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Torment (Fallen, Book 2) Paperback – Subtitled, June 14, 2011
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Amazon.com: Luce and Daniel's story is very romantic. What inspired you to write a love story between a human and an angel?
Lauren Kate: I’ve been writing love stories for as long as I’ve been writing. To me, the most complicated romances make the most interesting narratives, so I’m always looking for new obstacles to throw in my lovers’ paths. When I was getting my masters degree in fiction, I was studying biblical narratives and came across a line in Genesis (6:1-4), which describes a group of angels who fell in love with mortal women. Putting this reference together with a mention in Isaiah and another in Palsm 82, biblical scholars conclude that these angels were actually cast out of Heaven for their lust. Which means--you could say--that these angels chose love over Heaven. I found this to be an endlessly interesting set up for an incredibly complicated romance. I started thinking about what kind of mortal girl it would take to attract an angel’s attention. And what it would be like for her to find herself in this position. What kind of baggage would an angel have? What would her very over-protective parents think? From there, this whole world unfurled in my head with fallen angels, demons, reincarnation, and the war between good and evil all battling for a piece of the action.
Amazon.com: We've been wondering about the "mechanics" of Luce and Daniel's story (for lack of a better word). Does Daniel age? Or does he stay seventeen forever (while Luce grows older)? And with that said, what does he do while Luce is growing up in each of her lives? What was he doing before he met Luce in this life?
Kate: What’s important about angels is not their bodies but their souls. In their purest forms, they’re actually genderless, but for my story to work--for the angels to come down to earth and interact with mortals--they all assume human bodies and attach themselves to human genders. Daniel is eternal and will live on forever, but the body Luce sees him in (gorgeous as it is) is really just a shell for the soul that she loves. There’s not the feeling of a ticking clock in the background as there might be with, say, a vampire story. Right now I’m writing Passion, the prequel where we’ll see Luce and Daniel in a dozen other lifetimes, so I’m exploring a lot of these mechanics (a great word for it, by the way) between the angel’s bodies and souls.
The way Daniel occupies himself in between Luces varies from life to life. His soul is least at rest just after she’s died, before she’s incarnated into another life--when she is “in between.” During her lives, even when he isn’t with her, he is always aware of her age, what she’s going through, how she’s doing. He has a sort of internal Lucinda clock. Sometimes he meets her as a child, sometimes he tries to stay away from her as long as possible, to give her as much of a life outside of him as he can. In the years leading up to the life where they meet at Sword and Cross, Daniel was living on Skid Row in Los Angeles.
Amazon.com: Fallen and Torment talk a lot about the history of Heaven and Hell, the different classes of Angels, and the rules of human-angel interaction. Obviously these themes are explored heavily in religious texts, but were there other sources that informed your story?
Kate:It’s interesting because there is actually very little in the Bible about angels--a few mentions in the Old Testament, a few more in the new. And the mentions that we do have are often vague or contradictory. Most of what we think of when we think of angels today comes from secular or cultural contexts. Seventy-five percent of it might have come from Milton alone. I worked with a biblical scholar at UC Davis who pointed me toward some apocryphal texts (books written during the same as the bible, but which were not included in the book when the canon was closed). Books like Enoch 1-3 and the Dead Sea Scrolls are chock full of angel references. I also read a trilogy on Satan and a book called the A History of Heaven both by Jeffrey Burton Russell, as well as a great book by Harold Bloom called Omens of the Millennium.
I got so engrossed in all of the research I did for Fallen that I had a hard time knowing when to stop reading and when to start writing. I had to realize that it was okay for me to pick and choose things from various accounts, to look past contradictions, and to come up with my own angel mythology. That’s what Milton did, after all!
Amazon.com: What is Cam's deal? We're not convinced that he's totally evil--in Fallen, he seemed to be trying to protect Luce by keeping her away from Daniel, and in Torment he and Daniel reach a mysterious truce, again to protect Luce. Will we be seeing more of him in book 3?
Kate:Speaking of Milton, isn’t it fascinating that Satan is the most interesting character in Paradise Lost? From the start of this series, I have wanted to test the boundaries between what is “good” and what is “evil.” How and when do those terms get applied? Are they black and white or is there some flexibility along the spectrum? Obviously it’s much more interesting if Heaven and Hell/good and evil work as binaries: opposites that orbit each other and are pulled toward each other with a mutual gravitation. We see that at the end of Fallen and in Torment with Daniel and Cam’s truce. The idea that good and evil rely on each other is as old as the oldest dualistic religion, Zoroastrianism (on whose shoulders both Judaism and Christianity stood).
So yes, there is more to Cam than pure evil! (Especially since his character--the charming side of his character anyway--was based loosely on my husband.) We’ll see a lot of him in Passion and will even begin to understand how he got where he is today.
Amazon.com: Can you tell us a little bit about book 3? Will we find out more about Luce and Daniel's past lives?
