Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.
It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies. (summary from Goodreads)

Torment is a slightly frustrating read that doesn't overly continue the story of Luce and Daniel beyond the first book but at least offers hints of more to come.

Luce, having almost come to terms with the knowledge of her past lives and history with Daniel, is ready to move on with their relationship. However, due to a danger Daniel won't reveal much about, Luce instead finds herself alone at a new school surrounded by Nephilim and across the country from her parents and best friend. Determined to understand her place in this world, Luce studies the Shadows that have always plagued her and learns how to glimpse the images of her history that hide within. With each new discovery Luce questions her relationship with Daniel, especially as he seems to withdraw further and further away from her. What is he hiding? How did their relationship first begin? Who are the Outcasts and what do they want with Luce? Why does the balance of good and evil seem to rely on her? As Luce begins to make new friends and feel for a new boy as she only has about Daniel, she is determined to find answers...and she'll do anything to get them.

It was a fair while ago that I read Fallen, the first book in Kate's series, but I still remember most of the essential details. The thing is though, I felt like I didn't really need to have known them to read this book. To me, Torment didn't overly push the series that much further, instead retaining the feeling of an introductory, first book. Indeed, it follows the same sort of pattern that Fallen did, with Luce attending a new school, meeting new people, not understanding anything that was happening, questioning Daniel, being pushed away by Daniel...if you've read Fallen, I'm sure this sounds a tad familiar. It starts off rather slow before culminating in a big emotional battle and leaving us hanging for more! That is Torment in a nutshell.

This is not a truly bad thing though, as Torment still entertains, especially in that it begins to offer insight into the angels versus demons history. I found the angel school, as it were, intriguing. I really enjoyed meeting Francesca and Steven and getting a glimpse into their dynamic, as angel and demon respectively. Such glimpses only build the tension though and offer more questions than answers - like what defines good and evil. I was also interested in a couple of the other students - and new characters - like Shelby, who much like Arriane, simply rocks, and Miles, though for very different reasons. At first, I found Miles too nice and so simply suspected the worst. Imagine my surprise that actually, he's another love interest for Luce! How many can this girl possibly have? Now the guy's gorgeous and so sweet, certainly him and Luce could work, but this love triangle just mostly bugs me. I guess I had my heart set on the continuation of Luce and Daniel's relationship - some development and solidifying of it beyond just it's the way it's always been, you know? So I can honestly admit that mostly Miles just really, really frustrated me and I desperately wanted the story to move past him.

Frustration is key, however, to my reading of Torment. It frustrated the ever living day out of me. Which is where this review may get weird, because this might sound like a bad review when in fact I liked it some. Just a warning! Luce frustrates me. I find her too naive, especially after everything she's been through. If your angel boyfriend tells you to stay within the school grounds because you're in danger, and your supposed demon enemy - oh, how I love Cam - further enforces this point by telling you a scary breed of Outcasts is trying to kill you...well, you stay within the school grounds. Don't you? Daniel frustrates me. He was a little too non-existent in this book for my liking, and when he was around he was pretty much a tool. I sort of feel guilty about that - somehow I want to love Daniel and I'm just not there yet - but I'm sticking with it. Just an aside though, I like him much more when with he's with Cam. He seems more...alive in those scenes. More than anything, Luce and Daniel's relationship frustrates me. I simply don't feel it or believe in it. But then, I don't really feel there's 'someone else' Luce is meant to be with, either. The shadows and their glimpses into Luce's past life are pretty darn great (I'm looking forward to more of that in Passion) and I was surprised by the fact that Luce's past lives are so different - different family members, different situations. Certainly it raises questions about Luce herself being different each time and thus why her love for Daniel is so instantaneous. I think Kate has scattered some intriguing hints throughout Torment that not only reinforces these questions but push some ideas regarding the truth about Luce.

I do believe you need to have some sort of investment in this series to want to push through to the end. While everything I've described might sound bad, it still keeps me on the edge of my seat (sometimes biting my nails!) and turning the pages. I bloody well want to know the answers to all of these questions I have, despite the major frustrations I have with the book! I have small inklings about how it all might work out and so I need to keep reading. It may just be a couple of weeks before I attempt to pick up Passion though, so that my feelings simmer down a tad!


Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published date: 28 September 2010
Format: Kindle
Pages: 464

1 comment:

  1. Great review. You bring up many good points about the frustration Torment leaves for the reader. Though I enjoyed the book, felt it was more complex than Fallen and appreciated learning more about the Angel Mythology, I was easily bored with Daniel. He became too overprotective, too brooding and sounded like a broken record with his need for secrecy. I'm Team Miles now. I like how Luce became more independent and began questioning her relationship with Daniel. So far its built purely on passion but no other substance is present in their relationship. I can't wait to see where Passion, the next book will take us. PS: I get a real "stalker" vibe from Daniel - LOL....