By Lauren Kate

Delacourte Press

ISBN: 978-0-385-73893-4

3.75 stars

Luce Price isn’t a normal girl, or at least she doesn’t think so. Since she was a child, she has been able to see unexplained shadows that appear before something bad happens. Medication and psychiatrists have not been able to rid of her them and she’s reluctantly learned to live with the shadows. While away at boarding school, she’s involved in the unexplained death of a classmate. She doesn’t remember what happened and can’t explain the fire that killed him and almost took her life.

A judge orders her to reform school, the Sword & Cross, and the day she checks in she’s drawn to one student, Daniel. He isn’t nice to her, doesn’t want anything to do with her, and she can’t leave him alone or get him out of her head. Strange things happen that shouldn’t when she’s around him and the shadows, which have become more direct and daring, begin to frighten her as never before.

Vampires, werewolves, and now angles. Don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away by telling you angels are involved here. The title and the name of the boarding school give it away.

The story starts out slow and stays that way for the first 100 or so pages. Luce is dreary but understandably so. She’s being dropped at another boarding school which is more like a reform school, she’s coping with the death of a boy she thinks she may have killed, her parents act as if they are afraid of her, and now she has to make friends all over again. That’ s a lot for anyone to deal with. Her obsession with Daniel is a bit much for me, I was never one for reading about teen angst, but when things are explained, the attraction and obsession become less annoying. I just wish I knew some of that up front.

The school, the Sword & Cross, is dark, sad, and somehow a good setting. When the story gets moving, it’s interesting to see what side everyone is on. I liked that the religious element was fairly light here. I’m not one for religion in books but here it was handled well — enough to make the point but not overly pronounced. I’m looking forward to the next book.

Fallen will be released December 8, 2009. It is the first is a series.

This book was sent to me by Random House at my request. It is an advanced reader’s copy.


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