Book Review 2: 2012

The main cast of The Nine Lives of Chloe King
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Cover of "The Fallen (Nine Lives of Chloe...
Cover of The Fallen (Nine Lives of Chloe King)

Book Review 2: 2012

The Nine Lives of Chloe King: The Fallen by Liz Braswell

Traci Kenworth

 

YA Horror                                                                  Simon Pulse

 

Dying can really change a girl’s life.”

 

Warning: plot spoilers.

I thought I would break down the three novels of this collection, one by one. So, here goes. I watched the series on ABC TV and LOVED it. There are many differences between the show though and the book. From character descriptions to events to motives on the parts of characters. That being said: this book was a page-turner for me. I’m eagerly awaiting this afternoon to dig into the next book, The Stolen.

The book hooks you from the first line: He never tired or lost her trail.

From the moment, Chloe King takes a 24 hours before her birthday, pre-party, her life is literally changed forever. She and her friends, Paul and Amy, go to Coit Tower where she falls out of the window, 200-feet and dies. Everything goes black and she sees a hazy light. Something is there with her though, growling, and forcing her back the way she came. She wakes up much to the confusion of her friends and in a resulting run to the hospital, her injuries become nonexistent. While in the hospital she hears about some girl found dead in an alley.

As the days pass, Chloe begins to do things she didn’t before: talk to boys she didn’t have the nerve to, including a totally hot Russian named Alyec who’s part of the popular kids squad, and a two-years-older than her, Brian, not to mention a Greek college student by the name of Xavier who she gets hot and heavy with and ends up finding out later, is injured by her catlike nails and may die.

She desperately looks through obituaries for word on him, but Brian mentions not all deaths are recorded there. Meanwhile, Paul and Amy find themselves making-out and their being a couple, totally alienates Chloe. She has no one to talk about the changes going on with her: not the sudden acrobats she can perform, the incredible sense of smell, her catlike tendencies. Nor can she tell anyone about Xavier. She is horrified at the thought that he may be dead because of her. Brian and her end up going to the zoo where he tells her that he wants to major in zoology. He acts strange and distant with her.

Another cat person shows up on a nearby roof and Chloe and he end up playing a cat-and-mouse game of chase where he trains her. She doesn’t know who he is as he wears a mask over his face. Later, she thinks it may be Brian because of the kitty-kat hat he wears. Alyec gets closer to her and school. She receives a note from a friend who tells who to be wary of the company she keeps. Be prepared and ready to run. The Order of the Tenth Blade knows who she is. She doesn’t go to police despite threat for fear they will think she killed Xavier.

She begins to feel overwhelming loneliness. She meets with Brian and tells her of her fall from the tower. He is shocked but tell her not to tell anyone else. He says his dad is in the security business. They don’t get along with each other. Days go by with Chloe trying to find out who she is and struggling with the consequences. Brian catches her with Alyec and wants to know what she’s doing with him, kissing. She reminds him he told her he couldn’t get into a relationship with him. He walks away, glassy-eyed. Alyec comes over. He doesn’t seem concerned by Brian. When asked, he says. “You haven’t done anything with him yet.” “How would he know that?” she asks. “He’s still alive.”

Worrying about Brian, she gets attacked by someone using sharp, metal objects with a hook like the throwing stars in the ninja movies. She gets badly injured in her fight with him but sees what he looks like. For the first time, she wishes she didn’t have super-powers, realizing they come with a price. She fears for her safety and her mom’s but still doesn’t call police because of Xavier. She meets with Brian again where he tells her, “Alyec’s not…safe.” She demands to know how she knows Alyec’s name. She tells him someone attacked her last night. His face goes white. She tells him if it weren’t for the moves he taught her she’d be dead. He shakes his head. She think he could’ve been so good for her but he turned out to be some possessive, crazy freak.

Nine robed figures discuss Chloe and the company she keeps. The Russian is next in line for something, they say. They have protected the human population from the felines for ages and won’t be stopped by one infatuated adolescent, they say. The guy in question’s father tells him, it’s for the best, that he doesn’t want to end up like Xavier.

She is burning up with a fever and stays home where she sleeps it off. Paul and Amy come over and they reconcile and decide to go to their bridge. While there the Rogue, her attacker from previous night, steps out. The resulting battle will destroy her trust, shock her to her core, and end up revealing the true identity of the other cat person.

I really liked the book. The ending even though I guessed about the last 1/3 of the book was exhilarating. Chloe got to bring herself full-circle: from a scared, school girl to a confidante, cat-person. She also learned hard-lessons on friendship, love, and how to defend herself. It is both poignant and sad. If you watched the TV show, you’ll see the events and motives behind certain characters are very different. I’m not sure which I like better as they are so far removed from the other. I guess I like both equally. Sad to see the series end though.

 

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