Living Within the Pages – Book Review #11

20 12 2010

Title: Torment

Author: Lauren Kate

Series: Fallen (#2)

Amazon Rating: 4

Goodreads Rating: 4.03

Alex’s Rating: 3

The setting of Torment couldn’t have been more different than the doom and gloom scene that was Fallen. Sword & Cross was a dark, drab, and down right depressing school to attend. In Torment, Daniel ships Luce off (and yes he is a bit of an agressive boy toy so I use ship instead of send) to Shoreline, a school on the California coast described as a Pepperdine for Nephilim. The entire story revolves around Luce chasing the Announcers, her new relationships with Shelby (her roommate) and Miles (a new love interest). It revolves around Daniel sneaking back to see her, them kissing, fighting, and him leaving. Both seem dissatisfied with this arrangement and so does the reader as it is a pretty stable plotline of fighting, making up, and Luce summoning Announcers outside of her classroom activities.

I was happily awaiting the release of Torment in hopes that it would redeem Lauren Kate’s first installment, Fallen, of her Fallen series. I was intrigued by Luce and Daniel’s story even though it had many flaws and left many questions unanswered at the end of the first book. In my review of Fallen, I asked several questions. I have repeated them below and given the answers (if answers were given) I gleaned from Torment.

1) Why are Cam and Daniel both fighting for Luce? It seemed Cam wanted her genuinely, but then told Daniel he couldn’t wait to annihilate her, only then at the end of the book to say he “just wants her. You know why,” (Cam speaking to Daniel as they watch Luce sleep). What is this triangle?

ANSWER: We never find out why Cam and Daniel are both fighting for Luce in Torment. It doesn’t seem like we will get this answer for a while as the third book is more like a prequel, showing Daniel and Luce’s story over the past millennia. Cam seemed to be out of the love triangle in this book as Miles entered the picture.

2) Why were all of these angels at Sword & Cross anyway? They were there before Luce came, so they could not have been there because they came to protect her.

ANSWER: We were never told why the angels were all at Sword & Cross in the first place.

3) What really happened the night her boyfriend Trevor died in the fire? The fire that got her exiled to Sword & Cross in the first place.

ANSWER: Another unanswered question. We never found out what happened to Trevor, or why fires/tragedy seemed to follow Luce with her first boyfriend and then again at the library at Sword & Cross.

4) What are the shadows really? Why can Luce see them? Who do they belong to?

ANSWER: This book was almost solely based on Luce’s relationship with the Shadows/Announcers. Shadows/Announcers can be summoned by angels and some Nephilim (children of angel/mortal unions), and evidently by Luce in this lifetime, unlike her previous lifetimes. In the last book, Daniel calls them “gossips,” delivering messages back to others…but again, we aren’t told who these others are, and I don’t know if I really agree with the “gossips” and message delivering description given in Fallen as it does not match what is in Torment. In Torment, the Shadows/Announcers, I got the impression they held messages from the past that were specific to the summoner. One could fall in and get lost in the shadows, or, if done properly, one could travel through them. They are distorted (but mostly accurate) descriptions of every moment of history in the world. In this book, Luce was obsessed with them, hoping to glimpse she and Daniel’s past(s). I’m not sure why, but the book’s dependence on these shadows annoyed me. I never felt like I gleaned much information form them except a few of Luce’s annihilations and a few other bits and pieces that I don’t want to spoil (although there isn’t much to spoil.) It seemed these were just another way to move the plot along as Luce “summons” these shadows often and are in many of the book’s scenes. It was a point that was dragged on too long. We are never told why Luce can see them, and we don’t know who they belong to.

5) What is this “longest, greatest battle ever fought?” Is it the fight between “good” and “evil?” I feel like I need this spelled out better.

