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“Torment” by Lauren Kate

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - Book Reading
“Torment” by Lauren Kate

Back of the Book:

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.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 9 Up–This sequel to Fallen (Delacorte, 2009) continues they complex tale as Luce tries to uncover the truth and break the cycle of falling in love, dying young, and being reincarnated. Daniel, her lover through the ages and a fallen angel, institutes a truce with Demons to protect her from the Outcasts, who would do her harm. For her safety, Daniel hides her at a boarding school for the Nephilim, children of human and fallen angels, and cautions her to remain on campus and learn all she can. Unfortunately a little knowledge can be dangerous and Luce’s naive attempts to manipulate her powers constantly put her and others in danger. Some of the rescues employ a deus ex machina as is the case when Arriane inexplicably arrives in Vegas and saves the day. At times the story plods along, with a full chapter devoted to a fencing lesson. Daniel regularly returns to check on Luce and there’s lots of swooning, passionate kissing, and playing at being in love, though it often ends with bickering. Interest is piqued with the hint of a love triangle, and the suspense is ratcheted up in the heart-pounding final battle scene. In the end, readers won’t be much closer to unraveling Luce’s mystery and will need to stay tuned for the next installment. It’s unlikely this title will garner new fans for the series, but those already hooked on the epic romance won’t want to miss it. Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA

"Torment" by Lauren Kate

"Torment" by Lauren Kate

This book, like “Fallen” – the first in the series, caught my eye with the cover and teaser on the back.  After reading the first book, I wasn’t expecting much out of “Torment,” but I read it anyway…

Literary Merit:

You’re kidding right? If the first book in the series was cotton candy, you certainly didn’t expect this to miraculously be a classic, did you?!

In most series, the author grows along with his/her work and characters.  True, this is only the second book, but there’s no noticeable growth.  If anything, it’s worse than the first book.  There is still no development of characters or places or events, just the same shallow nonsense.

Lauren Kate, I have a question for you.  I’ve noticed tons of reviews floating about the internet for both “Fallen” and “Torment;” it’s safe to say that you have noticed them, too.  Surely you read some of them, right?  Did you take into account any of the criticisms?  Or did you just laugh it off and say that the people who wrote those negative reviews don’t like the genre and therefor would trash any book in that genre?  Just an FYI: I thoroughly enjoy the paranormal genre and have read many books of this type that I enjoyed and would give a “5 out of 5” because they were well written even if they weren’t a literary masterpiece.

Plot:

The plot thickens…

I wish.  The plot only gets goofier.  Luce is shipped off to a new school in California.  Naturally, the first thing that happens on her way is that a random guy sort of hits on her.  I say “sort of” because in the real world his “hitting on her” would be considered being friendly.  Of course, little miss self-centered assumes that every guy wants her and embarrasses the poor guy by blurting out “I have a boyfriend” while he was trying to make small talk.  Now, I will say that it’s mildly creepy that the guy grabbed her bag off the baggage carousel, but at the same time if my seatmate saw me nearby and saw my bag going past without me noticing, I would be appreciative if he grabbed it for me so that I wouldn’t have to wait another 15 minutes.

Oh, and this airplane guy that she made such a big deal about doesn’t reappear in the book.  Yeah, she gets out bent out of shape over someone being nice and then it goes no where to prove that her paranoia might be a little justified.

The whole book is like this in one way or another.  Something happens, a big deal gets made out of it by someone, and then very little if anything comes of it.

Characters:

We have some new people like Shelby and Miles, Luce’s roommate and friend/other love interest respectively.  There’s an interesting twist with Shelby and Daniel that doesn’t really have anything to do with the story other than to provide drama.  Miles, just like every other guy it seems, falls for Luce in spite of already knowing that she and Daniel are doomed lovers and knowing about her reincarnation thing.

Oh, I forgot, this new school Shoreline is full of Nephilim – the offspring of angels and humans.  Most of Luce’s new friends are Nephilim and know the story of Daniel and Luce the way that regular humans know the story of Romeo and Juliet.  Steven and Francesca are a couple and teach the “humanities” class together for the Nephilim.  Steven is a demon, while Francesca is an angel.

Hmm…  I know I’ve forgotten someone, but they’re all just soo forgettable.  None of the characters are ever developed beyond a few glimpses, not even the main characters.  We learn a little more about the main characters, but nothing really about them, if you know what I mean.  We never get into the nitty gritty of what makes them tick.

Oh, the Outcasts!  That’s who I forgot!  It turns out that there are really three sides to the whole fallen angel thing: the good fallen angels, the bad fallen angels, and the angels who didn’t choose a side at all and are shunned by both good and bad for their lack of commitment.

Personal Enjoyment:

Knowing what I was getting into after the first book, I enjoyed “Torment” a little more than I enjoyed “Fallen.”

However, the writing seems to have gotten worse instead of better and there are more holes than ever in the plot.  Reading it wasn’t easy and I came close to giving up a few times.  My stubbornness, though, kept me going.  To be completely honest, I’ll force myself through the entire series.

“Passion” comes out June 14 of this year and while I certainly won’t wait with bated breath, I’ll get it at some point.

In Conclusion:

Pages: 452

Published: 2010-09-28

Format Read: ebook

[xrr rating=1.5/5]

This is the second book in a series.  I’m disappointed in Lauren Kate because I feel that she didn’t improve as a writer the way most writers do while writing a series.

I gave “Torment” a 1.5 out of 5.0 because of the writing and the continued lack of character development.

The very worst thing about this book is the fact that the writing is worse than in “Fallen.”

The very best thing about this book is the cover.  It’s such a shame, too.

Challenges:

This book will be placed under the 2011 E-Book Reading Challenge and the 2011 Fantasy Reading Challenge.

Occasionally Important Information:

"Powers That Be" by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
“Fallen” by Lauren Kate

5 thoughts on ““Torment” by Lauren Kate

Alex (The Sleepless Reader)

What did you think of City of Bones? I know it’s a favorite for most people, but it didn’t work at all for me (I did a review on it that was sismilar to yours on Torment, that’s why I’m asking).

Reply
    Alysha DeShaé

    Hi, Alex. I actually haven’t read “City of Bones,” yet. The Mortal Instruments trilogy is on my list, though. They’re sitting nice and pretty on my nook patiently waiting until I get to them. :-D

    I just read your review and I really need you to tell me that your example of the text isn’t taken directly from the book? Please! If not, I might cry. The one small section of writing looks awful. :-(

    I’ve been looking forward to reading these books soo much that I would hate to be disappointed. I’ll definitely be posting my reviews when I’m done reading them, though.

    Reply
  • Pingback: “Passion” by Lauren Kate » Alysha♥DeShaé

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