Fallen by Lauren Kate (Canada) - (US)
Fallen series, Book 1
Finished: Jan. 16, 2010
First Published: Dec. 8, 2009
Genre: paranormal romance
Around midnight, her eyes at last took shape.
This review contains one obvious spoiler. If you intend to read this book and know absolutely nothing about it don't continue but if you do know a bit about it, my one little spoiler is obvious even from the title of the book.
Acquired: Received an ARC from the publisher through Shelf Awareness.
Reason for Reading: I love stories about angels.
Summary: Lucinda is sent to a reform school because of a terrible incident in which she was involved and her date was killed. Lucinda isn't exactly a regular girl though; ever since she was little she has seen dark shadows that interact with her and scare her. She quickly learned as a child that she was the only one who saw them and has kept them secret but Lucinda wonders whether the shadows may have been responsible for her date's death. Once she arrives at the school she immediately finds herself drawn to the darkly handsome Daniel. While he is attractive it's not that which initially draws her to him, she feels as if they've met before, she has quirky deja vu moments when she's with him. At first Daniel is aloof, downright rude even, but her persistence in following her feelings for him draws them together but Daniel is hiding a secret from her, something immense that will forever change her world.
Comments: I really enjoyed this book. Daniel and Lucinda are both enjoyable characters and their relationship makes a great romance. I'm the type of person who rolls my eyes through all the romance parts of these type of books but the author handles this aspect very well. The romance comes up in short paragraphs here and there and while Lucinda daydreams for a sentence or two, there is thankfully *no* over the top yearning drivel. I appreciate seeing a teen romance written at this level of quality.
My main problem with the story is that there is a prologue in which the reader is basically given the mystery surrounding Daniel and Lucinda's life. If you haven't guessed from the title, hints are frequently dropped and it doesn't take much to realize that (here's my little spoiler) Daniel is an angel. The reader is given more information than Lucinda and it does make her seem to be a bit of a dope that it takes her practically the whole book to figure out this "secret" along with the mystery the reader already knows from the prologue. However, there are other side stories and surprises left to be revealed that leave the story with an exciting plot.
I loved the angel mythos the author has worked into this book. It is fascinating and a very intriguing plotline. Much of her world is based on Biblical angelology, though Ms Kate has taken the more fantastical interpretations to run with and added her own spin on things as well. The pace of the book was a bit weak in parts with the excitements ebbing and flowing until the final rush towards a very exciting climax. Being book one in a series, the book does have a complete plot which is concluded, yet ends with the stage set for the next book.