Kate:Passion is going to be the craziest, coolest book I’ve ever written! I’m halfway through the first draft right now and it is so rewarding to finally get to delve into Luce and Daniel’s past lives together. The history these two share is the stuff of epics, and I am learning so many new things about them as I write. For any reader out there feeling tortured by the teasing hints of so many thrilling past lives: Passion is your book! Everything--well, almost everything--will be illuminated.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Which leads to the whole other, why the hell bring Miles into it? I thought it was a triangle between Cam, Luce, and Daniel which I really liked, but it seems Cam has been replaced by Miles whom I don't really care for his character at all. Is she turning it into a love square? Or is she pulling a House of night and have Luce fall for all the guys that pay her attention and offer comfort?
I agree who ever said the book was basically full of fluff and I felt it held a lot of repetition. Here's to hoping Lauren Kate can bring back my interest in this series with book #3
Torment was a very enjoyable read, though I had a few issues. The issues were surpassed by awesome characters and tremendous writing. I didn't want to put it down and I am now craving Passion even though I have quite a time to wait.
Luce grew a backbone in this book, and for this I am very glad and applaud Lauren Kate. Even though she felt this magnetic pull to and incredible love for Daniel, she began to really question why it was there. She has no memories of the past lives that they shared, all she has are stolen kisses and a few sweet memories. When he gives orders, and is forced to be behind the scenes, she stands up for herself and demands to know more, she gets angry and pushes to know the relevant information. I am not saying that this driving desire doesn't result in some bad decisions, but she has every right to know more, and to wonder at the intensity of their love.
I really wanted to see more of Daniel in this book. I am honestly not completely sold on him, even though I would really like to be. I adore the concept of undying love, and he has the potential to be an amazing love interest and an awesome character, but I just don't know enough about him. I am in the same boat as Luce except that I don't have any pull to him. There is just too many secrets and so much mystery shrouding him and what role he plays in tipping the balance of the war.
As for the new characters, they are wonderful and really made me get into the story more. Shelby is a firecracker and I love watching her and Luce's relationship build and their interactions. Miles is so cute, and I love his devotion, friendship and understanding toward Luce.Read more ›
I LOVED TORMENT!
First of all, one of my favorite themes to read is good vs. evil and even better when it's heaven vs. hell. And while most people are probably going to be more interested in the love story aspect of this series, for me it's really all about the battle between the angels and demons. Daniel, the good guy against Cam the bad guy....or are they?? The line in the sand is sometimes a little fuzzy in Torment. You'd think it would be easy to predict the behavior of either one, but sometimes they act in unexpected ways which leaves Luce confused and questioning. And is one of the things that makes Torment so compelling. There are definite mysteries to be solved and I am loving trying to figure them out!
Torment gives us a new setting...the gorgeous California coast. Shoreline is everything that Sword and Cross wasn't. Sunshine and beaches and a gorgeous building with decks and windows where classes are held. We are also introduced to some new characters at the school...Shelby, Luce's new roommate and Miles, a totally sweet guy who helps make Luce feel comfortable in her new school. And there are two teachers who...well, let's just say they're not your ordinary teachers *wink*
And then of course there's Daniel and his glorious wings. Lauren does an absolutely amazing job of describing them...not only can you picture his wings, she makes you hear and feel them too. As you would expect, Daniel's main goal is protecting Luce from the Outcasts, but he's also protecting her from her past. There are lots of unanswered questions and we are left wondering just what it is that he is hiding from her. I think there are going to be some amazing reveals in book three!
I was really happy with Luce's growth in Torment.Read more ›
In execution, not so much. The first book was mediocre, and the second was an equally mediocre follow-up. Luce is a troubled teen, put in reform school for her role in the death of her high school crush. In her new, gothic school, she meets a variety of punks and pretties, all fallen angels in disguise. The hero, Daniel, leader of the fallen angels on the side of good, competes with equally attractive Cam, representative of the dark side, for Luce's affection. The second book picks up where the first left off, with Daniel winning Luce's love and her realization that they have been playing out a tragic love story for millennia - Daniel finds her, then Luce dies. This time Luce has not perished, so Daniel sends her to a private school in California for Nephilim, children of angels or demons, to hide her from the growing ranks of their enemies. They proceed to spend the next 400 pages fighting with one another and then making up whenever Daniel comes to visit.
The characters are caricatures - not a single one is fleshed out to real personhood - instead the author relies on style and stereotype to fill in the blanks. The heroine, Luce, waffles from defiant to resigned at dizzying speeds. Even though she realizes she's in an abusive relationship (kudos to the author for making that clear early on), she continues to explain away the fights and problems with that over-exploited panacea 'true love.' It's okay if your relationship is miserable (and killing you!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In typical Twilight fashion, Torment follows New Moon's outline of lovers distanced for protection. Luce is somehow dumber and has even less self-preservation instinct than Bella. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Lindsay Swain
This series so far has some really good parts, but it is so YA formulaic. There were times when I didn't want to set it down, and other times when I was just annoyed and rolling... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Shally B
I started reading these books a few years ago but never had the chance to finish them. I'm currently re-reading them and very much enjoy them.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer