Rating: 4.5 Enchantments
Luce Price has always seen shadows, these terrifying things that appear around her without warning. She's helpless to stop them and the destruction that usually follows their appearances. Thanks to them and the death of the guy she was crushing on, she's found herself at Sword & Cross boarding school, a place for screw-ups and delinquents, something that Luce appears to be—at least to everyone else, including her own parents, who are slightly afraid of her after what happened. But how can Luce explain the shadows without everyone thinking she's crazy?
Daniel Grigori has a secret. He's immortal and he and Luce have had several past lives together before, but every time she's died before things reached a certain point. So when she shows up at Sword & Cross, he vows to stay away from her, that is until she finds herself in real danger and Daniel is forced to intervene.
I really enjoyed FALLEN. I thought it was a really unique mixture of paranormal, setting and characters. What better place for fallen angels to hide than a school for delinquents? Ms. Kate does a great job at making the reader not sure of some of the characters intentions, especially the female characters of Gabbe and even Luce's friend, Arriane. The dilapidated conditions of Sword & Cross come to life on the page, especially during the Parents Weekend scene where Luce is seeing things through the eyes of her parents, as she's already gotten used to things in her short stay. The cemetery in the middle of the campus is just plain creepy. As is the fact that detention involved being there before dawn to clean off the statues. I really liked Luce and the rest of the characters, especially Penn. Every character has something different about them, including a secrets that seem to be revealed in due time. Filled with twists and turns, and the deep sense of foreboding as the shadows that follow Luce become darker and more frequent as she gets deeper into the mystery of why Daniel feels so familiar and why it seems like she's able to interact with the shadows more. With an ending that literally had my jaw dropping with a couple dark surprises, FALLEN has quickly become one of my favorite reads of the year. I cannot wait to read the second in the series and see where Ms. Kate takes these characters next. Wherever it is, I doubt it'll be boring.
Lauren Kate recently finished her M.A. in Creative Writing at UC Davis, where she also teaches. She lives and writes in an old farm house in Winters, California.