Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Torment, a Fallen novel by Lauren Kate (Book Review)

The good, the bad, and the bottom line
Daniel Grigori was once a very high ranking angel until he fell (literally) for Lucinda Price.  The couple is cursed.  Lucinda (Luce) dies and is reborn every seventeen years and in each lifetime meets and falls in love with Daniel all over again with no memory of her past lives.  All while poor Daniel loses the love of his existence repeatedly, forcing him to wait for Luce to be reborn and mature, knowing he’s only going to lose her again and again. 
The good:  Premise.  Imagine you’re so amazing that an angel leaves his prestigious job in Heaven because he can’t live another day without you.  Total epic swoon fest.  Oh, and by the way, there’s also Cam, the sexy bad angel who has also been vying for your affection throughout the centuries.  Two guys fighting for you.  What’s not to love?  Decades of past lives.  The creative possibilities are endless.  This is the backdrop for (the)Fallen series.  For the record, I really liked the first book.  Daniel is complete leading man material.  Cam plays his role of foil exceptionally well.  And Luce is a decent clueless heroine (and they all start out clueless, don’t they?)  This book also contains my favorite kiss in YA history.  Two pages of well written lip smacking goodness.  That being said…
The bad:  Torment starts out so well.  Luce is hidden for safe keeping.  She gets to hang out with some nephilim in a place that promises to provide many answers to Luce’s questions.  Questions Daniel won’t answer.  Problem is, not much else actually happens here.  Torment is nothing more than a springboard for Passion, book number three.  Total Empire Strikes Back syndrome. But unlike Empire, Torment does almost nothing to advance the plot.  And I don’t even mind that so much if you’ve got awesome characters that I just want to hang out with.  I’ll put up with a bit of fluff for some three dimensional characters and awesome dialogue.  But the new characters in this one fell flat.  The highlight for me was Arrianne showing up to properly kick some bad angel butt.  But it was only one scene. 
And Luce?  She starts with a legitimate question for Daniel, such as ‘do you hook up with anyone else while you’re standing around waiting for me to be reborn?’  Total legit question to ask of one’s eternal angel boyfriend.  But as soon as Daniel shows up, she gets all swoony, he soars her up into the clouds for some beatific making out, he brings her back down to terra firma, and they fight.  I literally held the book away from myself and went “Seriously?” because that scenario is repeated throughout the book.  And I can actually buy the whole Daniel wanting to protect her and not throw too much information at her.  But dude, throw the poor girl at least one of those little dog bone treats.  She's starving.
Luce finally says ‘enough’ and sets off to find her own answers by book’s end.  Good for you, Luce baby, but it took ya long enough.
Bottom line:  Lauren Kate is a solid writer.  This series is definitely worth reading for all you paranormal romancers, adult and teen alike.  I’m glad I read it even though I never got my “rabbit hole experience” (This is the point near the end of a book where I lock myself in my bedroom to block out screaming kids as I race to the nail biting end).  But will I pre-order Passion months before its summer release date?  Yep.  The potential for greatness is still there.  I have faith in you, Lauren.  Throw us a bone.

     -Suzi Ryan

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