2: Torment

Main Characters:

Luce, Daniel, Cam, Arriane, Roland and a bunch of others from the first (minus Penn of course).

New Characters:

Miles

Shelby

Dawn

Jasmine

Steven

Francesca

Main Premise:  On the run from the events in Fallen, the group hides out at another school on the west coast.  This time, there are folks who know what many of the students are – fallen and nephilim.  And some of the teachers are fallen angels or demons too.  And they know war is coming at some point.

Other important things to remember for later:

Luce stepped through the shadows (an Announcer) to find out more about her past life, even though Daniel didn’t want her to, at the end.  Daniel steps through to save her.  The Announcers are shadows of past lives, sort of.  There are outcasts, who are neither demons nor angels.   The outcasts are after Luce because they want back into heaven.  The elders still want Luce dead (we don’t really know why still).

Review:   I am so very disappointed that I have to write this review. Fallen was, by far, my absolute favorite YA romance of the year last year. In fact, it was probably my favorite romance in a while (and I love the PNR romance series and there were a lot of really good installments of various series last year). I was so eager to read this one – so eager to see how Daniel and Luce progress and how their love story continues. I don’t mind it when the couple needs to overcome adversity. Even if that adversity comes in any number of forms, including the introduction of the other person who is the thrid corner of a love triangle which threatens the love of the couple we are routing for. I do take issue, however, with all these love triangles where one of the three disappears for no reason. Daniel stashes Luce in this new school, but we really don’t know why. And neither does Luce. Daniel turned into tis pushy, bossy, know-it-all who was ever absent from the story. We got nothing to help us understand what is really going on.

There are a number of new characters that I really don’t like – and I totally side with Luce when it comes to wanting to know what’s going on. Daniel takes the position that Luce needs to figure things out on her own. WT heck? I am not sure I would have minded, if I felt like we were even give some clues as to what the deal is. He treated her like a 3 year old. He supposedly has a reason, but it’s not like the author has given us any clue as to what that might be. I don’t mind mysteries and things that carry us from book to book – so not having all the answers up front. But when I get zero answers and just more questions and confusion, I am not happy. And that’s how I felt reading this installment. In fact, to me, it read like the author has no idea what will come next in the overall story arc. Seem to be a trend though in a lot of these YA serials, especially the ones with angels as the subjects. Even the “Truce” wasn’t really explained. Again, I don’t need all the answers, but a few here and there, to keep me interested and feeling like I am discovering things and the story is developing, really would help.

The Announcers annoyed me too. Last book, they caused fires – or were some how related to fires. This book – they were portals to other times and places? And how does one distinguish between an announcer that can take you just to another place in current time versus one that takes you to another time? And the scene with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the conversation between Frankie and Steven afterwards? What was that all about? Again, questions but not a single clue as to an answer. Frankie and Steven being 2 of the new characters that I really didn’t like. I just don’t understand what their deal is – and when Frankie says she understands that when the Final Battle comes she will have to kill Steven… it was so cold. Totally the opposite of what I would expect from a character portrayed to be an angel.

The outcasts? who are they really? I felt like they came out of nowhere. And yet they were so very important in the end of the book. There were also a few holes in the plot, as I see it anyway. If who-ever is hunting Luce can sense her, and they aren’t out to harm her then trying to drown Dawn because she looked like Luce isn’t exactly consistent. And I read and then re-read the end and am not sure I understand whether or not they want to kill Luce or not. It was interesting to “hear” Luce observe that the mythology is all mixed up and the characters themselves probably can’t keep it straight, since I know I can’t keep it straight.

I was hoping to see more of any relationship between Daniel and Luce. But there was very little of that. There was very little of Cam. So much for Team Daniel vs. Team Cam. It somehow became Team Daniel vs Team Miles. And then there was Shelby. We are lead to believe that there is/was something between Daniel and Shelby, but in the end, it felt like the author forgot she raised that as a potential conflict.

There was a whole lot and a whole lot of nothing going on in this book. There was a lot of teasing in this books. There’s starshots, only made by one person and so rare. Yet they are all over the book. And Cam tells Luce not to touch them because they are deadly, but Luce is human so how do they not know they won’t hurt Luce (like they don’t hurt Callie)? Or is this supposed to be a clue that there’s more to Luce? Demons and angles on opposite sides, yet during a truce they are totally friends. Ability to sense other fallen and Luce (so clearly there is more to her then just being human) but no one picks up on the outcasts? It was frustrating. The plot as frustrating and the resolution, or lack thereof, was frustrating. The end, where Luce just walks away from Daniel and surrenders but not really, was frustrating. I am not sure I really like the story anymore.

Again, that really disappointed me. It’s not often I am so in love with a book and then the very next in the series is such a total let down. They usually degrade over a few books. I just don’t know what to think about Passion. The name though is already enough to bother me. Fallen, Torment, both suggested something darker and interesting. Passion… not so much.

There were the few bright spots. Lauren Kate, like Maggie Steivfater, can turn a phrase. There were a few sentences, describing the few (way too few) interactions between Daniel and Luce that made the love (at least before Luce got so frustrated she had the incident with Miles) feel palpable and make a reader wish that they could be part of love like that. There was one sentence that gave me goose bumps: “The kind of look that made you love a person so much, you missed him even when he was standing right in front of you.”

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