As I turned over the final page of Torment, the second book in Lauren Kate's best-selling Fallen series, my first thought was Aw, man... now I'm totally gonna need to read the third one. Not the world's most enthusiastic recommendation, but a step up from her first book, which I damned with even fainter praise*.
The love triangle established in Fallen is sidelined in Torment. Fallen angels Daniel and Cam have declared a temporary truce in order to protect 17-year-old Luce from the "Outcasts"—fallen angels rejected by both Heaven and Hell. Continuing his hot streak of being infuriatingly patronizing, Daniel stashes Luce in a Northern California high school for children with angelic ancestors, hoping that her fellow students will be distracting enough to keep Luce from falling into the Outcasts' clutches. Naturally, he doesn't share his plan with Luce, who grows increasingly testy as her otherworldly suitor refuses to explain a single damn thing to her.
I found Torment infinitely more fun than Fallen, mostly because Luce is beginning to notice what was obvious from the first book: Daniel is a bossy, condescending creep. (Unfortunately, his actions are occasionally redeemed by an out-of-character moment of stupidity from Luce, but those are few and far between.) I suspect they will end up together—the laws of teen supernatural love triangles are probably too strong for any other outcome—but I'm still excited by Luce's baby steps towards independence. The final chapter of Torment does a solid job of setting things up for the next book in the series, but I don't care so much about all the angel/demon/Outcast stuff. I just want Luce to kick Daniel to the curb until he gets over himself, and I'm gleefully looking forward to seeing it happen.
*I said it was much better than Twilight.
Review based on publisher-provided copy.