I really had to make myself read on in the first two books of the Fallen Series and after that, I decided I’d had enough. It’s not just that there are many elements in the story that I have an issue with, it’s also that the story itself is very drawn out and downright boring at times.
The Fallen Series tell the story of 17-year old Lucinda (‘Luce’) Price who is sent to a reform school after the mysterious death of a boy she had kissed. At this school called Sword and Cross she meets new friends, makes enemies and is drawn towards two boys: Daniel and Cam.
So far the story is fairly stereotype, but the Fallen Series aren’t about humans, they focus on angels. Fallen angels mostly. Daniel for instance is an angel who choose neither for God nor for Satan at the beginning of time, instead is ‘chose love’. Cam on the other hand is a demon, a fallen angel who chose the side of satan.
I don’t think I need to explain in much detail why this topic makes this series very unsuitable for teens. The biblical truth is twisted and turned in many ways to allow for a romantic story (the love story between Daniel and Luce which supposedly started at the beginning of time – Luce keeps reincarnating) as well as an epic battle. Daniel has to make a choice it turns out, he’s the angel that has to choose either good (God) or bad (satan) and thus settle this battle forever.
The series is described as a ‘gothic fantasy’ and that gothic element is very present. The reform school Sword and Cross is a dark and bleak place where death and pain seem to rule. Luce herself is constantly visited (and haunted) by ‘messengers’, a sort of spirits. Also, at the end of the first book in the series there’s a battle where Luce’s best friend Penn is killed. In the second book, the story suddenly shifts to a completely different school (though the angels tell Luce to lie to her parents that she’s still at the first school), which is so happy-clappy it’s almost comical.
Aside from the biblical issues with this series, the story itself didn’t grab me at all. There wasn’t much action, just a lot of hesitating and doubting and wondering. And sighing over Daniel. Okay, I may not get that part because I’m not a young adult anymore, but I’ve read other teen novels where the love story did appeal to me.
All in all this is not a series I would recommend to teens. The biblical inaccuracies and downright heresies are too big to overlook. Besides that, there’s little depth in the story and not much in terms of themes or issues to discuss with teens. It’s one of the books where I really wonder how it ended up in the Top 100 of teen fiction!