Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Series: Falling Under
Author: Gwen Hayes
# of Books: 2 (Falling Under, Dreaming Awake)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Paranormal, Romance, Dark Fantasy
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Point of View: First Person
When Falling Under first came out 3 years ago, I was dying to read it. It seemed like a really cool read and I will admit I was in love with the cover. Every time I went to the library, the book was out and when it was there I wanted to wait until I could get my hands on the sequel. Eventually, I forgot about it but it stayed near the top of my to-read list until one day the eBooks were added to my library’s catalogue and I immediately swooped them up.
Falling Under wasn’t what I thought it was going to be–though to be fair, I wasn’t sure what to expect thanks to the somewhat vague synopsis. But I think that was what I loved going into the book because I really had no idea what Haden was and I liked the anticipation of the big reveal (and I wasn’t disappointed when it was revealed). When writing this review I was very careful not to reveal anything about what Haden is because I think it would spoil the fun–so try to avoid reading tags or in-depth genre classifications.
Both Falling Under and Dreaming Awake create a very intriguing dark fantasy world that I really enjoyed. While I have read books with similar fantasy elements, this series felt unique to me because the plot would move in a direction I wasn’t expecting. Falling Under was especially great at keeping the plot interesting.
However, at the same time, I found this series to be predictable but I think that is the result of me reading too many books over the years. For the most part I clued in pretty quickly with what was happening as soon as it was mentioned. Though, as I said before, there were a few good “twists” (twists isn’t really the right word, more like plot “bumps”) that kept things from being completely predictable.
The predictability really got to me in Dreaming Awake. Because I knew exactly what was happening immediately, I got frustrated with Theia not cluing in sooner. I labelled Dreaming Awake with my “annoying-heroine” tag on Goodreads because she did grate on my nerves for the first half of the book. It isn’t really a fair label to give but I didn’t like her as much in the sequel as I did in the inaugural book. As for the rest of the cast of characters, I really liked them. I especially loved Haden: he was swoon-worthy to me and I liked that his character was consistent throughout the series (meaning he didn’t turn into a love-struck sap like some characters **coughcoughEdward**). He wasn’t really anything new–the typical young adult paranormal love interest hero–but I liked his wit and interactions with other characters. Him and Theia complemented each other well I thought so I enjoyed reading their romance.
I’m glad this series isn’t a trilogy because the two book length is perfect. Dreaming Awake was a good follow-up though I felt it started a little slower–but it was nice not having a stupid second book filled with useless drivel to build up the final climax. I did rate Dreaming Awake lower than Falling Under because I didn’t like it as much because I found it more predictable and I liked Theia more in the first book but I think it was a good way to wrap up the series the way it did.
Although it wasn’t what I was expecting I enjoyed these books. They were a darker Young Adult read with serious characters and serious consequences. The best way I can summarize it is if Twilight had a child with Sweet Evil, the child would be this novel. It had the same basic elements as Twilight but had the more sinister edge that Sweet Evil has (and the better writing). If you like darker paranormal young adult reads, grab this series!
Synopsis for Falling Under (from Goodreads):
Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she’s seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.
As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.
And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.