**spoiler alert** Fallen by Lauren Kate – contains spoilers
I just finished reading Fallen by Lauren Kate. I must say, the subject sparked my interest...more**spoiler alert** Fallen by Lauren Kate – contains spoilers
I just finished reading Fallen by Lauren Kate. I must say, the subject sparked my interest since I like stories about Angels –- the good ones and those fallen as well. But… my interest quickly started diminishing until there was very little to keep my eyes on the pages of Fallen. I normally don’t finish reading a book that's not my cup of tea but, this time, I decided -- despite of all hurdles -- to keep reading.
Luce, the protagonist, is a super weak character, disturbingly undeveloped. She is always afraid, scared, and whiny. She is indecisive and, simply speaking, “beats around the bushes” too much. She should be kicking ass instead of pulling her hair, while playing the never-ending mind battles (that would be HER mind, by the way) over her love interest, Daniel Grigori. This book could be easily cut in half and the story wouldn’t suffer. There is simply too much of Luce agonizing over the same issue.
Next problem: she can’t decide if she is attracted to Cam or what does she want with him. The necklace she receives from him seems to matter a lot. If it was somehow magically enhanced, maybe Luce could have been in danger of switching to the “dark side” while wearing it? But the necklace story is dropped as soon as she returns the item in question to Cam. It felt like the author forgot what she was trying to do here.
There are many inconsistencies in Fallen, like this one: Gabe told Daniel (Luce was ears dropping) that Luce is the only person from school on his side. But when the battle between good and evil starts, it turns out that Arriane is also on Daniel’s side. Confusing. There was nothing in the story about Arriane switching sides, or even being Fallen.
Molly’s character appears very strong and well developed at the beginning. I like the scene in the cafeteria where Molly proves to be a "bad girl". But later she keeps warning Luce about Daniel. Why such a change of heart? It doesn’t make sense. Well, at some point (only once) Molly actually “growls” angrily at Luce but this is not enough for the story to be consistent with the cafeteria scene.
If Daniel can’t stand going through the same tragedy over and over again, and even admits to Luce that he tries to stay away from her, then why in Heavens he attends a school swarming with seventeen-year-old kids, like Luce? By the way, does he really need this “human” education? After all he is centuries old so what could he possibly learn at any school, specifically at Cross and Sword?
Why does Gabe have a southern accent? Let’s think about that: Angels, fallen or not, were created at the Beginning, so there were no various accents of American-English. How then did Arriane start to speak with a Southern drawl?
Why do Fallen insist on Luce figuring everything out on her own? What’s a significance of her discovering who is who, and what’s going on? I can’t think of a single reason why the Fallen wouldn’t simply share with Luce at least a few significant details. She doesn’t strike me as someone who wouldn’t believe the Fallen after the battle has started and she witnessed it all with her own two eyes.
Overall the book has a lot of rough spots. It almost seems like there was more than one person writing it: the story flows nicely in many places but then it hits a rough spot. The author struggles with dialogs but does a pretty good job with some of the sensory descriptions. I like the clever idea of Luce not being baptized, which leaves her soul completely vulnerable and “up for grabs”.
The ending totally puzzled me. Why Daniel couldn’t get on the plane with Luce since the battle was over (or, at least, postponed for a few days). Instead, he stays to hang out with Cam! These guys hate each other so why make them shake hands and smile in unison over sleeping Luce? By the way, where did she end up after getting on that plane with her history teacher? Daniel and Cam see her sleeping in a military tent -– is this her next life? Is so, why? She didn’t die while kissing Daniel. They all agreed things changed since she is not baptized. Sadly, there are too many unanswered questions.
Congratulations to Fernanda Brussi Goncalves for a truly amazing work on Fallen’s jacket illustrations, and to Angela Carlino for the jacket design. (less)
The reason behind only the three stars (more like two and a half) is a slow plot that drags on and on for pages. I enjoyed the first book in the serie...moreThe reason behind only the three stars (more like two and a half) is a slow plot that drags on and on for pages. I enjoyed the first book in the series, Bitten, so much more.
Also, it gnawed on me that this book reminds me so much of Mrs. Armstrong's middle grade novel series, Darkest Powers, where a group of supernaturals (this time young teens, while here we have the adult characters) is a subject of a science experiment lead by the Edison Group. In Stolen, Elena and the other preternaturals are captured by, an infatuated with their powers, mogul who plans to harness those powers for himself. (less)
Well written, fun vampire Y.A. story. These vampyres (yes, my spell-check caught this) are completely different from what I got accus...moreContains Spoilers
Well written, fun vampire Y.A. story. These vampyres (yes, my spell-check caught this) are completely different from what I got accustomed to in the recent vampire book bestsellers. These Vamps have no fangs, don’t bite, can’t fly, love cats, eat regular food, don’t suck blood, although upon reaching the adulthood they crave it and drink it but there is no “typical” vampire feeding/biting and no predatory vampire image.
Some teenagers get Marked by Vampyre Tracker and start changing into a vampyre. The Mark is a half moon shape that appears on their foreheads. They pretty much immediately must move into the House Of Night (vampyre school and a dorm) where they complete their change and stay under a protection and a watchful eye of the adult vampyres. The adults there are teachers and mentors. They care deeply about the young fledglings and their wellbeing. They make sure the fledglings are comfortable, well fed, well educated and protected. The fledglings are not scary, “undead” creatures but much more sophisticated and beautiful youth that have to train to become adult vampyres. At school they take various classes: drama, equestrian, Spanish, fencing etc.
The characters are pretty well developed. The protagonist, sixteen-year-old half Cherokee Zoey Redbird is a very likeable character. Same goes for all her new vampyre friends including sexy and gorgeous new boyfriend, Erik. Stevie Rae, Damien, Erin and Shaunee come across as the average, normal teenagers. Although Erin and Shaunee are not related, they are called by everyone “twins”. This gets a bit annoying after while but it is not a huge blemish on their very likeable characters.
The relationship between Zoey and Erik develops in a slow pace, there is nothing rushed about it although the process is not painfully restricted either.
I found interesting the way the authors structured the dialogs – there is a lot of “Erin said…Stevie Rae said…Erin said…Damien said…Zoey said…” – you get the picture. I’m sure this was done on purpose but somehow it bugs me to see “said, said, said, said” all the time instead of other dialog words that can be used instead. Oh well, it’s just one of my pet peeves.
I like the Native American mythology weaved throughout the story. The Vampyre Goddess Nyx gives Zoey special powers making her a sure celebrity of the House Of Night from the very moment she arrives in there. At first Zoey doesn’t quite welcome that recognition since it attracts an attention of a super nasty, selfish, spoiled and dangerous Dark Daughters leader, Aphrodite.
The five elements (Air, Earth, Water, Fire and Spirit), casting the (magical) Circle and a Cherokee Purification ritual and prayer add a fascinating building block to the story.
I refrain from comparing books especially to those huge bestsellers, but I will make a little exception here. Marked reminds me in places of Harry Potter: the school, the “chosen one” and the good and bad kids’ groups jumping to each other’s throats. But I must say, the school interior (and some exterior) descriptions are wonderful and I can easily imagine how it would look in, let’s say, a movie.
The strong, easy flow of the story gets disrupted at the end and I feel like the authors tried to rush to finish the book. Too bad, since this change in pace really stands out.
Overall I enjoy this book and can’t wait to start reading the next one in series.