Friday, 18 March 2011

Fallen - Lauren Kate

I have just finished reading a book that I have been reading for the past month, Fallen written by Lauren Kate.  I first decided to purchase this book after many readers that had read the twilight series recommended it.  So of course I knew when I bought it that it would be another teenage 'fantasy' story and that is exactly what I got.

The story is about a girl called Lucinda who is cursed, it seems, by these strange shadow like figures that seem to follow her every time something good is going to happen within her life.  For example, when she had her first crush on a guy, they went out on a date to his parents caravan, when they shared their first kiss, the shadows appeared and killed the guy, making it look as if Lucinda has murdered him.

Thus Lucinda was sent to a mental school after the authorities deemed her crazy as she refused to admit that she'd killed the guy and said it was some shadows, obviously this would sound pretty crazy to anyone.  Within this special school were other children who had also murdered other people or committed strange crimes.  The school was based in an old church site.  The actual church was now a swimming pool and the school had been extended from there.  The cemetery still existed and formed part of the vast landscape that the school owned.

After being at the school for a few days, a guy named Daniel caught Lucinda's attention however he kept ignoring her or being really cruel to her.  Another guy however kept making every move on Lucinda trying to be extremely nice and flirting constantly, his name was Cam.  Lucinda also became close friends with two very different girls named Penn and Arriane.  Penn was the only student at the school who wasn't deemed crazy, she was simply there because her father was once the gardener, unfortunately he had died and Penn had no other family members so she just stayed at the school so that she could study.

As you venture a bit more towards the book, both Daniel and Cam seem to fight over Lucinda, even though Daniel seems not the least interested in her, he seems to go a long way to protect her.  Eventually Daniel takes Lucinda to a lake within the school grounds and it is obvious that deep down, he really likes her, Lucinda just has to find a way for him to admit it.

Towards the end of the book, Cam organizes for a car to pick Lucinda up from the school and sneak her off campus, they meet in a cafe a few miles down the road and he seems to be ever so generous until some drunken men rub him up the wrong way and grab Lucinda, he punches them to the floor and shouts things that Lucinda can't believe he would say these type of things.  Suddenly Daniel turns up and whisks Lucinda away from the scene, leaving Cam distraught.  Daniel takes Lucinda to the lake and confesses that he is in love with her, hence they share their first kiss.  However after this kiss Daniel seems to go into shock and keeps saying 'You're still're still alive...'  Lucinda finds this very strange and asks him to explain but he demands he can't for her own sake.

Later in the book Lucinda's friend Penn finds a book within the Library that dates back to the 1500's and is said to be written by a certain Daniel Grigori, of which they assume is just a relative of Daniel's.  However when Lucinda opens the book she finds a picture of an extremely familiar couple, her and Daniel.  The whole book is written about Daniel's love for Lucinda and every adventure they had shared since the whole love began.

Lucinda decides to track down Daniel and tells him she knows what he is, that he is an angel (she has had this feeling for a long while as she has seen this in her dreams and the book just proves what she has expected) and Daniel asks her to repeat this statement over and over and again, can't believe she is still alive.  He then claims that every time this has happened in the past, he has been the one to tell her and consequently she has died, but then reappeared every 17 years, therefore this time he has realized that she must be the one to find out for herself, and not the other way around.

The next part is where everything begins to get interesting, Lucinda decides to speak with the librarian, Miss Sophia, to see if she knows anymore about the book, however Miss Sophia then exclaims 'Oh, so you know...'  Apparently the book had been kept locked away and Miss Sophia knew everything about it and what the love between Daniel and Lucinda entailed.  She then demands that her and Lucinda must find Daniel immediately.  They eventually track him down in the woods where it seems a massive fight is occuring, her friend Penn witnessed the start and is in total shock.  It appears that Cam is some sort of evil angel, a devil of sorts, and is shouting at Daniel, claiming this is not how it is meant to be, Lucinda is meant to be dead by now.  We later find out that Daniel has been cursed to live for eternity and his pain shall be having a love he loses every 17 years.  Cam and the others are there to make sure she dies once again seeing as it hasn't happened naturally this time.

Suddenly Miss Sophia starts shouting in tongue and states that her and Lucinda must run quickly as the fight is about to begin, Daniel nods that Lucinda must do this however she refuses to leave Penn behind. As they are running, Penn is struck by one of these shadows (who we find out are Cam's 'helpers' that have just been stalking Lucinda) there is a big bite in her shoulder and she bleeds heavily, thus Miss Sophia grabs her and runs to a derelict chapel.  Within the chapel Miss Sophia barricades the doors and suddenly her eyes glow red and wrinkles start to appear.  She grabs a knife and slits Penn's throat claiming she was holding them back.  Much to Lucinda's surprise, Miss Sophia isn't who she seems to be.  Lucinda is tied down to the floor and Miss Sophia pricks her with the knife, then threatening to stab her straight in the heart, as she is about to do this, the glass windows shatter and a bright light fills the room.  Miss Sophia crys that it isn't meant to happen this way and runs to find the secret door.  Lucinda is untied and Miss Sophia escapes, thus Daniel, who was creating the bright light due to his wings, sends one of his own 'helpers' after her.

It later appears that Daniel, Gabbe (another girl at the school...supposedly) and Arriane are all angels (the good ones).  Cam and another guy are the bad angels, Miss Sophia however was an elder and has crossed over to the bad side, of which Daniel had not known until now.  He claims that Lucinda must escape for her own good and that he has arranged a flight with their only ally their mortal history teacher who happened to be a pilot in the Vietnam war.

The story ends with Lucinda flying off to an island for seclusion with the history teacher until Daniel reappears from his mission to find Cam to end the fight.  Thus there is a second book...

I personally thought this book was a bit slow to start with however about half way through it starts to become quite interesting.  Yes there are some quite cheesy moments, especially when Lucinda exclaims 'You're my Guardian Angel!'  but of course this is to be expected from a teenage novel.  I am considering whether or not to buy the second book, I am tempted to see how this story continues but I guess I have to be in the right cheesy mood!  I may buy the book over the summer - we shall see!

Overall I give this book 6 out of 10.

While I am here I also thought I would provide an update on the situation in Japan.  Today the alert level at the nuclear plant has been raised from level 4 to 5 (of which there are 7 levels).  This is now two levels below that of Chernobyl.  My worry increases.

The latest figures state that 6,405 people are dead and about 10,200 are missing.  Many countries across the globe are now evacuating their people from the country in fears of the radiation.

Water is constantly being sprayed on the nuclear reactors in attempts to cool it down, however most of the water dropped by the helicopters simply got blown away in the wind.  

Personally I can't see an end to this crisis coming anytime soon.

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