Torment by Lauren Kate

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Torment by Lauren Kate

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Lauren Kate's sequel to the impressive debut Fallen is just as good, as Luce and Daniel's story continues in exciting fashion.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 480 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0385618090

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Right, first things first. If you haven't read Fallen, go read it - or at least read a review to see whether it sounds like your cup of tea - because this review will inevitably contain significant spoilers for the earlier Lauren Kate novel.

Okay? Good. The start of this book, then, sees fallen angel Daniel take girlfriend Luce to a new school, Shoreline, to protect her. With many of the pupils there Nephilim - other angels, or people descended from angels - it's a lot more pleasant than her old reform school Sword & Cross. There's just the small matter of the hunters out to get her...

And while Luce thinks her main problem is avoiding the 'bad' fallen angel Cam, the reader knows right from the prologue that there's far worse things out there than him, as we see Cam and Daniel draw up a truce to deal with the mysterious Outcasts. While they expect Luce to sit quietly in Shoreline, she's desperate to find out more of her past lives, and to see whether she really can live happily with Daniel this time around. As she learns to summon the mysterious Announcers, she may be able to find the answers she wants - or she may end up putting herself, Daniel, Cam, and her new friends Miles and Shelby in even more danger.

Lauren Kate takes something of a gamble here. The supporting cast of Fallen was, generally, really strong, and she removes the majority of them and relegates most of the rest to minor roles. Even Daniel and Cam aren't in it anywhere near as much as the first book. However, it pays off, as she quickly establishes a pair of great characters in Miles, who may end up vying with both Daniel and Cam for Lucy's affections, and Shelby, who has a secret of her own. The dialogue and quickly developing friendship between the central trio is outstanding, and when we do get to see some of the characters from Fallen return towards the end of the book for a stunning climax it's one of the few big action scenes I've read recently where I've desperately wanted each and every character to make it through.

My only slight complaint about Fallen was the time it took to establish things - I said when reviewing it that characters were developed really well but it was a little on the slow side. That criticism certainly can't be levelled at the sequel, which is adrenaline fuelled from the chapter headings - which count down the days left of the truce between Daniel and Cam - to that outstanding finish.

There are four books planned for the series, so this gets us to the halfway mark - it's been great fun getting here, and I think the best may be yet to come!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of Teardrop, the first book in the Teardrop Trilogy by Lauren Kate.

Further reading suggestion: As mentioned, I loved Fallen itself, and would strongly recommend reading that book before this one, obviously. The other truly outstanding supernatural romance of recent years, in my opinion, is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. If you still haven't had your fill after that one, the rerelease of the superb Forbidden Game trilogy by LJ Smith is high on my list as well.

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