Review: Torment (Fallen, #2) by Lauren Kate

10:41 PM

Torment by Lauren Kate | Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5)

“Because love and hate were supposed to stand cleanly on opposite sides of the spectrum. The division seemed as clear as...well, angels and demons would once have seemed to her. Not anymore.”

Let's get everything out there in the open: I had lukewarm feelings towards the previous installment (see: the start of everything) in this series, Fallen. I was very torn about it in general. On one hand, the characters mostly felt lifeless and underdeveloped (and the ones that didn't weren't in the spotlight or died) to me. The pacing was solid but still a bit dreary. I just wasn't 100% sold on it.

Yet, somehow, I still felt that itching desire to know more about the series inner-workings and its mythology; what happens next in the life of main character, Luce. Where the story takes her now that shit--frankly--hit the fan at her old school. After the startling end to Fallen, each revelation more shocking than the next, something became abundantly clear to me: I needed to know what happened next, even if the series was far from my favourite. Boy, they weren't kidding when they called Fallen addictive! I have such a love hate for it but I can't not know what happens next?





Torment, thankfully, was far more intriguing than its predecessor. Although, it did hit similar speed bumps along the way like Fallen had. Some of the characters (new and old alike) felt underdeveloped or like replacements for other characters we met previously. On the bright-side, Lauren Kate's writing became more lush and continued to capture that fluffy-but-still-Gothic vibe that it had previously.

Further, we got a few new developments to the general mythology and the chance to explore an all-new setting as Luce is sent to yet another school. Luce's new school is far more appealing than the previous one and in Torment we get to see her come face-to-face with new classmates, her new reality (and the surprises in store) and new enemies.

Which was both its strength and biggest downfall. Because, with new enemies and new mythology to take note of, we hardly have the chance to catch our breath. Or know the other enemy fully. Moral of the story is: Luce knows very little about her history, her former lives, or her relationship with Daniel. She knows even less about the battle of good vs. evil, angel vs. demon, if there even is such a thing. In all honestly, Luce is left in the dark just as frequently as we are as readers--which does nothing for my memento.

While much of the novel we are shown Luce's love for Daniel strengthening in passion and confusion at the same time, we see her bonding with two new characters in particular. Her roommate, Shelby and another class-mate of theirs by the name of Miles. We see the introduction of Nephilim and what they are like in this world; as well as the menacing appearance of the Outcasts and Luce's exploration of her past.

I really enjoyed the fact that we got to see former parents of hers and a former sister. Past lives are one of those topics that just captivate me and I can't wait to see more of that in depth. It was heart-breaking seeing her realization that she has had many families in her many lives and that some of them are still alive, with memories of her.

And yet she has none of them.

Ouch.

That's not a tear in my eye. It's just my allergies.

Other positives to note:

  • THE TRUCE. Hello, angels. Hello, demons. Hello... you know, truce. 
  • We see more interactions between Luce and her current lives' parents; which is always a plus but will surely come back to bite me in the ass in the future. Also, her best-friend! Who, up until this point, was only mentioned a couple of times--we get a little more of her and actually get to see her. 
  • Mentions of Penn, even though I wouldn't say Luce puts much into mourning her friend. I felt weird about it because it felt like she spent most of the novel mourning the fact that Daniel and her were temporarily--VERY temporarily--separated. It sucked. But, we did get a good scene of her visiting Penn's grave and basically I miss Penn.
  • Thanksgiving dinner. Picture this: humans, angels and demons. And a pup dressed up for the occasion. Oh, and did I mention some very violent party crashers?  
  • A bit more is told about various powers in their world. The mythology isn't as developed as I'd like, but we get to see a lot of new things introduced into the story.
  • Daniel is a little less insufferable but still, ah, insufferable? Which is good because I kind of love to dislike him. I don't hate him but he's definitely not my favourite and I could frankly do without him even if that meant the story, you know, wouldn't exist. 
  • There's a trip to Vegas that includes a former sister and a familiar face. 
  • Miles is a cupcake. 
  • The new enemies are... interesting, to say the least.
  • Luce bends the rules a bit more and gets a little reckless. 
  • DID I MENTION THAT DANIEL AND CAM ARE WORKING TOGETHER BECAUSE OF THE TRUCE? More Cam, please.

As with Fallen, the ending to Torment is something that makes up for lost time throughout the least appealing parts of the book. It's compelling, action packed and full of mysterious potential. I would say that Torment is only half a point better than Fallen but that half a point counts for something, right?

I say this without irony--I am excited to see where things go in the third installment, especially after that ending. There are so many roads that this series could take and I hope, hope, hope it does live up to its potential. I have a feeling that, regardless, it's going to break my heart at least a dozen times.

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