Torment is the second installment in Lauren Kate's Fallen series, and I must say, it took me way too long to finally go buy this book.
Luce's boyfriend, Daniel, is a fallen angel, so things are never simple. Just as she left Sword and Cross, a jail-like reform school, she must go to Shoreline (a school where she's the only one who's fully human) until she's safe from the Outcasts. Of course she's saddened that she cannot be with Daniel yet after she's finally found him in this lifetime, but he's not telling her everything about thier past, nor their future. While at Shoreline, Luce makes a few friends as she tries to find out what she can, between learning about their past lives together as well as the shadows she's been seeing her whole life.
I really enjoyed the first novel in the series, Fallen, and Torment is just as good! (And I'm not just referring to their gorgeous covers!) All of the characters really hold their own throughout the novel, for Lauren Kate distinguished them quite well. Any time I laughed during this rather dark book was because of a character's interesting idiosycrasies. So as far as character development goes, it's one of the strengths of Torment, and Lauren Kate's writing is still as appealing as ever.
However, when I first began reading this book, my expectations were on the lower side. Not only because sequals have a tendancy to disappoint, but because of the lack of information which lasted throughout all of Fallen and the very beginning of Torment. Luce was pretty much clueless, and so was I. But, that's one of the great things about this novel. In the end, we find out so much about the shadows she's seen and the gravity of the situation, which is also easier to understand. We still don't know everything at the end of the book, but I know I feel much better in that department.
Luce, the main character, became much more three dimensional to me. She questioned her relationship with Daniel as well as her relationship with her new friend, Miles. I didn't agree with her right off the bat because I trusted Daniel as a character, but it wasn't long until I understood her reasonable (yet conflicting) perspective. I remained as unsure as she was; she realized that Daniel didn't tell her everything and that she may just be going through motions. Still, once in a while the romance of this novel felt corny, mainly because of Daniel's gushy dialogue, which surprised me since he was such a jerk in the last book. But, this didn't last, and I only felt this way a few other times while reading.
There's more action in Torment than in Fallen, and this definately made me happy since it's one of the best elements of the series in general. Fights between the angels, demons, and Outcasts were so epic and unique to me, and I commend Lauren Kate for that. Angels have always captivated me, and I find Nephilim, demons, and Outcasts to be quite interesting subjects, so it's natural that I love hearing about them in this novel.
Fans of the first will not be disappointed. Torment will entertain readers with its dark romantic theme and leave everyone wanting more after its remarkable cliff-hanger of an ending.
Kate, Lauren. Torment
New York: Delacorte Press