My first Series Binge Read was the Fallen series by Lauren Kate and took place between August 25th and September 3rd. There are five books – four full length novels and one small novella that fits between books three and four.
Disclaimer – this post includes spoilers but I have at least tried to contain my rage.
So why Fallen?
I read the first three books around four – five years ago when I was 15. It had come just after Twilight and it was during a time when I would read absolutely anything. Scratch that, because I still do that. But I was never as critical as I am now and would often read books, love them and then move on to the next one. I had rated Fallen, Torment and Passion all four stars. I thought it was time I finally finished off the series so I bought the books I didn’t own and had no reason to believe I wouldn’t enjoy these books as much as I did when I was 15.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Book 1 – Fallen
In Fallen, we meet Luce Price on her first day at reform school at Sword & Cross, where she has been sent after a tragic accident involving a classmate at her former prep school. At Sword & Cross she meets a host of unusual characters – edgy Arianne, loyal Penn, charming Cam, mysterious Roland – and Daniel. Who gives her the finger the first time he sees her and as a result, she can’t stop thinking about him. Cue rolling of eyes. There’s not a lot that happens in this book, a lot of back and forth between Luce and Cam and Daniel. My first impression of Luce is that she is a crazy, obsessive and stupid stalker. To this day, I stand by this impression. Anyway. The big thing about this book is we learn that Daniel is a fallen angel, and he and Luce have been in love before, in previous lifetimes. But every time they fall in love, she dies. They have been cursed. But something is different this time because when they fall in love in this lifetime, Luce doesn’t die.
Here’s the thing. Before we get to this point, there’s about four hundred pages of NOTHING. And that nothing was so poorly written and interspersed with clumsy phrases that I was increasingly bored and frustrated. I didn’t like Luce or Daniel and I didn’t understand how they could just fall in love like that, even if they had been in love before. The excuse that she was ‘drawn to him’ really didn’t mean much to me. Daniel tells her to stay away multiple times and she just ignores him and continues to research him and get jealous of him and then make out with Cam? And why doesn’t Daniel leave her alone if he knows his love will kill her? I just don’t understand. Luce was a painful character to read, especially when she would do one stupid thing after another, and she was so obsessed with Daniel that she thought him spitting was attractive. Spitting is not attractive on anyone no matter how in love you are!
There’s also some angel fighting toward the end and a couple of evil characters and all that sort of thing before we are spirited away into the next book but it’s not super interesting and I’m trying to stay mildly spoiler free. Though if you didn’t realise this was about fallen angels without reading the books then sorry…
Book 2 – Torment
In Torment, Daniel dumps Luce into a school for the gifted/children of angels (Nephilim) so that she doesn’t get into trouble while he goes and does stuff he’s not going to tell her about. I could say Luce is stupid, which she is, but it’s not all her fault because no one trusts her enough to tell her anything except to not leave campus. Got that, Luce? Don’t leave campus. Except she does, multiple times, and bad things happen almost every time. She also starts to doubt her love for Daniel and the things he has told her, which is good, but this doesn’t stop his name from cropping up on every single page. We could not go ONE PAGE without Daniel being mentioned. He wasn’t even around! We still get no good reason for why they are so in love especially since they argue every time they’re together. They are only apart for eighteen days, but they can’t even go eighteen days despite Daniel telling Luce it’s too dangerous for him to be near her with all the people that are after her? WHO? Who is after her and why? We don’t know.
There’s the introduction of another love interest too, which just makes me sigh and shake my head. The only other thing that happened in this novel is Luce decides to take off into other times and places – yep we just added time travel to the mix and things are about to get a whole lot more confusing…
Did anyone notice how old my copy of Torment is? It has an Angus & Robertson sticker on it!
