Mark is Fallen, trapped on one of the lowest rungs of society with no chance of improving his situation. And then he meets Conall. An Upperclassman and the child of powerful Party members, Conall’s future seems clear: he’ll finish school and join the political machine that dominates society. The last thing he should do is associate with a Fallen, and ending up in love with one is absolutely forbidden. Despite everything stacked against them, however, Conall and Mark seem destined for one another.
But Mark is not as he seems. He carries with him a dark legacy that he neither asked for nor understands. It threatens not only to consume him, but to destroy his relationship with Conall. Mark will have to confront the father who abandoned him, the dangerous forces that wish to control him, and his growing desire for violence. Conall maybe the only thing Mark can depend upon and his love may be the thing that yet saves him.
A demon, a half demon, and an Irishman walk into a bar…well not really, but the set up works when we’re discussing Fallen Love. This book is something of a chaotic jumble that never quite decides what it wants to be. There are mutants and demons and witches and seers alongside political upheaval and classism and, unfortunately, none of it is done very well. Mark and Conall are fine as characters, but Conall especially lacks depth. We see Mark evolve somewhat, but both characters seem wooden and stiff, rather than realistic. Their romance is one of those things we’re told happens, but doesn’t read as particularly evolved. It just sort of is.
The plot is chaotic and Fallen Love suffers from poor transitioning. The chapters lurch from action to action and often the story often struggles to maintain a cohesive narrative throughout. There is some world building, but given the complexity of the society the author has created, the book needed a lot more scaffolding. There just isn’t enough detail to explain and fully support everything happening on the page. The result is a mishmash that never really works. Part of the issue with this, I think, is that Fallen Love is trying to juggle too many paranormal, science fiction, and religious themes and they aren’t given enough space to really work. They needed more detail and a chance to breathe and that doesn’t happen here. The book is the start of a trilogy, so some of this may resolve itself as the series progresses.
The writing is also problematic. Technically it’s okay, but it tends to lean towards to the purple, which undermines the seriousness of the action on page. On the whole, the writing feels almost at war with itself and ends up waffling between the simplistic and flowery and has the same chaotic undertones as the story.
Fallen Love is original in some ways, but lackluster characters, a tangled plot, and uneven writing made for a frustrating read. The book never settled down enough to tell an interesting story or to let me immerse myself in the world. I’d have to recommend giving this one a pass.