern setting was never fully realized, and the characters were difficult to empathize with.
That being said, FALLEN gets two stars from me because I can totally see its appeal to middle school girls who have devoured the entire Twilight series and now desperately need something to read in between the next House of Night book and the Eclipse movie coming out in Summer 2010. It contains all the elements of a trendy YA bestseller: a paranormal element, a love triangle, two powerful love interests who compete for the same girl. Unfortunately, the great idea was poorly executed, and I won't be following the rest of this series. However, consider asking your thirteen-year-old sister or cousin for her opinion on FALLEN, and you might get a totally different point of view, one that justifies why Random House believes that FALLEN will be huge in YA.
The first time I came across this book I was instantly mesmerized and had to have it. Within a week I was walking out of Wal-Mart with Fallen and a large grin. But like the dark story, mine was also dark. The first few chapters were interesting, but as I continued reading the book fell flat.
Lauren Kate had a great idea, the war of fallen angels, and a romance that has lasted through the ages. I devoured the thought, but sadly, her writing style made this a hard and unfeeling read. Every time I wanted to like the characters, or have emotion for them, it was like feeling for a brick wall.
In my opinion, I would have liked to see the story written in 1st person in the mind of the main character Luce.
I will read the second book, because I have high hopes for this author and for this story. On a final thought, I would suggest reading the book. The story is an intriguing one.
I wanted to love this book, I really did. It looked like something I would really enjoy getting into, hoping for some romantic tension between two well-developed characters. Unfortunately, that's not what I found. Halfway through I was mostly underwhelmed. I don't know if that's because I'm burned out on the YA Paranormal Romance genre, or if this book is just underwhelming on its own. It seemed like the same old thing to me: angst-y teenage girl who is out of her element, mysterious teenage boy who intrigues the girl for some unknown reason, girl tries to be with boy, boy is hesitant, the un-probable truth comes out... well you know how it goes. And how it ends before the book is even over.
The story is about Luce who is scented to a reform school (out of her element) after a mysterious fire kills her almost-boyfriend. She can't remember what happened. At her new school she meets Daniel (mysterious boy) who goes hot and cold towards here until the truth comes out... (SPOILER) he's a fallen angel, so are most the students at the school, and they're about to embark on an epic battle... which doesn't come until book two.
And when the book was over, nothing was resolved. Can I just say that I dislike authors who end books, not merely on a cliffhanger, but with nothing resolved to the point where you feel like you have to read the next book? I feel like it's a scam to sell more books. Why can't anyone put their whole story into one book? This book was four hundred pages, but if it had been published in a normal sized font and format, I bet more a conclusion would have fit.
2/5 stars -- just another "fallen" angel book...
This vapid tale goes on for a long, boring time before we realize it's just another fallen angel book. The explanation for how and why Daniel is "fallen" is never detailed nor is anything about the relationships between the good and evil forces in this overly long first novel in a planned series (#2 Torment due out in September of 2010).
Luce is sent to some sort of odd reform school after the unexplained death of her boyfriend in a fire. His death and the death of other "mortals" in the story are not given any weight and no reasons for them are given to the reader. None of the characters in the story have any depth to them and the book seems to be an endless, almost ridiculous, whine by Luce about which of the boys in the school she should like and trust -- she is pursued by the charming Cam and is shunned and stood up by the handsome, mysterious Daniel. Why those two fallen angels are interested in her is also never explained. I found the whole story basically boring and any hoped for interesting details or back story is missing! We are left without finding out why Luce has undergone the reincarnations, why Daniel and Cam want her, and exactly what these two fallen angels and their minions are doing on earth.
The romance seems shallow although the author goes to great lengths to describe the kiss and longing that Luce has for Daniel but again, the many questions the reader might have are never answered and any interest developed in the plot is quickly quashed with only vague hints of what is going on. The story ends with a strange epilogue and the reader is left hanging.