Fallen Love by Alex Stargazer
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Alex Stargazer’s latest book, Fallen Love. I was looking for a new fantasy book/series, with elements of romance. This fit the bill. Plus, I got to be a part of his crowd fund group through Kickstarter. I had to wait quite a while to receive the paperback, but it was well worth the wait. This story captured my interest right away, which is no small matter. Because stories have so many elements to them, I feel it’s only fair to break down my review into four categories: Plot, Prose, Character Development, and Originality. Overall, Fallen Love deserves a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I’m greatly looking forward to reading the next in the series: Fallen Desire. But I’m getting ahead of myself . . .
The introduction of Conall and Mark starts the story off at breakneck speed. They’re being chased by Scarabs—very nasty, ugly creatures. The story then fades to a slower pace, and Alex does a fantastic job of creating a tantalizing build. A lot of mystery surrounds the character of Mark. He doesn’t know much of his origins. Only that his mother died, while giving birth to him. Mark’s father abandoned him. And so he ended up being raised by his uncle, his mother’s brother. Because of being an orphan, his class was downgraded to Fallen. In contrast, Conall is a rich boy, an Upperclassman, around the age of 19 (I think). He’s been given excess, his whole life. Yet he isn’t conceited. This was something I truly loved about the character of Conall. Pure of heart, even while being raised in that wealthy lifestyle. He does on occasion come off as a partier, but that only adds to his charm. The context is everything. You’ll just have to read the book, to see what I mean.
Then there’s the character of Kaylin. She is a powerhouse. Very deep personality. Always tries to see the big picture of what’s happening around her. She dabbles in magic, throughout. Her Vision ability is both awesome and horrifying. She mostly Sees in the timeframe very close to her own position in time. She also has telepathic abilities. Overall, she’s a great main character, as are Mark and Conall.
By the halfway point of the story, I literally couldn’t put the book down. I binged about 200 pages or so in one day, which is a rarity for me. Like I said earlier, though, Alex does a great job of keeping the story pace at tantalizing levels. Just when the tempo starts to wane, something happens to drive intrigue back into it.
The docked star for plot would be that Mark’s history isn’t brought up early enough for Alex to flesh out more things regarding Mark’s character. This is more personal preference, than anything. By the halfway point of the story, a lot is going on. So, I get why Alex had to put some things on hold. I’m hoping to see more explored on that, in the next book.
Prose/Style & Grammar 3/5
I’ll keep this section short. The prose is good. At times, fun. I like the similes Alex uses. Sometimes authors make them awkward. But I didn’t experience that at all, with Fallen Love. Each simile/comparison that the viewpoint character made was tailored to them. Each character has a unique voice. You can almost tell who the viewpoint character is, simply by how their narrative is structured and worded.
If it weren’t for the consistent spelling and punctuation slipups, I’d be giving this section 5 out of 5. However, fair’s fair. I can’t overlook that this book needed another proofreading or two, to catch the simple but obvious mistakes.
Character Development 4/5
The development of the main characters is excellent, aside from Mark, and a character introduced much later in the story by the name of Michael. A lot more could’ve been done with Michael’s character. My only hope is that he will be in the sequel more than he was in Fallen Love.
I do wish there had been a few more supporting characters or that the supporting characters introduced, ones such as Diana and Declan, had more “screen time.” Shadow was another standout character that could’ve played a bigger role. This story is grand enough to give the supporting cast more depth, without detracting from the main storyline. But, again, this comes down to personal preference.
On a side note, potential readers should know that this book is not in the erotica genre. If you’re expecting a sex-filled story, look elsewhere. While this does have romance—same-sex intimacy, some really steamy scenes, and a few sex scenes—that’s not the primary focus of this story. There are also some rather tragic, violent moments. I wouldn’t recommend that any reader younger than sixteen read this book, maybe a mature fourteen or fifteen-year-old. Some of the themes are dark, but very realistic. The story wouldn’t have the impact that it does, if the violence had been downplayed at all. Just thought I’d warn you, though, please don’t be letting your immature thirteen-year-old read this book. Oh, and there are a lot of F-bombs. If that bothers you too much, again, look elsewhere.
Oh my gosh, the originality! Absolutely refreshing! Fallen Love is a blend of many familiar stories, almost like it has an echo of them. Yet it is a powerful story in its own right, with its own foundation, its own unique characters, and so many novel things. The stories I was reminded of are mainstream. Books like Hunger Games, with its politics and class system. While HG has districts, Fallen Love has quarters; the Fallen Quarter, Middle Quarter, and the Upper Quarter. Though FL isn’t about politics, right away, it leads into that and then . . . other things. But I don’t want to ruin the surprise. It’s best if you just read how it all plays out for yourself.
There’s a wonderful blend of futuristic technology and magic. Initially, the tech takes the stage. But more magic is brought in, farther along in the story, mostly through Kaylin’s character. The Black Book is one of the most intriguing parts of the magic in Fallen Love. I have a feeling it’ll be in the sequel far more than it was in this one.
I hope you have a better idea if Alex Stargazer’s book is for you. Regardless, I recommend that you give Fallen Love a go. Thanks for reading my long review all the way to the end.
I joined Reedsy Discovery, late last year. This is where I've found many promising books, while trying to find a market for my own. Fallen Love was one of those. Consider joining, to get access to some real gems. Fyi, if you join with the link on this page, I will get some compensation if/when you publish your first review on there.