When I finished the four main books of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, I said that while I liked the main books, I wouldn’t read any of the spin-off books like Fallen in Love… And then came Unforgiven, billed as book five of the series.
Though it’s listed as a core book in the series, Unforgiven deviates from the main Daniel/Lucinda story to follow Cam, the bad boy angel, as he finds a hope of redemption from Daniel and Lucinda’s happy ending and begins to wonder what happened to Lilith, the woman he jilted because he couldn’t marry in a church.
Maybe I’m getting a bit old for these books, but I was distinctly underwhelmed by Unforgiven. Making a deal with the devil to rescue your lost love from her very own personalised hell sounds like an idea with huge potential, but in reality, it is executed like the plot of a D-list teen movie. While Lilith is an interesting enough construction, Cam’s character- one of the more stand out features of the first four Fallen books- is wiped away almost entirely as he becomes a wet-blanket, Daniel mark two. Much of the original information about Cam and Lilith’s story from the earlier novels is rewritten to fit the needs of this novel, but this then renders the information in the earlier books (remember Lilith, Luce’s nemesis at the school for Nephilim?) meaningless. In the effort to create a middling love story, the contest for Lilith’s soul seems to get lost among the Battle of the Bands plot, and this is only made worse when Roland and Arianne show up in an attempt to link the novel in more closely with the rest of the series.
It seems to me that any book which sees the main protagonist go up against the devil needs to see one hell of a protagonist, and the devil should be the ultimate big bad. In Unforgiven, Lucifer is no more menacing than your average school bully and a great deal less imaginative. If your biggest problem when dealing with the devil is that he’s made you put on weight and your hair thin prematurely, then you’re getting off pretty lightly.
Cam should probably be glad that he wasn’t locked in a room and forced to read Fallen and Unforgiven fanfiction for all eternity…