Fallen by Lauren Kate.


Book Review by Cari Mayhew.  Rating 8/10.


This bestselling genre-crossing book has a captivating start and end, and I’m already looking forward to reading the next in the series!


The gist of the book is given away on its cover, so there’s no element of surprise here.  It’s a love story between a human girl and an angel.


Although it clearly lies under the paranormal genre, the book is predominantly a romance, and the characters, even though they’ve been alive centuries, are presented as come-of-age teenagers, placing the book under the young adult genre also.  It also comes under the urban fantasy genre, with its edgy beginnings at a reform school.


The prologue is enchanting with its snippet of the angel’s love for the girl in her previous life.  The rest of the story is written from the viewpoint of the girl, Luce.  Lucy would be your typical, if a little nervous, American girl, if it weren’t for her visions of black shadows that seem to appear only to her.  With no reasonable explanation for the shadows, she was put on anti-psychotic medication.


Her story begins when she’s placed at a reform school, following the death of a friend that for some reason she has little recollection of, and (perhaps therefore) blames herself for.  As you can imagine, the reform school has some lively, dramatic and intriguing characters!  A love triangle is sparked on her first day.  There’s the somehow familiar Daniel, who smiles, then flips her the bird, and the charming charismatic Cam, who can’t wait to spend time with her.


Luce finds herself drawn to Daniel, but he keeps giving her the brush off.  Cam meanwhile takes a special interest in Luce.  Once Luce has her “first” kiss with Daniel, she decides to meet Cam to apologize for leading him on.  However, she ends up kissing Cam and the black shadows come after them.  Daniel’s identity as a fallen angel is revealed to Luce and a battle (rather than their previous fist fight) begins.  Luce flees for safety, only to find herself in further danger!


The obvious comparison here is with Stephanie Meyers Twilight Saga, which has a similar love triangle, but with a vampire and werewolf rather than fallen angels.  Lauren Kate’s writing is not as good as Stephanie Meyers’, but is just as good as some of the other YA paranormal authors such as L J Smith, and Cassandra Clare.  Although the romance is the central feature of the book, there are no erotic scenes.

I watched the film before reading the book, and found the film quite forgettable – but the book had me hooked!  My interest in the next book in the series isn’t so much for the romance between Luce and Daniel, but for the inclusion of the other characters and the clear impression that there’s a lot more to the story than what’s been discovered so far!

Judge by Free Sample?

You may have heard the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover”.  This is true – good artwork chosen by the publisher doesn’t make the author a wordsmith!

If you’re anything like me, you may have taken advantage of Amazon’s free sample service.  You can gauge the feel of a book before you pay anything towards the cost – and if you don’t like the free sample, there’s no obligation to buy.  You don’t even need a Kindle to do this – you can just use a Kindle app, which is available on all devices!

In fact, the only time I don’t take advantage of the free sample option is when the book is already on offer for 99p or £1.

Sometimes the first chapter or so of a book is a really good indicator of what a book will be like – think the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, or anything by Dan Brown.  Other times a free sample is not enough to go by – think the ever-popular Harry Potter series, or 50 Shades of Grey.

I also once read a book advertised as having the most gripping first chapter you’ve ever read.  The book did indeed live up to the statement but unfortunately was anti-climatic – Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler.

If in any doubt, download a free sample, but if the book doesn’t hit you straight away, then persevere if the book already has a good reputation.

The Dark World by Zak Bagans.


Book Review by Cari Mayhew.  Rating 8/10.


In The Dark World, Zak Bagans talks about his ghostly encounters, as the lead investigator for the documentary series Ghost Adventures!  As one of the more seasoned and experienced professionals in the field, Zak has had some pretty crazy experiences!  They cover the entire spectrum of ghost hunting phenomena, from seeing full body apparitions, to having his butt pinched by a spirit, LOL! Continue reading The Dark World by Zak Bagans.