Fallen by Lauren Kate

“What if the one you were meant to be with, could never be yours?”

The title itself gave me an idea what to expect from Lauren Kate book Fallen. But what really draw my attention to pick up this book is the art cover – the girl in black goth clothing crying in the middle of the forest, I was intrigue. Since I got a spare time last holiday I grab my chance flipping the pages. I thought it may be good enough to kill time. The prologue is interesting enough to make me decide to continue reading, it slightly creepy and appropriately vague. But the first ten or so chapters didn’t work for me, it’s terribly slow-paced and it hardly get my focus.

I think the story is too slow and slightly redundant. It did not fully develop the characters nor the storyline. “Luce” or “Lucinda Price” the female protagonist is too obsessive and bland. Aside from her interest in Daniel, I couldn’t figure out what other interests she had. There’s one part in the book where she talks about how smart she is, but I don’t see an ounce of passion in her about anything except the boy she’s attracted to. I want to see some growth in her character, but there just wasn’t much.

Daniel Grigori the male protagonist is much interesting than Luce. When I read his last name, my idea from the book title of what the story is all about is confirmed. Which makes it more Luce character questionable. With her supposed superior intelligence, I can’t fathom why it took her so long to figure out Daniel’s secret. Even if she’s not religious, it is still too obvious. Maybe if she just try to search it online she’ll get all the answer she needs.

The settings has lot of confusing details. I had a hard time picturing the place as a whole because the descriptions were weak and mess up. They were poorly drawn and sometimes conflicting. It seems that the author failed to deliver a beautiful atmosphere to match the lovely cover of the book. The plot touches briefly about paranormal which I wish the author explore more.

This book stands at 452 pages not because there are lots of words, but because the font is so big. The first 250 pages are slow and uninteresting. Then a lot is covered in the last 50 pages, leaving you with a lot of unanswered questions. The problem is, most of the vague points are still vague to me after reading it. I got confused with the shadows. I’ve learned that they were like “messengers” or “watchers” but I’m not sure if they really serve their purpose in the story. I didn’t really know if they were meant to scare or what because they weren’t really scary to me. I was hoping for a better explanation of the “fallen”, like the difference between the good & the bad angels. And more information or history of the two main characters, Luce and Daniel. Hopefully, that will be explained in the books to follow. Also, I’m still wondering with the “Good News” that Daniel is supposed to say to Luce. It says that there was good news and bad news, but the writer didn’t say what is the good news.

Despite all my complaints, I still give Fallen a chance. The book was good as a dark novel as it is too serious, but I didn’t think it was original at all. I feel that the story has potential if taken in the right direction. I might read the sequel which entitled “Torment”. I just hope it will be more engaging and it won’t be tormenting to read.

Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith

“You know, you’ve never really cared about anyone,” he said. “But someday you will, and it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt a lot.”

Secret Vampire is a supernatural “Romeo and Juliet” tale, in which a hidden society of vampires, witches and shape-shifters struggles to keep the knowledge of their existence from the humans around them. They follow some strict rules. But as with most rules, some are made to be broken, and that’s exactly what happens when Poppy, a human girl, is diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer, and James, her lifelong friend who happens to be a vampire from the Night World makes a choice to break the two rules he is obligated to live by in order to save her life…

(1) Never allow humans to gain knowledge of the Night World, and

(2) Never fall in love with one of them.

I first discovered the Night World series when I was in my senior year in high school. I devoured them then; I’ve always been fascinated with the supernatural, vampires and werewolves and witches. Now, rereading the series a decade later, I’m not sure if my nostalgia for the books is valid. I did enjoy reading the book before but the second time around makes it a little dull for me.

The writing feels more geared towards younger people and I get the feeling that the characters are one-dimensional. The story wasted no time getting to the dilemma, the characters seemed to figure out one another’s motives very quickly, and some of the dialogue was dated and corny to my adult perspective.

In this book the writer told, again and again, how strong Poppy. But I’m less happy with Poppy as a heroine generally in this novel. She’s not exactly a feminist stand-out–instead, she’s helpless. Every action of her life is decided by the men arround her like James & her brother Phil. When she finally does something that seems dictated by independent thought, in leaving James, it’s only at his male cousin’s prodding, and ultimately her vampire soulmate James has to come and save her. It’s ironic how the writer support her characterization.

With all that, I recommend this book for younger reader only after all I enjoy reading it before so it was still fun, quick and a morbid read.