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Torment: A Fallen Novel

Review

Torment: A Fallen Novel

In the second installment of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, we follow Luce from the southern gothic to a new school called Shoreline, which is everything Sword & Cross was not. The sunny clime of California and students who are more chipper than sullen make TORMENT a refreshing sequel to FALLEN, which picks up only a few days after the truce between the fallen angels has been made. We learn that there are others who are after Luce aside from the demons or “evil” fallen angels, and Luce must be protected. The Shoreline school offers that protection, as many of its students are Nephilim, the gifted progeny of fallen angels and humans.

Luce attends classes with the Nephilim, befriends them, and even finds herself crushing on one of them, but most importantly, Luce comes into her own at Shoreline. The Shadows, or Announcers, in FALLEN are explained more fully, and Luce displays a talent of her own as she discovers that she can manipulate them. Though she frequently does the opposite of what she is told to do, her proactive, independent spirit hints at the engaging and skilled heroine she will likely become, though that characteristic proves to be a flaw as well.

The battle in FALLEN continues at the end of TORMENT. This time, however, the truce allies the demons and the angels and pits them against the Outcasts, a newly introduced faction of fallen angels also looking to Luce for reasons not yet divulged to us. The battle is climactic and plays out well, surprising us at times and allowing us to feel sympathetic toward the characters who do not know what we know.

For me, the two most interesting aspects of the book were the development of Luce’s relationship with Daniel and the questions that arise about “good” and “evil”. At Shoreline, fallen angels that stand on the side of evil, “demons,” work alongside --- and are even romantically entangled --- with the fallen angels that are “good.” Kate plays with this idea; she explores it by showing the reader that good and evil are sometimes just a matter of opinion. In fact, I quite frequently found myself leaning toward the side of the demon teacher Steven, who believes in teaching Luce how to summon and work with the Announcers, rather than considering it too advanced.

As for the development of Luce’s relationship with Daniel, those expecting a love story without its bumps might be disappointed. That said, I considered the rockiness of their relationship to be one of the most interesting elements of the book. Luce cannot remember how she fell in love with Daniel in the first place. Of course this would cause some dissatisfaction in a relationship! I as a reader wanted Luce to make a decision based on her present, not because she is “fated” to be with someone. I enjoyed the element of free will that she has, and I appreciated Miles’s character, who tempts her with the promise of normalcy.

TORMENT is an exhilarating follow-up to FALLEN, and though there are still a good share of questions that need answers, I’m looking forward to Luce learning about her ill-fated past with Daniel, which will be revealed in PASSION, a prequel to the series.

Reviewed by Jordana Frankel on September 28, 2010

Torment: A Fallen Novel
by Lauren Kate

  • Publication Date: September 28, 2010
  • Genres: Romance, Supernatural
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0385739141
  • ISBN-13: 9780385739146