The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate
Read by Natalie 2009-2012
Natalie recommends these as light, enjoyable, romantic and frustrating.
This series begins with the book Fallen, featuring Luce a beautiful but troubled girl who is sent to a school for misfit youth following a not fully explained incident involving fire and the death of her boyfriend. At the school she meets the mysterious Daniel, a boy she feels drawn too, dreams about, almost seems to know. But Daniel pushes her away, almost to the point of rudeness and then at other times is unbearably sweet to her. What transpires is that Daniel is a Fallen Angel who has spent his entire lifetime meeting and falling in love with Luce, only for her to be taken from him when his identity starts to be revealed. All of this is unknown to the resurrecting Luce and as the cycle repeats itself every 17 years, Daniel is continuously forced to lose her. Only this time the cycle is broken, Daniel can reveal who he is and Luce stays with him. Daniel can't understand why, but as the other Fallen Angels who sided with evil, battle for Luce for themselves, Daniel whisks her away to keep her safe. The book is quite beautiful and romantic, although there is alot we don't know including what Daniel's intentions are and why the others also want Luce. The end of the book sees a truce between good and evil being drawn in order to buy Daniel and Luce some more time....but for what?
Torment, the second book opens with Luce once again in danger. This time the Outcasts, Fallen Angels who chose evil, but want to be back with good, have joined the hunt. Once again Daniel is forced to hide Luce away, moving her to a school for Nephilium - the offspring of humans and angels. As Luce is left at the school while Daniel goes off to fight, she is frustrated at being kept in the dark as to what is going on. To be honest, so was I! The book at this point opens up a whole lot of questions and doesn't provide many (any) answers to them. We get some occasional glimpses when Luce starts to work out what the shadows which have plagued her her whole life mean. Sometimes Daniel drops in and gives us little hints but this usually ends in an arguement with neither side willing to budge and actually answer anything. Although Luce is starting to stand up for herself and not just believe everything Daniel has to say, it actually comes off as pretty annoying because nobody just says what's on their mind! If you look for it, you can start to see where the story is going and what the author is trying to do. Luce thinks she has the answer but it's more obvious than she thinks. Why Daniel cannot tell her is the mystery behind it all. The book ends with Luce deciding to take a chance and finding out more about her past lives. This time it is Daniel who is left behind and desperate to find her.
The third book Passion is a definite improvement, although itís a convoluted one that takes the reader on a journey that ultimately doesnít really tell us a whole lot. As Luce moves back through her past, she starts to see different versions of herself and Daniel, through different re-enactments of their love. Aided by the mysterious little creature, Bill, Luce desperately tries to learn something about her past deaths in an attempt to break the curse Daniel and her face in the present. All the while Daniel is racing after her trying to stop her from altering history. As Luce moves back through time, itís interesting watching her move through history, learning something more about herself, Daniel and their love with each step backwards. Although things are kept frustratingly out of reach for the reader, Luce starts to realise that their love is real, that what both of them feel is true and that Daniel suffers badly every time she dies, while Luce simply moves onto another life. Faced with this new knowledge Luce believes the only way to truly free Daniel from this pain is to destroy her cursed soul, even if it means losing Daniel forever. However, at the final stop in her travels, when she sees the depth of his love and strength, she also realises the strength and love she has and she canít bring herself to do it. Just when it looks like they may finally be reunited (and all these travels have been for nothing but to confirm their love), Billís true identity and plan is revealed. As Luce struggles with the situation she now finds herself in, Daniel finds himself back in the one place he never expected to be Ė home. Realising now that it was never about Luce changing things, that his journey after her was so Daniel could change things, he attempts to create the loophole youíd think he could have remembered in the first place. This also gives us a chance to see The Fall when Daniel revealed his true feelings, choosing neither heaven nor hell, but love, as well as learn about the curse he received as punishment and the details that keep present day Luce alive somehow. Finally finding Luce and believing now that the curse has somehow been altered, Daniel and Luce return to Earth. Itís here the book takes a turn for the unexpected and makes the reader wonder what is going on Ė was it ever really about Luce and Daniel and their mysterious curse or is there something bigger going on? As Luce reveals the details of Billís plans, Daniel calls on the rest of the Fallen to help them, finally uniting both sides in their quest to prevent Bill, aka Luciferís plan from unfolding. With 9 days to save the fate of the Earth, we have to wait 12 months until the release of Rapture to know if they succeed and discover what this series is really all about, is it true love or is it something bigger?
