I like a little sugar in my tea, a smidgen of cheese on that cracker, some garnish on a salad (but not too much) and ... (running out of food metaphors)... something novel in a novel.
Fellow explorers of YA literature, beware of resting your weary heads here! You may have been lured by the atmospheric cover art or the predominantly positive reviews but approach with caution!
I have read all four of the main books in this series (Fallen, Torment, Passion & Rapture). I thought the first book, Fallen, was better than the rest, in much the same way that I think snails are better than slugs. The last book, Rapture, was almost unbearable.
Why would I read a full series of books which I disliked so much? Well that is a terrible tale of woe; a tale of deserted, weather-beaten islands, ill-preparedness and a new kindle with nothing but Lauren Kate on offer. The series had been recommended by a friend who usually has very similar taste, alas, she withheld an important bit of information – she had only read the first book. By the time I finished Rapture I realised that my time would have been better spent dancing in the rain or wandering, Heathcliffe-style, across the forsaken moors at the dead of night.
I didn’t like any of the characters with the exception of Cam, a demon who resided in the naughty corner of the mangled, central love-triangle.(show spoiler)
In the boring corner was Dreary Daniel the Fallen Angel and for the top of the triangle, where most authors choose to pin their star-attraction, Lauren Kate chose Moosey-Lucy (Luce). There is not an awful lot I can say about Daniel and Luce as they inspired nothing but apathy and occasional irritation. Luce was a love-sick, female ‘protagonist’ who spent most of the book prostrating herself before Daniel and, if she ever ventured to do something of her own accord, it was invariably idiotic. Throughout all of the books Daniel reminded me of the scene in Gone With The Wind when Rhett Butler finally gets sick of Scarlet O’Hara and says, “You are tired, you’d better go to bed.” Daniel might as well have just repeated this line every time he spoke to Luce, such was his dismissive attitude towards her abilities (beyond that of being his pin-up girl) and whilst I can sympathise, given that she was a liability, he was supposed to love and respect her.
Technically, the writing wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good enough to make up for the tenuous story, the careless ending, the cardboard-cut-out characters or the regressive portrayal of both men and women. For those who really want to give this series a go, my advice would be to try the first one, if you love it, as many have done before you, then ‘Good luck and Godspeed my friend’! If not, then do not carry on with hope in your heart – it does not improve and you will only be hurting yourself.