Spoiler alert, folks, but Fallen is about fallen angels.
Very novel, we know.
If your novel's got fallen angels, then it's gonna have some stuff about religion in it, too. In this case, what we get isn't too heavy hitting—it's more of a plot device, and something that fleshes out the characters. What happens if you have angelic heritage? What kind of lifestyle will you have? How much Bible should you be reading? All we have to say is keep your arms, legs, and wings buckled up at all times, because things are about to get a little holy up in here.
We realize by the end of the book that Cam, Gabbe, Arriane, Roland, Molly, and Daniel are fallen angels, but that Penn is not. Similarly, Miss Sophia is a Zhsmaelim, but Mr. Cole is just a regular guy. The humans at this school are not important.
Fallen is all about arcane Christian lore, but it subverts it but introducing the non-Christian theme of reincarnation.
Fallen is the story of a young man destined to lose the love of his life over and over and over again, every seventeen years. But over the course of the novel, as we see Luce trying to piece together her own scattered memories, we realize that even though Daniel losing her over and over again is a tragedy, Luce losing herself over and over again strikes a deeper chord. All the lives she lived, all the experiences she would have had that she can no longer remember, all of it make up the person she is now.
Luce mourns many things during her time at Sword & Cross: her hair, her friendship with Callie, Penn, her parents. But none of that seems to be on her mind as she's getting into a plane with Mr. Cole in the last chapter: she has grown as a character.
The outlawing of cell phones makes it a lot harder not only for the students to communicate quickly with the outside world, but also with each other.
When you've been alive, in one form or another, for hundreds of years, you're gonna have a lot of memories to sift through. That's certainly the case for Luce and Daniel in Fallen, anyway. As soon as she gets to Sword & Cross, Luce begins having strange dreams that all revolve around a certain mysterious young man. Daniel, for his part, tells us pretty much straight up that he's haunted by so many memories of losing Luce. Can anything they do break the cycle?
If Luce's memories are all stored up from her past lives, does that mean she really has experienced everything she's done and seen in her dreams?
Luce's age might have something to do with the particular memories that she remembers. Imagine what her memories would be like if she could live into her twenties or thirties.
The surreal, creepy, but kind of romantic campus of Sword & Cross in Fallen is kind of like its own character. Can you imagine this melodramatic, centuries-long romance of the literally damned taking place anywhere else? We mean, really, this is a place that's surrounded by Civil War cemeteries and has a gymnasium that's really a converted old church. If we were teenaged fallen angels, this is where we'd go to hang out and fall in love and save the world, too.
The South is, overall, a pretty Christian place. Imagine how the idea of fallen angels would have gone over somewhere like New York or Los Angeles. Consider how people would react differently there if they knew fallen angels were in their midst.
Many of the characters have lived many lifetimes in many different places, but they seem somewhat untouched by those places in this lifetime.
Light and shadow, black and white, good and evil: Fallen's all about the mysterious doings of some troubled teenage angels at a Southern reform school. But what's good, and what's bad? Most of the book takes place in a moral gray area—and there are a lot of other colors at play, too: Cam's green eyes conjure images of grass, but also of snake scales; Daniel's golden hair and gray eyes conjure an image of lovely, ethereal beauty; Arriane's black hair indicates rebellion, as does Luce's. And did we mention that shadows are actual characters here?
If Luce can manipulate shadows, and if she can see the light emanating off Daniel, this might indicate that there's something supernatural about her, beyond the whole reincarnation business.
If Luce can see Daniel's ethereal glow, it shows that she has a special relationship with him. Arriane and Gabbe and Cam are also fallen angels, but Luce doesn't see the glow coming from them.
Fallen may be about fallen angels—a pretty Judeo-Christian kind of thing—but Lauren Kate turns dogma on its head by giving us a protagonist who just keeps coming back again and again, from one life to the next. The point of all this reincarnation seems to be that Luce and Daniel, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, are being given the chance over and over to do things right. But will they succeed? And how can they figure out what it is they have to do to right the world and be together forever?
Luce comes back as the very same Luce she was before. That's how Daniel always recognizes her.
The fallen angels have been kicked out of heaven. It would be better for them to be reincarnated that it would be for them to die, because there's no other place for them to go besides the fiery pits of hell.
According the Bible story, the first two people on Earth were Adam and Eve. They lived in paradise in Eden, but things got tricky one day when a suspicious serpent told Eve she should totally eat some fruit on a treat God told her to stay away from. Tempted, Eve was like, This sounds like a totally great idea, so she ate that fruit and told Adam to do it, too. Turns out they were eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and when the Big Guy found out, he got royally ticked and cast Adam and Even out of Eden.
Yeah, that's because something pretty similar happens in Fallen. Here, Cam is constantly tempting Luce with trinkets and fancy food, and he's usually doing so in some leafy place. Cam: delicious and dangerous. Luce: staggeringly stupid and totally lacking in self-awareness. What could go wrong?
Luce's parents surprise her with a picnic of her favorite things on Parents' Day. This gesture suggest that Luce's parents love her, even though they've sent her away to Sword & Cross.
Although Luce drinks at Cam's party, Penn never does. Sometimes Penn acts more as a parent to Luce than as a friend.
One is the loneliest number, as Fallen's Luce Price knows all too well. Luce's misadventures at Sword & Cross leave her feeling quite alone for much of the book. Sure, she does eventually make friends, including some good ones, but life's just not right when the hunky bad boy doesn't notice you. Can the presence of almost-as-hunky Cam alleviate some of Luce's loneliness? Or Daniel the only one who can make her feel all that romantic goo? Hey, at least she has Penn and Arianne and Gabbe to help her keep her head sort of on. #girlcode
The angelic students have had many lifetimes to get to know one another. Friends who rebel against God together stick together.
Like Luce, Daniel seems to be the only one who is both within a friend group and outside of it. He hangs out with Roland sometimes, but he also goes off on his own. Could this be tied to his relationship with Luce, and the fact that he's somehow more damned than the other fallen angels?