The cover looked amazing. I turned the title pages to the beginning and was floored by the Victorian dark paranormal romance – this was going to be an incredible story. But then I reached chapter one and the modern day America set-up. My heart sunk. Twilight, only this time Edward Cullen was to be an angel.
Publisher: Corgi (Random House)
Age: Young Adult
First Published: 2009
Date Reviewed: 2010
For the first time ever I’ve started writing a review long before I’ve finished the book – because I can, because I know exactly what’s going to happen throughout. Rest assured however that by the time this review is finished the book will have been also as I don’t like the idea of heckling something I’m not completely knowledgeable about.
Yes, there are a lot of problems with Fallen which is quite ironic considering it’s title, so I’d like to get all the similarities with Twilight listed so that we can move on to more positive aspects (indeed there actually are some).
Luce asks her friend what the arrogant boy’s problem is – the hero is an arrogant boy, prone to bouts of anger; Luce is clumsy and boring, her home town is called Thunderbolt and she has an old banger of a car; there’s a girl with a pixie haircut and Daniel seems to have unlikely friends; Daniel saves Luce from a falling statue; Luce does research to find out about Daniel; there’s a big lovely looking place they go to, open and scenic; Daniel’s skin looks golden and radiates the light when he’s in the sun; Daniel is always telling Luce to stay away from him; when a fight breaks out outside school, suddenly Daniel’s there and he whisks her home in a car. He’s very angry throughout the journey. The bad guys are after Luce and only Luce all the time; the long drawn out ending doesn’t solve anything; it looks like Daniel won’t be in the next book with Luce much…
I am astonished that Kate hasn’t been had up in court and fined profusely for this blatant plagiarism. Kate would have to be a very slow writer to have started this book before Meyer came on the scene.
None of the things I mentioned in the list are spoilers because this is a very predictable book. The one thing I was hoping for however was that Luce would be something else, and she’s not, she is Bella all over; in fact she is a contradiction. Kate tells us that Luce is very clever and at one point Luce is telling Daniel about all the academic achievements she’s gained in life – but never once does Luce come across as a good student. She seems incredibly ignorant and although she gets bored in classes it’s only because they are so long, not because the are at such a low level. She never once acts at all like someone who is studious.
There are some good points to the book, the most important being that yes, it does intrigue you to read the next one, even if you decide that there are a hundred books worth your time first and even if it’s just to find out how much like New Moon it will be. It takes a while but Kate finally lets up on the paraphrasing and starts crafting her own story and although it may not be what it could’ve been it’s decent enough (as long as what you’re expecting is teenage angst and damsels in distress). The history element is unique. Daniel may have lived as long as those sparkly vampires but we’ve got Luce’s lives to catch up on too. It will be interesting to see what Kate does about the religious aspect of the story: will she just exploit the angel idea or will she put a theological bent on it?
The writing is bad and at times it appears Kate forgets even the biggest issues. Luce gives her watch to a teacher because the pupils aren’t allowed them – but a little while later she looks at the time on her watch. Luce takes a sip from a bone-dry latte – how that works I’ve no clue.
The sky was that no-color color.
So was the sky coloured or not?
She’d always loved the fairly sweet musty way that only a roomful of books smelled.
Fallen would have been a far better book had Kate set it back in time during one of Luce’s previous lives, and made the story darker and more mature. If she had done that she would have escaped a lot of the criticism given to her.
August 5, 2010, 8:56 am
oh dear, i have read a few reviews of this book but no one ever said it was this similar to twilight. This is just plain sad.
I understand the need to get in on the wave of Twilight romances, but come one, at least make it original.
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your review. This book is definitely off my reading list. Too bad it has a gorgeous cover :)
Charlie: All the reviews I read raved about it so I guess it wasn’t something they wanted to mention. I don’t mind a bit of an overlap either, because if paranormal romance works right now, why not – but there are so many different ways to have done it, like following a historical route as Lauren Kate started to do at first.
Thanks :) Yeah, the cover is gorgeous. This is one of the first times in ages where I agree with that phrase…
August 5, 2010, 1:11 pm
If it really is so much like Twilight that is very sad. I guess I’ll take this off the wishlist.
Charlie: It is. And the problem is once you see the first few references the others are all too easy to spot.
September 23, 2010, 9:41 pm
Oh, gag! And this reminds me of another (terrible) young adult novel I read last year: Nevermore. I thought that was just another horrible re-telling of Twilight, but this one sounds even more agonizing!
Charlie: I think I’ve heard of Nevermore, at least a cover comes to mind. Maybe a list of all these copies might be an idea, because I know vampires are cool now (oh dear, that’s unintentional!) but you can use a theme without copying a story.