Lauren Kate has joined two of my favorite themes, soul mates and fallen angels, in her new series kick-off Fallen. (I've mentioned before that I have a weak spot for fallen angels and I could not be happier that it's an ever-expanding sub genre of fantasy YA novels.) The book starts off with plenty of intrigue and mystery which just keeps leading to more and more mystery as the story progresses. For every question answered a new one appears, but not in an annoying way. Kate manages to keep you interested even though there are tons of new loose ends to tie up in the second book Torment, out in late September.
The main characters are vague enough that you can jump into the scene, as opposed to jumping off the page themselves. I think both styles have merit but I think its personal preference to which is better. ;) Kate also did a great job of making me care about the characters by showing their vulnerabilities and short comings. No one is perfect... not even angels.
The subject matter also manages to stay on topic (ya know, about angels) without becoming grossly over-religious. The mythology can exist without the over-tones that put off many audiences and Kate did a wonderful job with that.
Kate spent a lot of time building a world for her characters and it seems like they wont be living in that world anymore in the second book. I'm not sure how this will play out or if it will even matter, but it seems like a shame to have taken so much time creating something to abandon it in the end. However, the series seems very well planned out. Sometimes it seems like one book was written and then the publisher asked for a series. I don't get that feeling with Fallen and I definitely look forward to reading the next book soon!