Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guest Review: Fallen

With moving I have been separated from many of my books and scrambling to manage my time so that I can read and write reviews. My good friend was kind enough to write me a lovely review to help fill my blog queue. Our guest reviewer, Ash, is the author of the horror genre blog Through Her Ribcage where you can get anything from reviews on books, movies, tv shows to short films! See below for her review of Lauren Kate's book Fallen and check out her blog!

So, Twilight. The dawn of the Twilight trilogy saw a huge burst in the YA market, with dozens of knock-offs spanning a variety of supernatural creatures mooning after teenage girls, and it seems like the flow has yet to be stemmed. Fallen falls (aha) right into this category neatly, though I do have to say with a better writing style than that of Twilight, though everything is still colored by the dramatic and sometimes overbearing tones of a teenager. Instead of vampires, we have angels, and in the background is the potential for a war between heaven and hell - interesting premise, right? Unfortunately, that much more thought provoking storyline is left until the last dregs of the book, instead focusing on what young adults really want: a girl pining after the guy she can't have.

Lucinda Price (known simply as Luce, Latin for "light") ends up at Sword and Cross, a reform school, after being accused of starting a fire that ended in her boyfriend's death, and she can't quite believe that this is where her life has taken her. Up until that moment, she's been a good student, a good daughter, and a good friend; so she sticks out like a sore thumb among the social rejects, but they accept her without too much fuss regardless. The first is Arriane, an energetic girl, who seems like a handful, as well as Penn, who attends the school because her father was the groundskeeper, and a handful of others who fit into various shades and stripes; plus they all seem to know something that Luce doesn't, though none are telling. But two others are what draw Luce's attention: the outgoing and friendly Cam, and the mysterious and withdrawn Daniel. Luce finds herself evermore drawn to Daniel, but the boy is rude to her, obviously wanting nothing to do with her. Luce finds Cam's attention much easier, but it's difficult to get her mind past Daniel. Of course, Daniel has a damned good reason for not wanting to be around much less near Luce, but the girl isn't having any of it and continues to pursue him for answers.

But you said something about angels and heaven and hell and war??? You're right! But this doesn't really come into play until the last chapters of the book. Eventually it's revealed that Daniel is a fallen angel, and Luce is his born again lover; but every time they find one another again, Luce is killed in some inexplicable, horrible fashion by these shadows that follow her around everywhere. In fact, the shadows were responsible for her previous boyfriend's death. But how do you explain shadows to adults?! Cam, likewise, has an alter ego as an angel as well, but he's less of the friendly sort. Both he and Daniel are fallen angels, but Daniel still aligns himself with heaven while Cam made friends with a less savory sort down below. And somehow, Luce fits into the picture as being the key to winning the war between heaven and hell. Once we get into this interesting bit, the book ends, of course - but Luce and Daniel have accepted their love for one another, even as Luce boards a plane Casablanca style in order to be taken somewhere safe after the school is ripped apart by a battle for Luce's soul.

Overall, this book is great for the crowd it's aimed at. It's got hot guys, it's got teenage problems that really don't mean much in the greater scheme of things but when you're that age they make the whole world seem about to end, it's got star crossed romance, and even near the end it's got a few absolutely great action scenes where the boys duke it out for their lady. It's well written, much better so than many other novels of this genre, which certainly makes it an admirable piece for young adults to be reading. The cover art ain't bad either, which is honestly what hooked me into purchasing the book to begin with (don't you judge me! I like a good piece of art when I see it! Even if it is a stereotypical goth chick being emo!). It's also now apparently a series, though I'm wavering on continuing through it since romance isn't really my shtick. Maybe you should check this book out and decide for yourself if you like it enough to continue, yeah? 

-Written by Ash, author and maintainer of Through Her Ribcage

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