Release Date: June 14, 2011
Published By: Delacorte Press
"Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever."
Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . .
Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.
Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.
So I'd say that Fallen is still the best book of the series though Passion at least beats out Torment. I have high hopes for Rapture despite my waning enthusiasm for this series.
1. (+) Luce, the protagonist - If you didn't like Luce before, you might like her now. Though, I've got to say, I liked some of her past incarnations more than her present self. Lu Xin was one of my favorites. Point being is that Luce is finally growing into herself. She's determined and keeps a level head about things.
2. (--) Repetition - If I have to read one more time about how "gorgeous" Daniel Grigori is or how Luce needs to be in his embrace, I may just bang my head on the wall. That's not to say that those parts aren't well-written, of course. Just...too...much. Overkill. While I understand that them being instantly attracted to each other is a part of the curse, I don't know that I as a reader need to be reminded of it every single time.
3. (+) Soul-mates - Alright, it's pretty romantic. Luce's personality changes dramatically in each past life so it's interesting to see how Lauren Kate has defined soul-mates via Luce & Daniel being attracted to one another no matter what. I'd like to know how this plays out more... as in if Luce was gone, would Daniel be a demon? Or would he choose the higher road? How does it specifically work? If one half of the pair was gone, does that mean the other would turn? I wonder about it, especially with #6 here. Still, this point is the charm of the whole series--the everlasting love, right? She doesn't disappoint on this.
4. (+) The Past Lives/Research - Places Luce/Daniel Go: Moscow, Milan, Helston (England), Tahiti, Prussia, Tibet, Versailles, London, Greenland, Chichen Itza (Mesoamerica), Yin (China), Jerusalem, Memphis (Egypt), and back to Savannah, Georgia. Lauren Kate must have done a lot of research because the places and people she describes all sound pretty accurate. This was a nice addition to the book.
5. (--) Why? - Why those specific places? I mean, yes, a character explains Announcer travel to Luce and why Luce ends up where she ends up... but what I want to know is why did Lauren Kate choose those specific places as important ones to Daniel & Luce? I liked the explanation for the earlier time periods--that Daniel was less careful about revealing things to Luce--but what about the other places? Moscow before the war really got going - yes. But why Milan? Why Helston? etc. etc. Some of these I didn't understand as to "why" they'd really be important to Luce & Daniel, especially Milan. That place, she sees his wing scars. Are you seriously telling me that in a romance spanning centuries that she never once saw them until then?? How is that unique to Milan? etc. etc.
6. (+) Understanding Cam - Yay. We have some explanation for why Cam is so jaded and why he became a demon. And why he still helps Daniel. For the most part, I like how Lauren Kate has made the good/evil division not so strict.
7. (+/-) Lack of Side Characters - If you really liked Miles & Shelby, they're in two? I think scenes in the book. If you liked Arianne et. al, they're in three? I think scenes. I liked the Arianne / Roland combo from the previous books, so I wished I got to see more of them, though I'm glad I didn't read more about Molly, because she acted pretty childish (given what she is) in Fallen. Annabelle, another fallen angel, is very briefly introduced (which makes me wonder just how many fallen angels there are? I think this will get addressed in the next book). And another character, Bill, really takes the stage. I'm neutral about this because sometimes you need other characters to buffer the story, you know? Yes, the different places offered a change in pace to the Luce / Daniel story, but not as much as other characters would, in my opinion at least.
8. (+) The Curse - You finally find out why they're cursed and what that has really meant for the both of them over the years. And I actually like it -- the terms, the boundaries, and whatnot. I like the way she incorporated the angelology into it, though in the end, what did Luce really do besides catch Daniel's eye? It sucks for her. Daniel may suffer the most of the two of them, but Luce didn't really deserve it.
9. (--) Pacing - While it's nice to go to so many places, I wonder if some of the information could have been condensed. On page 337, it spells it out for you why each place has been important to Luce, but I didn't always find it clear. Some of the ones where she sees what the curse really meant for Daniel could have been taken away and I think she could have still understood the depth of his pain... without readers feeling bogged down.
10. (--) What really happens?! - Problem with this prequel is... what really happened? Okay, we find an explanation for why Luce is the way she is in the present. Check. Luce discovers that the love between her and Daniel is true. Check. We finally find out why they are cursed. Check. And that's it really... But in the scope of things, did we need 400 pages for these things? No. This series, in my honest opinion, could have been cut down to 3 books with this information tucked neatly into the others.
This may be the most negative (and the longest?) of any review that I've posted, but most of that also has to do with my own expectations. I thought I'd be blown away by the romance... thought that there would be some resolution... I read reviews from others and was anxious. *The best book in the series!* So when it fell short of my expectations, well, you see the result. If you choose to get into this series, I'd recommend reading Fallen first. If you like it, continue on. If you're on the borderline and want more, read this one instead of Torment. It's not too exclusive.
The Cover - When I first saw it, I loved it. The colors are so beautiful together and it's a little lighter than both Fallen and Torment... but then I questioned things. One, these covers are obviously drawn, not photos of models, so why did they make the girl that skinny? She looks almost anorexic! She's skinnier here than she was in the other book covers... why?! Two, why a red rose? Yeah, we buy red roses for love and romance and whatnot, but Daniel / Luce are a peony type of couple if you wanted to get strict about it.... Still, in the end, I would've probably picked up this book if I saw it in a bookstore without knowing anything about it.
Inclusion of Daniel Chapters - Daniel & Luce's perspectives, alternating chapters = bravo. Because I honestly liked reading more from Daniel's perspective than from Luce's. Not only do you learn so much more from him than you do from her, but he is also a more interesting character. I would have loved to know what he was thinking when he first saw Luce--their very first meeting--but I think Lauren Kate isn't going to grace us with that particular scene. Sad, really, but I think it's supposed to be in the scope of greater things / leaving it up to our imagination.
Timing - Rapture (and the controversy this year) + 2012 & including the Mayans as a time Luce visited... One thing I'll admit is that Lauren Kate has got brilliant timing. And in case you're wondering, yes, I think she's making Rapture as the potential 'end of the world' type of book. Well, if you read Passion, you'll know that it's not really the end of the world, but I don't want to spoil the book for you and will just leave it at that.
World-building via Announcer travel & soul cleaving. Another positive. I wish this type of stuff got more attention in the novel.