Book 3 – Passion
At the end of Book 2, Luce stepped into an ‘Announcer’, a shadow of sorts that can be manipulated into a portal to the past. Even though everyone is shouting at Luce not to, she steps into an Announcer with no idea what she’s doing or where she’s going. She hops across time through these Announcers with everyone chasing her, trying to get to the bottom of the curse. What does she learn? Nothing. Nothing of importance anyway. The time travel in this book was handled so poorly and had so many plot holes it hurt my head just to think about it. She is a different person in each lifetime and yet, Daniel falls in love with her anyway and she with him, for no reason just like at Sword & Cross. Daniel also seems to have the ability to change his appearance depending on where Luce is. The word ‘destiny’ has been thrown around a lot and it seems all the angels have conveniently forgotten something super important from the past. Luce is jealous of the ground Daniel walks on and the relationships he has had with her past selves. Daniel continues to seek her out and causes her death every time. Yes you are so in love aren’t you?
Luce is so self-obsessed. She has left behind everyone in an absolute mess and the whole time she doesn’t give a second thought to anyone but herself. What about Callie, your parents, Shelby, Miles? What about the past you are messing with? Doesn’t matter, it’s destiny. Eye rolling. So much eye rolling!
So, I can’t remember how this one ends so we’ll just move along to the next one, okay? Like sure they find her eventually and she loves Daniel so much and she’s apparently really important to the cosmic balance or something cause everyone’s after her and she’s gotta figure something out, but I say we move right along…
Book 3.5 – Fallen In Love
Welcome to the most unnecessary paranormal YA book ever. I can’t believe I paid $16.99 for this. I feel ripped off. It is a collection of interlocking stories that takes place while Luce is hopping around in the Announcers. Shelby, Miles and Roland from the future are there, as well as Arianne from that time. The whole thing just felt completely unnecessary (I’ve said that twice, I know) and completely goes against what everyone says about messing with the past and the fact that you shouldn’t do it! This book adds nothing to the Fallen series besides a bit of backstory for Arianne and Roland.
You do not need to read this book as part of the Fallen series. Not recommended unless you are actually enjoying these books – and that’s cool if you are! The only good thing is that we discover a character is LBGT (won’t give away which one) and emphasis is placed on their relationship and the good vs evil battle that’s going on, and the fact that they are LBGT doesn’t get much time as it is considered normal to that character.
Book 4 – Rapture
Last one! I was so relieved to get to this point. I just couldn’t wait for it to be done. I had the most status updates for this book, if that tells you anything. I would make the statuses to release my frustration and anger regarding this book. The writing is still clumsy and awkward to read as ever before, people still aren’t telling Luce anything and I picked the ending a whole book ago. Not all of it, but enough to not be surprised. I read this book quite quickly too and I enjoyed it more than other books, but that doesn’t mean I actually like it. Because I definitely don’t. I still don’t believe in the relationship, still think it’s unhealthy, and I still didn’t get the explanation I wanted to how they fell in love. I was bored and angry. While the last chapter is nice and actually gave me some hope, I don’t think it was all worth six thousand years of Luce dying over and over again, I don’t think it was worth the sacrifices that all the other secondary characters had to make. However, I am a suck who loves happy endings, even when I don’t like the characters. I was a bit annoyed at myself that the ending made my little heart happy, I didn’t expect that! But the real redeeming factor in this novel is Dee, who is the most awesome, badass little old lady that Luce could only wish she was like! Dee was a great character and I adored her. It was nice to actually like something about these books.
Nonetheless, it was not enough to redeem the books in my eyes. I was just glad to be at the end.
Don’t read these books. I try to avoid statements like these because everyone is different, everyone likes different things and clearly at one point I enjoyed them. These days I am a far more critical reader and I know more of what I like and what I want to see in characters. This was not it. This seemed pointless and served no purpose. No one learned anything and despite the fact that my heart went ‘oooh happy ending’, my brain said ‘this is still not right’. It is essentially a story of two selfish angels punished for their love who do nothing but inflict pain on each other and cause others to die for them, just so they can love each other in a very unhealthy way, a love that does not mean anything to the readers. I was not cheering for their love to conquer all and I did not believe in it. Fiction should make me believe in it. I will not be returning to this series. I never have to read another these books ever again and THAT makes me happy. Just a little disappointed that the first Series Binge Read I decided to document for my blog was such a terrible one…
For more comprehensive reviews of each individual book you can visit my Goodreads. If you thought that this was comprehensive, you haven’t seen anything yet!
My next Series Binge Read will be The Inheritance Cycle. Stay tuned!