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Torment: A Fallen Novel    by Lauren Kate order for
by Lauren Kate
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Torment follows Fallen as the second in Lauren Kate's haunting YA fantasy series, starring Lucinda Price. Just after her seventeenth birthday, blamed for the death of a friend, Luce was enrolled in reform school Sword & Cross. Luce drew the attention of handsome Cam but was attracted to gorgeous Daniel.

Another friend, Penn, died in Fallen and Luce blames herself. Daniel has revealed to her that they have shared many, many lives together, lives in which she died soon after they met. She wonders about those lives and about the families she left behind. Though she loves Daniel desperately, his unwillingness to answer any of her questions continues to frustrate her. It makes her question their relationship, and wonder about the secrets he still keeps from her.

As Torment opens, Cam and Daniel (demon and fallen angel) have made an eighteen day truce, in order to hunt down those who would kill Luce - both Elders of Zhsmaelin and Outcasts, 'shunned by both Heaven and Hell', who have starshots, a deadly weapon capable of killing both angels and demons. Cam and Daniel agree to move Luce to the Shoreline School in Fort Bragg, California, where the presence of Nephilim (who have angel DNA) should shield her from her enemies.

Gradually Luce settles in, making friends of her irascible roommate Shelby and of the devoted Miles. She studies in a special program with the Nephilim, and learns a little about manipulating Announcers to reveal past history - soon demonstrating that a little knowledge is dangerous and getting into trouble. A girl, Dawn, who strongly resembles Luce, is attacked. Luce strays out of bounds often, a risky habit. She and Daniel argue about it, stressing their relationship. There's talk of End Times.

Luce desperately wants to go home for Thanksgiving. But when she does, both friends and enemies gather for a violent confrontation. It ends with a cliffhanger in which Luce flees into peril, pursued by Daniel. This excellent Fallen series will attract a legion of YA fantasy fans, who will be anxious to find out what's next for Luce and all the supernatural creatures who surround her.

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