In Fallen, Luce (short for Lucinda) is shipped off to Sword & Cross, a boarding school for delinquents. All we are told is that the boy Luce was dating was killed in some type of fire and that Luce was supposedly the cause of the fire. We also learn about these strange things called Shadows that only Luce can see. They are yet another reason she is at Sword & Cross. She's not only a delinquent, she is deemed crazy. She feels tremendous guilt, but her fear of attending Sword & Cross rivals the guilt. Sword & Cross is not at all what Luce expects: it is much worse. There are video cameras everywhere, she has to give up her phone (which means no contact with even her parents), there is an allowance of one 15-minute telephone call a week, some of the students have tracking devices on their wrists or ankles, and the entire grounds of Sword & Cross is very run down and very creepy.
Despite her depressing circumstances, Luce finds herself attracted to two boys: Cam, who is utterly confident, very sneaky, and extremely up-front about his attraction to Luce, and Daniel, who despite being rude to Luce the first day they meet, holds an intense attraction for Luce. She feels like she has met Daniel somewhere before, but Daniel's standoffish attitude and Cam's evident affection for her does nothing but add to the confusion. Why does she keep having strange dreams about Daniel, dreams that involve the unfurling of wings?
With the help of her friend Penn, Luce must uncover the secrets of nearly everyone at Sword & Cross. Why is Daniel so hot and cold with her? Why does she see so many more Shadows at Sword & Cross? And what is it that makes everyone at her new school so different?
I enjoyed most of this book. The beginning immediately grabbed me and I read straight through for a great many chapters. I liked Luce a lot, but I especially liked Arriane and Penn. Toward the end of the book I started to get very restless. I wanted to know more about the fire that caused the death of Luce's boyfriend (the reason she is at Sword & Cross). And I wanted more things explained about the other students and teachers at Sword & Cross. The sequel, Torment, is coming out in September, so I am sure many issues will be resolved, but I felt that one or two more should have been explained in the first book. I will definitely read book two in the hopes of some resolution to various issues. I'd love to hear what other readers thought of Fallen!
The Dark Divine
by Bree Despain
by Becca Fitzpatrick
by Kami Garcia
& Margaret Stohl