Saturday, July 2, 2011

Book Review: Torment, by Lauren Kate

Torment contains some very creative supernatural elements, but also a romance that is cliché and boring.

I loved the world that Kate has created. The angels, the weapons, the Announcers, the demons, the End of Days—all of it is intriguing and captivating. The characters, old as well as the newly introduced are individually unique. They each bring something to the story and aren’t just copycats of each other. I liked the way Luce’s knowledge of the Announcers has developed, and I believed her need to deceive because of her thirst for the information that they provided.

Shoreline was described beautifully, and I want to go there. Steven and Francesca brought some new life into the characterization, and I enjoyed their unique relationship.

The big problem I have with this story is the romantic plot. Daniel has taken Luce to a new school for her protection, and he can’t be there with her. He comes to visit and every time, they have a hot make out session, he tells her not to leave the school, she gets mad because she thinks he doesn’t trust her, when really it’s for her own protection, but he won’t tell her that. (Lather, rinse, repeat…) This happens at least four times. This is a lame plotting element that I really hate. All the tension is based on lack of communication or miscommunication. All of the danger and suspense is because Daniel won’t tell Luce what is going on. And, there’s not a plausible reason why he can’t.

I understand that without this, there isn’t a book – but come up with something better – and cut out the 200 pages that it took to actually get to the action or at least use that 200 pages to DEVELOP the relationship.

I will read Passion. I need to learn what happens. The ending of Torment, the final battle, was very exciting, and I liked where Kate took the story. I just hope that we get a more realistic romance in future installments. Teens probably won’t mind the formulaic romantic elements as much as I did, and I’m sure this book will have no problem leaving the shelves, especially for those that have read Fallen, the first novel.

Published by Delacorte, 2010
Copy obtained from the library
452 pages (qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 2.5/5

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  1. As you may know, I love reading other blogger's reviews of the Fallen series. As I tend to be pretty harsh on them, it's always good to be reminded of the positive things in the series and think to myself, huh, yes that's a valid point, LK did manage to succeed there!

    Anyways, about Torment. I gave it pretty much the same rating as you did. I thought that Kate did a very good job of "setting the mood" in both Fallen and Torment, which is not always an easy thing to do. You really got a sense for where the characters are.

    That being said, I have a major problem with the dynamics between Luce and Daniel-- especially in Torment, where I feel like he was controlling, chauvinistic and treated Luce like a "pathetic little woman" who couldn't have a thought or opinion of her own. Also, he thinks she can't "handle" what HE knows. The WORST was when he told her off for changing her hair color (ACK!!) This really turned me off. I have a serious problem with this message of such an unhealthy relationship, with no communication or mutual respect, being portrayed as "romantic" to teenage girls...

    I just finished reading and reviewing Torment. I didn't include any very specific "spoilers" but feel free to check it out if you have time! I loved your review, and thought you were very fair with the book-- I was probably not, haha-- it just frustrated me to no end!

    If you are interested, here is my review to Passion. Enjoy ;)

    Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland

  2. Oops! I meant in the last paragraph there, that I had just finished reading and reviewing Passion, not Torment...

  3. I have the first two books, but haven't read them yet because of the mixed reviews. I've heard mostly negative views about the romantic plot. Thanks for the honest review!

  4. I like Kate's writing. The writing, taken all by itself is actually quite good. It's the story I get s little hung up on. Not really my fave. I have a hard time believing that if Daniel REALLY loves her, he still kisses her, EVERY time, KNOWING what is going to happen next. Control your hormones pal... :P

    Great review. I like this series less and less as time goes on and have no idea at this point if I'm going to read Passion or not.

  5. I just finished Passion and I will read book 4 because I need to know what happens. However, Luce was her "no faith in Daniel" self. I was really frustrated with the book. I am going to be posting about it this evening.


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