ANSWER: I still didn’t feel I got much explanation on this battle. In Torment, Daniel and Cam (who the reader is told is actually a demon, but with angel wings…) are fighting on the same side, to keep Luce safe from a new enemy…the Outcasts. The Outcasts are a group of fallen angels not welcomed by Heaven or Hell, but they say Luce is their key at the end scene of the book. Again, I didn’t get much information on this and would like a little more on the Outcasts and why Luce is their “key.” Their key to what? Redemption? Back into Heaven? Back into Hell? Where?

6) What was Miss Sophia’s role? I feel like she all of a sudden went nutso and we were left with the explanation that she is part of a secret sect of Heavenly Elders. I need more on this subject please Miss Kate.

ANSWER: Miss Sophia was barely mentioned in this book. We didn’t get any info on her secret Heavenly sect or how it relates to wanting Luce dead.

7) And what did Miss Sophia mean that fate of everyone’s eternal souls lies in two lovers? What exactly is tipping the balance when Miss Sophia tried to kill Luce? Why does Miss Sophia want Daniel “freed up?”

ANSWER: We are told Daniel is tipping the balance, but we are not told why. We only know Daniel left a high position in Heaven to be with Luce, but again, this was about a two-sentence long explanation. No heavy duty explaining. We are not told why the fate of everyone’s eternal souls is wrapped up within these two lovers. I am hoping (dear Lord I am using this hoping emotion often with this series) to get it explained sometime within the next two books.


The entire book was focused on two things and then a third minor thing towards the end: 1) Luce and the Shadows/Announcers. 2) Luce and Daniel kissing then fighting (this happens at least three or four times and seemed like a plot filler just to keep Daniel in the picture). And 3) Luce developing a crush on Miles although it comes up rather abruptly and then she quickly says no, that she loves Daniel.

I’m not sure why I read series that I am dissatisfied with. Call it the OCD reader in me, once I start something I must finish it. Or, perhaps it is the fact that I see a truly wonderful story and many possibilities with Lauren Kate’s novel, and I try to look past the many, many flaws. What is it with her editors and not asking her to develop her plot, unanswered questions, and lovers better? To be honest, the best parts of her books are the secondary characters. Although Cam fell by the wayside in this novel (I was thoroughly disappointed in this), other characters were great, such as Miles, Shelby, Arriane, Steven, and Francesca. There were some twists and turns with these characters. I have noticed this as a trend lately…writers have been developing their secondary characters/relationships better than their heroes/heroines.

Another large flaw…throughout the entire book the reader realizes things much quicker than the other characters. Daniel as the angel who tips the scales (whatever that means), and Phil the SAEB is an Outcast (sorry if those were wee little spoilers). But at the same time, like Luce, the reader is not given many answers until later, if even at all. For example, why is Luce sent to a school with Nephilim? Why is it dangerous for Daniel to be around her for the 18 day truce? Why was Roland sent to the Shoreline school? (I’m assuming for Luce’s protection, but we never see him except on the periphery and his role is never explained.)

Again, I can’t truly pinpoint it, but I found Luce kind of obnoxious in this book; Daniel as well. He was so secretive yet wanted Luce to blindly believe in their love. Luce was so obsessed with the Shadows/Announcers and then her back and forth with Daniel, that I never really felt connected to her as a character. But because I love angels/fallen angels and a love story (especially combined) I will go on to read the next book, Passion. I will continue to follow Luce and Daniel’s story, mostly in hopes that I will get my many questions answered.

Some new questions to ponder…

1) What are Daniel and Luce’s roles in this epic battle?
2) Where will Miles fit in to the next book, or was he just a nice little carrot dangled in Torment only?
3) Where did Luce go and why must she look into her past to seek answers in her future that Daniel and the other angels can’t seem to answer?
4) Are Luce and Daniel truly meant for each other? What would happen if Luce chose Cam or Miles?
5) What happens now that the 18 day truce is over between angels and demons?
6) What do the Outcasts want with Luce? And will the truce continue so the angels and demons can protect Luce?
7) And truly, will someone please explain why Luce seems to be the key for all of these fallen angels in some way or another?