Okay, I originally wrote a teeny-tiny review for The Fallen by Keri Lake that went along the lines of:
But then I realised that, as much as it’s an accurate description of my thoughts on this hot dude, it barely scratches the surface of my thoughts on this novel as a whole.
So let’s evaluate.
Okay, is The Fallen a romance?
Well, the author claims not. Me? I’m going to argue the case.
Whilst Xander’s initial interest in Karinna is definitely infatuation bordering on obsession, the feelings he has toward her, and the development of those feelings, should still be treated with equal respect. Because when a tough dude suddenly finds a human worth breaking the rules for, you can bet your butt she means something to him, and this is 100% what we see from Xander in this book. Just because a dude doesn’t understand his feelings, doesn’t mean they’re not there. After all, love needs no rhyme or reason. Love just … is.
And then, alongside this slightly deranged dude, we have Karinna. She is easily the most surprising element of this book and a VERY multi-faceted character that will demand you struggle to get a handle on her. Normally, this kind of character would be frustrating to me, and risk the danger of hindering a reader connection. However, Karinna is such an intriguing soul that you can’t help but want to get to know her just to unravel her mystery.
Because Karinna is definitely the mystery of this book. And you’d better ensure you have a strong stomach if you’re to take this feisty chick on. Not only is her story terrifyingly familiar, it is also as heartbreaking as one should expect it to be, and just about as damaging as it gets. Though, the reader doesn’t learn immediately just how damaging her experiences have been. Which only adds to the enigma of this woman. I’m not going to say any more than that, because I’m not one for spoilers, but her carefully-unfolding tale, and the twists it made, most certainly took me by surprise—and I love to be surprised by a story.
So, what about the ending? Well, you’d expect a tale of a couple binding over death and circumstance, and a male trying to save a female who doesn’t even realise she needs to be saved, would come with a happy ending of final relief … right?
But nor does it necessarily come with a bad end—although, that opinion would likely differ depending on the POV.
Man, how to word this without giving it all away?
Okay, here goes: this story is full of sadness and badness, and commitment, and sacrifice, and quite possibly some of the darkest horror any female can possibly image … with a bitter sweet ending that is full of sadness in and of itself whilst being the best possible outcome anyone could hope for, given how everything plays out.
In short: you may go into this one expecting a hot dude and a whole lot of BDSM, but The Fallen truly is so very much more than that. You definitely want to add this one to your TBR.