Torment is the second book in the YA supernatural series Fallen, written by best-selling author Lauren Kate.
You know the drill, bibliophiles. If you haven't read Fallen yet, the first book, then reading this review is only hurting your overall experience of Fallen. Make a wise choice and avoid it, if that is the case. Otherwise, you've been warned! :)
Luce is still reeling from the revelation that Daniel and many of her other Sword & Cross classmates are actually angels. But even that is easier to get over than the fact that apparently Luce has been reincarnated over and over again since the beginning of time, doomed to fall in love with Daniel, only to die suddenly and dramatically before she ever reaches eighteen.
But this time... this time it's different. She can see the Shadows that lurk like ominous prophecies. That's never happened before. She's also never before survived finding out what Daniel is, let alone so many passionate kisses.
Yet she is still in danger. There are others who want her dead. Outcasts, blind immortals whose motives she's not entirely aware - among others. In order to protect her, to hide her, Daniel insists she go to a California school called Shoreline - without him.
Shoreline couldn't be more different from Sword & Cross - breezy, easygoing, and filled with Nephilim, children of a mixed lineage of angels and humans, all of which have abilities beyond the norm. It is here that Luce finds out what the Shadows actually are, and how she could use them to learn more about her past lives...
And this becomes vital to Luce - as she wonders if her love for Daniel is merely a tragic, destined cycle and really without reason or cause. After all, he is hiding something from her - something dangerous... and she wants to know the truth.
Okay, so anyone who read my review of Fallen on Monday knows I was impressed - Torment took me a bit longer to connect, but I eventually did. Thing is, I love Luce. In Torment she makes some dumb decisions, in my opinion, that threw me off a bit - that disappointed me, but I could kind of understand it. Also, there was a lack of that all-encompassing, engrossing mystery feeling that Fallen presented in spades - which I had to get over.
Torment's setting of sunny Shoreline is a surprising change from the dank and dark Sword & Cross - but with time and patience I began to see how the contrast was interesting and brave on Lauren Kate's behalf. It served many purposes, as well. We get to see Luce interact with more, ahem, "normal" classmates - in the sense that they were kind and supportive. And she began to learn more about the epic battle she's been thrown in.
What I especially found refreshing was how Daniel's cryptic words, secrets, and overall confusion-causing demeanor with Luce began to place little, painful cracks in their budding, intense relationship. Luce begins to question their connection and tire of her undeniable pull towards him - realizing a lack of substance and meaning. I found this both understandable and awesome - you don't get that often in YA.
Because of all the final twists in Fallen there's a nice paranoia in Torment - though not quite as palpable. And I was still missing the dark, simmering mystery and thrills of the first novel - but with patience it finally begins to seep in. There is a fight for independence and a resistance to blindly submitting to her fate that Luce brings to Torment. I really began to be convinced that Torment was going to be awesome too - and I was right! In my opinion, that is.
There was a slow-burning creativity to the plot of Torment, especially regarding the Shadows. Plus, our mythic Daniel gets a little competition when it comes to Luce's attentions. Lauren Kate continues to resist the superficial cattiness of female relationships, as well, and presents us instead with a deeper bond of friendship and mourning that is lovely.
I became increasingly intrigued as Torment began to have more and more electrifying turns and plot developments! With great, dynamic characters and a stunning, breathless, memorable end I was absolutely happy with the end result of Torment!
I think you will be too! Now on to Passion (third book)! Read my review of Friday! ;)