Book Review: Fallen in Love
Fallen in Love: A Fallen Novel in Stories (Fallen #3.5)
By Lauren Kate
To be released January 24, 2012
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Advance E-Reader Copy (NetGalley)
Hardcover | Kindle
What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.
One must read this book with the intention of seeing it for what it really is: a series of short stories about love involving characters from the Fallen series set to occur at some point during the third book, Passion. I do recommend that you read the previous books in the series in order to feel the full emotional impact of the stories in this book. It was written FOR the fans. For this reason, I intend to review the book for what it was intended to be. As a side note: Yes, the book is about the only Valentine’s Day that Luce and Daniel ever spent together in all their lives, but each individual story is really about so much more than that.
It should be known that this book does not provide a real step forward in the overall storyline. You really do need to look at this book as a “chapter” of Passion and not so much as a stand-alone. As I have said before, it is simply a collection of stories involving select characters and their individual experiences in love. Ironically, they all have these experiences on the very same day at the same place in time. Is there a plot within these pages? Well, sure. The stories are interconnected and, from cover to cover, it takes place over the span of 1 and a half-ish days (albeit in the past). In addition, some of the stories really are rather touching, particularly those for Roland and Arriane. I won’t spoil what themes are discussed, nor what happens to the characters – you will have to read it for yourself to find out. Admittedly, I was slightly put off when one item that was talked about repeatedly in the story, the Cupid’s Urn, was not used in the manner I had hoped it would and left the end feeling a bit anti-climatic for me. (Note to Lauren: The Urn could have be used so much more in the grand scheme of things.) 😉
Luckily, the characters involved in the stories never acted out of character. This is definitely a plus when you’re dealing with a book consisted entirely of “fan service” content, of sorts. The passages for Roland and Arriane touched me more than the first and final stories did. Their two stories also caused me to sympathize with Roland and Arriane more than I have up to this point in the series. It’s too bad their stories ended at exactly the moment when all I wanted was more, more, more! (In particular, Arriane’s ending was the most abrupt to me.) Luce and Daniel’s story carried out as I had expected, and lucky for me the book really wasn’t all about them, as I tend to tire of their endless declarations of love. The story for Shelby and Miles was sweet and opened the book at the drop of a hat (wink, wink). Their story even allowed for a bit of character development… (And is it just me or does anyone else envision Jason Alexander when reading about the character, Bill? Insert tiny chuckle here.)
Set in the Middle Ages, you get some rather nice tidbits of information about the time and traditions. It is rather amusing to see how how these characters adapt to the various periods they encounter. Even still, the book (as well as the series) is focused more on the characters and their emotions, and less about the actual setting. I am not sure if this is a strength or a weakness. But at least I never forgot about what time period they were in – and the setting did fit the mood of these stories rather well.
When looked at individually, the first three stories flowed with a pacing that fit perfectly with their short format, while the final story felt a little over long for its outcome. Lauren was able to use the jump from one character to the next to move the story forward to the big Valentine’s Day conclusion. The fact that each story moved forward in time, all while toying with a different theme, kept the book interesting and made for a very quick read (I finished it within 24 hours).
Lauren deals with the short story format rather well within these pages. By moving from one theme to the next with each set of characters (and by focusing more on them up until the very end) you are able to look at the final story with a little more reflection and insight. Because you’re forced to think about the various outcomes of being in love, you also feel more unsure about how it will ultimately end for the pair of star-crossed lovers, Luce and Daniel… I do have some issue with the manner of which this series is written at times, occasionally disjointed and clunky when action is involved or there is a transition in time or setting. Overall, though, Lauren’s writing can be quite poetic and often sincere, beautiful and also touching. I can also I like her writing more when she is dealing with the past instead of the present time.
If you are a fan of the Fallen series, you will likely want to pick this one up. Even if just for the one bit of character development it provides. Plus, any true fan of the series will likely feel that their collection is not complete without this installment. Those who are not fans of the series would likely be confused about who the characters are, may not connect with them, as well as wonder why Luce and Daniel’s love is so darn important. For that reason, I do not recommend this book unless you are already familiar with (and a fan of) the series.
Posted on January 15, 2012, in Book Review, Four Star and tagged Angels, Book Review, Cupid, Demons, Fallen, Fallen in Love, Fantasy, Four Star, Lauren Kate, Middle Ages, Paranormal, Romance, Short Stories, Valentine's Day. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.