I really didn’t think that I would like this book. Luce and Daniel don’t feature in it, it’s about Cam, and the story from the perspective of the angels felt like it was over. Mostly, I think that I didn’t want to like it because the only story I would want from Lauren Kate to continue the Fallen series is a contemporary about Luce and Daniel falling in love as humans. Low and behold, I actually kind of enjoyed this!
Unforgiven is the fifth novel to come out of the Fallen series, and a spin-off centering around Cam. The book is proceeded by Fallen, Torment, Passion, Rapture, and Fallen in Love. The original book, Fallen, has been turned into a movie, though it has yet to be released in North America. Hopefully, we’ll get it soon though because I’m itching to see it. As always, beware of spoilers below.
The synopsis for Unforgiven reads:
High school can be hell.
Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.
Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.
Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel, UNFORGIVEN.
When I finished Rapture, I was positive that I wouldn’t read this book. In the original canon of the Fallen series, I hate Cam. He is one of my least favourite characters in the series. So when I started this, I walked in pretty sure that I wouldn’t finish reading it.
As I read though, I found myself really sympathizing with Lilith and liking her. For me, this novel became way more about Lilith’s story and what she had been through rather than Cam and his journey. Lilith is struggling to find her place in school, obviously doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother, and really doesn’t have any friends of her own. When you first see her, you just want to give her a hug because of how badly she’s been treated.
When Cam enters the picture, for him, it’s about how she’s just as beautiful as she once was, and how she somehow didn’t manage to get into Heaven. He’s confused by how she’s still here, how she’s managed to return. It’s not like Daniel and Lucinda where Daniel knew he would see her again. That’s when he gets pulled into a time continuum bubble by Lucifer.
Lucifer ruining everyone’s happiness because he can’t have his own is, at this point, a tired narrative for me. I loved the angle that Lauren Kate took with Lucifer’s character in the original Fallen cannon, but found that the repeat to tell Cam and Lilith’s story was just a reuse of popular material. I wish it could have been written in a more convincing way, with a bit more depth. I almost wish that Lilith and Cam would have had a parallel story with Luce and Daniel. That would have been amazing.
I really liked Cam falling for someone who was unsure, and insecure. Someone who shared his interests, but also challenged him. And I really, really liked Lilith. She was great to have as an underdog to root for. Her realization that Cam, the boy she was falling for, was the actual reason for her misery was painful to read. This book totally became all about my sympathy for Lilith and how much I would have loved for her, Lucinda and Penn to be friends, rather than a love story about her and Cam.
I tried really hard not to compare this book with the original Fallen series, as (while this book is a spin-off) continues post-Daniel and Luce. However, I couldn’t separate the two. Really, I would have preferred Kate to have written a contemporary novel about Daniel and Lucinda falling in love as mortals. I feel like that would be an amazing book. This book wasn’t as good as the original series for me, I think, purely because I loved the original Fallen series so much. Cam was never my favourite, and I was so absorbed into Luce and Daniel’s love story. The idea of a Fallen Angel loving the same girl, who would reincarnate every 17 years, across the world and all time was so compelling. I think that this book was overshadowed by how great the original series was, although this book was well-done in it’s own right.
Overall, while this book was well-written and probably a huge pay-off for Cam fans, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the original series. I did enjoy reading it, but Luce and Daniel are my OTP. I would have preferred more Lucinda and Daniel goodness, but I guess I’ll have to wait until when/if Lauren Kate decides to write more of their love story.