Jenn's Reviews > Torment

Torment by Lauren Kate
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's review
Aug 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: own, e-book, hardcover, signed
Read from August 01 to 02, 2011

***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***

For Luce’s protection she’s enrolled at another boarding school, Shoreline in California, a school with a program for the Nephilim. Daniel and Cam have united under and uneasy truce in order to protect her from new forces seeking her death, but they don’t join her at the new school. Instead Luce is left alone with only millions of question unanswered and occasionally short visits from Daniel where he doesn’t offer any answers. Everyone seems to know who she is, and they all seem to know more about her than she knows about herself. As war wages around her will Luce find answers before she loses everyone and everything she holds dear?

For the first quarter of this book I had no intention of giving it a four star rating, while it was more interesting than much of the previous book it still lagged with an awkwardly slow pace for what was occurring. Add to that plot issues that bothered me – A LOT. First there are two Fort Braggs, I didn’t know this until she started mentioning a Fort Bragg in California, as a former Marine I won’t claim to know all the military bases, but since I was stationed on Cherry Point, I do know where the Fort Bragg Military base is. The Fort Brag Army base is in North Carolina. Fort Brag, California is a tourist attraction. It was a military base back before the civil war but is now a place where civilians can go on vacation. I would be extremely surprised to find Marines stationed at a tourist attraction. I’d also be surprised to find them stationed on the Fort Bragg ARMY base when Cherry Point Marine Corp Air Station, Camp Lejuene Marine Corps Base and New River Marine Corps Air Station are also within the state of North Carolina within an easy driving distance. I’d also like to note that a Marine is a proper noun unlike soldier it’s not an eclectic term that can be used to describe more than just a member of the Army. Because Marine is a name, a title it should ALWAYS be capitalized. While I could easily see Marines stationed in California attending a beach side bonfire party at a school, because let’s face it Marines like to party, if you’re going to use Marines in your novel give them the proper respect of the title and have them stationed at an actual military installation please and thank you. Considering there are a couple Marine Corps Bases in the state of California if the author had bothered to look that up, she could have made the scene work. But apparently Kate decided to guess instead of research and OBVIOUSLY I’m a little offended by it. If for some reason Marines are now being stationed at tourist attractions, please correct me. Otherwise, it takes less than ten minutes to check facts like these on the internet. It would have been ten minutes well spent. Fortunately for Kate people who’d know most of this off the top of their heads aren’t likely to be within her target audience. But casually using people and organizations that might be common knowledge to a considerable group of people without checking your facts first is insulting to the reader and just plain sloppy as a writer. Most readers will probably pass over the scene and not even notice the inconsistencies, but they bugged me even if the scene was small and the Marines were portray as no more than guest at the parties with no actual dialogue, the scene really bugged me. In fact I should mention she would have been smarter to not add them at all since they served no purpose to the plot other than being one group among many at a beach party. Okay now that I’ve had my rant, let’s get to the important parts and the things that changed my mind enough to give this novel four stars.

While the plot does start of slow and lagging like the bulk of its predecessor, after the first quarter it picks up speed with intricate plot twists that have you turning pages and unable to look away. And even though the first portion does lag it includes some interesting scenes, though admittedly there’s a lot of space between those particular scenes. Not by the end you haven’t received all the answers you looked for in the previous novel, but you start to get a better idea of what’s going on. Since the main drive for this series has always been confusion, and wanting answers to the obvious questions I’m not sure if I’d say the plot was exactly logical. I would say it was interesting and something I couldn’t tear my eyes from even when the battery on my ipod died and I had to read with it plugged in to my PC instead of comfortable lounging on a couch. Usually if the ipod dies I say it’s time for a break but by that time nothing mattered but finishing the story, finding out what happened. I think what made this plot stronger was one the bulk of it had a much faster pace, but more importantly it focused more on developing Luce as a character, making her real and making her strong. What turns me off about series like these both the Fallen Series and the Immortals series (which let’s face it bears a lot of similarities to this one.) is that they focus on my male lead, who’s lived pretty much forever, being the all knowing perfect guy who’s been in love with the young female lead forever. Then the female lead, without really knowing Mr. Perfect jumps right in for this because he basically tells her that she’s the Juliet to his Romeo. Readers are left to accept that because of all the things the writer never bothered to show us, the couple is obviously in love, true love of course. It’s the exact opposite of showing instead of telling and while many love struck teens will jump right on board as an adult reader it’s more like give me a break. In this story she comes back with less scenes of Daniel or the new link of the triangle Miles (because of course we can’t have a teen romance without having the all important love triangle right?) and instead gives us more scenes of Luce pushing the rules, fighting against unexplained demands for her obedience and becoming a more realistic character. In this novel Luce comes into her own and she finally becomes a character a reader can both relate to and root for.

While the novel also improves over its predecessor on plot and pacing, the real strength of this novel is the character growth and development we received. Our secondary characters in this novel are less one dimensional and start to become more real to the reader. Obviously since I’ve raved about it a lot Luce becomes a fleshed out lead. While I feel this should have been done in the first novel as well, I’m impressed with the improvement shown in the characters during the second novel. I will say though that even in part two of the series I haven’t fallen for Luce and Daniel as a couple. Even given a second triangle I think she’s better suited with Miles. I like Miles because he doesn’t just expect her to fall into line and do as he says no questions asked. Like Cam demonstrated in the previous novel, he goes out of his way to impress her and be there for her. I’m sorry but Daniel just doesn’t do that. Daniel comes across as jealous, possessive, condescending and selfish and personally I don’t think their relationship is healthy in any way shape or form. I know I’m the minority on this but people who really love you just don’t behave like this guy does. If he knew that his being a part of your life could kill you, he’d walk away because he loved you. He wouldn’t continuously devastate families with losing their daughters, sisters and friends just because he wanted them. If my fiancé behaved how Daniel behaves, always expecting me to go on blind faith, never answering my questions and then ordering me around like some kind of child I’d have kicked him to the curb a LONG time ago. So far all I’ve seen in this series as far as the encouraged love story goes is encouraging teenage girls to enter unhealthy relationships. But again that’s just my personal opinion. While Daniel and Luce’s love story will always remain a part of the story, it’s not so much the focus in this novel, Luce finding out who she is and making her own choices is the focus of this novel.

One last thing to note that I loved because yes I’ve gone into some serious detail about the things I didn’t, the ending scenes of this novel are smashing. They are on the edge of your seat devouring every word, give me the next installment now awesome. Kate’s series shows extreme improvement in the second novel of the series. I’m glad I started reading even if it was only because I wanted answers from the previous book. The second installment in the series was worth the drudgery of the first.

Overall I’d actually recommend this title, unfortunately it means suffering through Fallen to have this novel make sense. If you can make it through Fallen, Torment is definitely worth reading. Despite its faults I would definitely recommend it.
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Reading Progress

08/02/2011
9.0% "For a series with so much potential the pacing is so slow, it's near boredom and the idea that someone can spontaneously combust from being told information, the very information I'm reading to understand is both frustrating and ludicrous."
08/02/2011
25.0% "Learned something new, apparently there are two Fort Braggs. One is in California, but it's a tourist destination not a military base like the Fort Bragg in North Carolina. I have no idea why Marines would be stationed at a tourist location as stated in this novel. I do know that Marines is ALWAYS capitalized, it's an insult for it not to be. Very poorly researched plot point."
08/02/2011
69.0% "The book is really picking up. I really thing writers like Kate and Noel (because you have admit they're very similar in style) do much better when you take Mr. Perfect love interest out of the picture and make their female leads become heroines instead of victims."

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