Lucinda "Luce" Price has been sentenced to attend Sword & Cross reform school. Ever since she was little, she could see the shadows. They have haunted her all her life. They were present when a fire killed one of her friends, and since she can't explain how it happened she is a suspected arsonist, hence her enrollment in the reform school.
On her first day there she sees Daniel, a beautiful and elusive guy, that first smiles at her but quite abruptly flips her off. Now, that was just the first of many things wrong with this book. If a boy flips you off, of course you will be completely obsessed with him, right? *rolls eyes* Well, Luce just can't stop thinking about Daniel and won't stop until she figures out everything about him. I'm sorry, does this sound familiar? Yeah, for me too. Twilight comes to mind, plus a handful of other YA books. However, where Twilight and others manage to turn a well known cliché into a compelling story, the author fails miserably here.
Luce is one of the most annoying heroines I've met recently. She is suppose to be extremely smart, kind and in pain about her dark past and the shadows that seem to ruin her life. Instead, she comes across as dumb, naïve, helpless, pathetic and entirely too boring. She stalks Daniel shamelessly, and although he completely ignores and mistreats her, she can't stop. She is a complete pushover, who never manages to say what she wants, nor express any of her opinions. I'm sorry, but I like my heroines to be strong and assertive, not weak. If you don't like Bella from Twilight, you will hate Luce. Compared to Luce, Bella is a kick ass heroine, and that my friends is saying something.
In the other hand, Daniel is mysterious, brooding and stand-offish. He is your classic YA hero, however he is flat and uninteresting. Luce and Daniel are suppose to have this undying love and connection between them, but although I'm told this, it's is never shown in the book at all. I couldn't figured out why Luce liked him, nor why he would ever love her. The relationship is completely superficial and doesn't seem believable at all.
The plot is a mess. There is a lot of build up, but no climax. The pace of the story is slow and all these questions come up, but we never get any relevant answers. Nothing happens throughout much of the book and when it does it is off page and in the last few minutes of it. We are left with tons of things up in the air, and although I know this is only the first book in a series, I felt robbed. I understand an author has to leave some things dangling to be resolved in later installments, but this novel didn't have a consistent plot and a satisfying end. It's unfortunate, because there are a lot of interesting elements that could have been explored. It could have been a very original and engaging book, but it's just isn't.
Fallen angels, reincarnation, damned love, good versus evil are all themes present here, but instead of making the story interesting, they just enhance how the book failed to deliver. I'm sure a lot of people will love this book. I can see it from a teen point of view, but to me this was a very annoying novel to read with all its short-comings glaring obvious. I'm sure I'm not going to be reading Torment, the next one in the series. No way in Hell.