Passion and Rapture, by Lauren Kate

I reviewed Lauren Kate's novel Fallen in 2010, its sequel in 2011, and then waited nearly two full years to bother reading books three and four, despite the fact that they've been sitting on our To Be Read shelf for ages. That says a lot about my feelings about this series—the premise was too promising to set aside entirely, but the books kept getting lost in a sea of more entertaining options.

At the end of the second book, Kate's heroine, ill-fated teenager Lucinda Price, had just plunged into the memory of her past lives, hoping to discover the source of the curse that causes her relationship with fallen angel Daniel to always (literally) go up in flames, killing all of her previous incarnations before they reached adulthood. The third book in the series, Passion, follows Luce's tour through history, deepening her understanding of the curse, and—for the first time—forcing me to sympathize with Daniel (at least a little). Rapture, the final book in the series, is a generic series of quests and fight scenes, leading up to a conclusion which, despite involving a climactic smackdown between God, Satan, and hosts of angels, I found remarkably boring.

Kate is a technically proficient writer. Her characters (once Daniel got over the “Master of the Universe” phase he was mired in for the first two books) are sympathetic, the plot moves briskly from Point A to Point B, and I always approve—at least in theory—of an author who thinks big, and anyone who includes God as a minor character in a YA supernatural romance is definitely a big thinker. Unfortunately, Kate goes a little too big with this series, particularly in the fourth book. As I slogged through page after page of epic battles, mystical creatures, and magical objects, I felt less and less of an emotional connection to the story. I started this series thinking I was going to be reading a Southern Gothic boarding school story with some Old Testament mojo worked in; I finished it reading about an ancient battle between a cast of entirely inhuman characters. It felt like a bait-and-switch, and I'm pretty sure I would have preferred the story I thought I was going to read to the one I ended up with.

Reviews based on publisher-provided copies.
Posted by: Julianka


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