So Rapture Ė well finally we get to find out why Luce is so special. Finally we get to learn about her and Danielís curse, both how it came to be and how it can be broken. Finally we learn the origins of the Fall and all the reincarnations of Luce that Daniel has been forced to find for centuries. Finally we actually get some answers! Was it all satisfactory? Yes and No. Yes, I did really like what Lauren tried to do here, and although I had guessed at the mystery that was Lucinda Price, it didnít stop me from enjoying all her reincarnations and the beautiful relationships her and Daniel endured all throughout time. What isnít satisfying is how they came to be in the first place. I mean really, this was supposed to be a love that transcended time and the universe and heaven and everything, and actually what it really was, was a love born out of suffering when Luce felt smothered by her first love. Yes, you heard me right, Daniel was not Luceís first love....and youíll never believe who was! Actually, if you think about it long and hard (no, not really), you will.
In Rapture, Luce and Daniel, having escaped Luciferís evil clutches must now race against time (9 days), gathering three important relics, which with the help of a blood sacrifice will not only unlock Luceís memories, but also point to the site of the original Fall of the angels millennia ago. Once there, they will hopefully stop the evil Lucifer from recreating the Fall and thereby wiping out Earth and everyoneís existence in the process. Along the way they also hope to unlock Luceís memories and finally break the curse that has condemned Daniel for over 6000 years. They actually donít really do either. Firstly, God (in disguise as a woman....OMG), stops Luciferís actions and in doing so, offers Daniel the same choice she did thousands of years ago. His decision remains the same, loving Luce. And Ė spoiler alert Ė we finally discover that actually, Daniel isnít the one who started this and he also isnít the ďimportant angelĒ who will tip the balance between Heaven and Hell either. Nope, Luce is. Yes, thatís right, Luce was an archangel who like all the others, fell to Earth when she chose loving Daniel (after giving up Lucifer, yes he was her first love!). Like all the other fallen angels, she lost her memory of her former existence when she did fall, yet somehow she still managed to fall in love with Daniel on Earth, their first ďmeetingĒ after falling in love in Heaven, being the site of the Fall on Earth. The curse for their naughty choice (love for each other over adoration of God) was created by both God and Lucifer and meant that not only would Daniel suffer the loss of Luce every time she got a vague hint as to who she really was, but that Luce would have to work out her true identity on her own and it was only when Daniel from the present went back to the Fall and created the loophole (non-religious Luce in present day form wouldnít spontaneously combust when she realised who she was), that they would ever truly be able to be together. Confused...yeah join the club. Still, when presented with their choice once again, both Daniel and Luce chose each other and in doing so are granted a break and a mortal life where they can really and completely be together. Only catch is, they will have to find each other first....again. Seriously, I mean I thought God also offered forgiveness? So after all Luceís worrying about how as a mortal, she could be with immortal Daniel, when they finally become immortals together, their wings are clipped? And now after four books of Daniel and Luce finding and loosing each other, travelling through the ages, only to catch on fire and Daniel wander off despondently to find her again, we are left with mortal Luce and mortal Daniel having to meet each other and fall in love all over again?
I actually did like the ending, it was a good finish to a very up and down series, I just wished weíd gotten more of them finally being together, because them meeting was something I felt like I had already witnessed for a millennia anyway! Rapture is the fourth and final book in this series. A series which I can safely say was about two books too long. While the agonising frustration of the aptly named Torment is gone, Lauren has never been able to recapture the beautiful mystery that was Fallen, a book I was seduced into reading by its cover alone, but quickly fell in love with. Somehow the romantic and gorgeous relationship between Luce and Daniel has been lost and instead we were left with an endless list of never answered questions and a drawn out, convoluted plot that features far too much description and not enough action. Daniel and Luce both frustrated me endlessly and I didnít think the start and the reason for their love was enough for what they (and we) had endured. The final Epilogue is a nice touch as their former friends, the Angels and Nephilium sit and watch Luce and Daniel fall in love for the first, and last time, with the exception of it missing Cam. But, Iíd put money on a spin-off series for him....If you want to know more, go to the Fallen Series website.