- Lauren Kate
- Delacorte Press
- Book 5 of the Fallen series
- Released November 10th 2015
- 3 Stars
Note, though listed as Book 5 of the Fallen series, Unforgiven doesn’t follow Luce and Daniel.
Now that Luce and Daniel have found their happy ever after, the other fallen angels try to live out their lives purposefully. For Cam, this means trying to get back his betrothed, Lilith, who just like Luce has been reborn over and over again for millennia in the hands of Lucifer. In order to break her free of this cycle, Cam makes a deal with Lucifer that he can make Lilith fall in love with him again or he will be in eternal enslavement to Lucifer. But there is one catch: Cam only has 15 days and so in a race against time, this book draws to a spectacular conclusion.
Fallen was the first YA PNR book that I read. Okay, it was actually Torment, book two, which my fellow blogger Lillian lent to me over lunch oh 4 or 5 years ago. Being new to the genre, I couldn’t discern bad from good, mostly because I didn’t know the tropes of PNR that were all the rage at the time. I loved the whole Luce and Daniel story and in order to not ruin that image in my mind, I didn’t reread the series leading up to the release of Unforgiven. Cam was supposed to be evil guy number 2 throughout the Fallen series, but that wasn’t why I disliked him in Fallen; I disliked him for trying to steal Luce away from Daniel and though his (and the rest of the demon’s) motives are revealed in Rapture, I was forever left with the impression of him that I got from Fallen.
Fast forward to today (or a couple months ago). I’m not exactly sure where I saw the news about Lauren Kate releasing a new Fallen novel. I want to say it came across my goodreads dashboard, but I’m actually pretty sure that it was an advertisement on some non book related site (Ik kind of creepy how much the internet can find out about me). I was pretty excited at first b/c I thought it would be like Luce and Daniel’s Earthen lives. Then I saw that it was about Cam and Lilith (um who?) and I wasn’t sure if I should put in my to-read shelf or not. My love for the Fallen series convinced me to give it a shot in the end.
I was pretty lucky actually to stumble upon the audio book when I was scrolling through new releases in OverDrive. This was like right before the holiday season so I had lots of time to listen to audio books. I finished it in one day with earbuds in the whole day so I suppose this is a testament to how captivating Unforgiven is. The book is told in two (three?) perspectives: Lilith, Cam, and past Cam. How this worked out was that Lilith and Came would each get a chapter or two and then we would get a flash back scene to the Cam and Lilith of Israel which come to think of it, was mentioned back in Passion I think. These flash back scenes were a bit awkwardly weaved in as they couldn’t really line up with present time events but I liked that events that happened during the flashback could explain things about Lilith that I had just read or was going to read in the next chapters or so.
The most annoying part of this book has to be Lucifer. I mean dude, can you back the fuck off? Lucifer does so much to poor Cam and I know this is because only one of them can win in the end and he’s Lucifer so of course he plays dirty but still, I just wanted to kick his ass so hard that he would get stuck in an infinite fall and so we never have to deal with him again.
Onto some things that I liked. It was nice that there were some noticeable similarities to the original series like each chapter starting with the countdown (also in Torment) and how Lilith was innately connected to her past lives by her love of music. However there were some similarities to Fallen that I really didn’t see the point of such as the Cam’s choice to keep Lilith in the dark about everything. I get that in falling there is the whole problem with Luce burning up and everything and having to discover things on her own but we didn’t get any indication of whether this was necessary for Lilith. This whole book probably could have been finished with five days left if Cam had just told Lilith about their past, tried to explain what he was and why he did everything, and showed her the wings just to convince her of the truth. I mean he left her in the dark basically till the last day and i get that it’s supposed to be like a big reveal or something at the end like that but it just seems weird for him not to do so earlier.
Lilith was difficult to like at first though even though I could feel sympathetic for her. Though I understand where her despondence about her life comes from, it is annoying to have to sit through at least half a book of Lilith moping about thinking that she was not capable of being successful. I also didn’t like how she was couldn’t see how helpful some of Cam’s actions were. It was nice to see how she grew into a more confident person by the end of the book but it only made my happy in the, *sigh* finally, sense.
The ending felt a bit rushed and predictable but nonetheless, it probably contained the best moment where Cam’s wings go white and we get a whole exciting declaration of love.
Overall, this book was enjoyable if only that I learned about Cam’s background and why he does all the things he does. At times it felt incredibly rushed and at other times it seems like the characters are being unbelievably ignorant or stupid with their decisions. Still, the revealing of Cam was refreshing and does save this book. Next stop, the Fallen movie!