Book Review: Passion by Lauren Kate
Reviews of the two previous books:
Passion is the third installment to the tetralogy that is the Fallen series. I had this specially reserved because there was a promo which would give me a free shirt and a free pass to when Lauren Kate herself went to the Philippines (for the 2nd time) for her tour. She was stunningly much more beautiful in person, I guarantee you that. But we’re not here to talk about what happened last July. Yes, I’ve owned this book since July but I had to finish Percy Jackson and The Olympians before I got the chance to even so much as open this book. And besides, work and trying to be a perfect guy for a girl gets in the way of reading. Sometimes.
Lauren Kate commented on the cover. She says the book is about revealing Luce’s self. And that the cover, since the face is shown, reveals to the audience that Luce’s identity in this book will no longer be a mystery. Or something to that extent at least.
What to expect from this review: Nothing much, just some amateur writer trying to express his opinions about a book he has been reading since the first book was published. Needless to say, this will contain spoilers. But fret not. I will strive to keep them on a minimum.
I’m not one to write a novel’s length of a review. I always keep it short for I do not bide my time as much in front of a computer as compared prior to my acquisition of a position in a food manufacturing company.
In a nutshell: I got a job now LOL
Let me first tell you what I loved about this book.
This book, as you might’ve guessed upon reading the final chapter of Torment, is about Lucinda going back in time to get the answers she was undoubtedly deprived of. The magic of time travel is as new and fresh as it is complicated to understand. New and fresh because not a lot of authors mix time travel with romance nowadays (but this book is still the best time travel-romance book ever!) and I have to admit: I’m growing a fondness for such a plot in a romantic series. It is also complicated in a sense that the author must tread carefully on how he or she writes about the past. A small ripple back in time can send waves of change in the future. I liked the fact that she risked her writing career just so she can add a nice old twist to the storyline.
Another philia: New places. I really like being tossed in different places while reading a book. And Passion did not deprive me of that. Not one bit. Although there were some time periods that annoyed the hell out of me (I really don’t have a thing for European romance), I still managed to appreciate it nonetheless. The last place was the best of them, though. Although that “place” is subject to people’s view on what it really looks like, I liked how Lauren wrote it while mixing in a few places that she might’ve obtained from research. Or they could’ve just been written to make it sound freaking awesome. I don’t care, really. I just really like it.
And lastly, I had some answers. Although I didn’t necessarily have questions to begin with, reading the story in Lucinda’s point of view made me want to have those answers as much as she wanted Daniel to touch her lips with his (Ugh, more on this below) and I have to say it took a while to get those answers. I can’t really say if it was worth it, though. But I had them.
Now for the nasty stuff. Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.
What really annoyed me while reading this book, and I’ll shove it forward now before I forget all about it, is that this book is just too damn cheesy for its own good. Torment’s storyline was a level above this one, that’s for sure. Torment’s was more realistic and more people can relate to it. I know, I know. This is a book about angels and demons plus a girl and her half-angel/demon friends in between, not some Haruki Murakami novel. And yes, her love for Daniel is a curse so it’s not like she actually has a choice (or does she?).
Let me judge it first if she didn’t have a choice. Okay, so Daniel is like her drug and she went cold turkey when she ventured into the past for some length of time only the Throne knows (inb4 I see what you did there). But Lauren didn’t have to actually write about it all the time. I mean, I got it the first few time periods. Lauren could’ve reminded us with a few phrases or so but an entire page’s worth? And seriously, the repetitions of certain lines didn’t help.
Now let’s go at it on the perspective that she did have a choice. Wouldn’t that just make the earlier paragraph much worse? Luce, as in the last chapter of Torment, seemed to have grown out of her shell and decided to sprout wings of her own and set off on her own journey of finding what it means to have the cross she bears. In this book, it’s like there’re parts (and believe me, there’re lots of them) where she really feels stupid for doing all that time traveling and how she wished she can just go home like a little girl who got lost in the woods after running away. I mean, come on! I loved the Luce in Torment much more than the Luce in this one. She seemed so tough and stronger there than in Passion. Passion makes Luce somewhat helpless and always the victim.
To get a rebound for the fans, there are certain parts in the book that Luce’s character was described pretty well. Too bad they weren’t spread out so much. It focused mainly on the few chapters just until the last one. She seemed pretty brave in the end but too bad it was the last chapter. So meh.
Another thing that I got annoyed with was how this book tried to use too much of the Thesaurus. I’m not going as far as branding this as a Twilight-clone but you really have to have a dictionary with you (or an internet-ready mobile device) with just about every chapter. And those that didn’t use much of the highfalutin stuff didn’t last long. Praise the author for her complex vocabulary and her good intention of introducing not-so-ordinary words to us readers, but I really would just rather read a book without me pondering as to what this thingamajig really means and how it must be so significant to the story that the author really had to use it. Don’t get me wrong: I love words and I’ve been known to rape the thesaurus at times and I don’t mind grabbing the nearest source of info to get the meaning of a certain word. I just don’t like doing it when I’m so into a story and I have to stop and write “look for this word” on my to-do list. Heck, I sometimes pause a whole chapter just so I can look for the word already since I really find a hard time moving on with a question mark in my head.
Now that the shallow part is past, on to the rest of the review.
Okay so in this book, Luce goes back in time to solve the mystery between Daniel and her curse. Her goal at first was to simply find an answer. It then evolves into something much deeper: Breaking the curse. Throughout the book, the reader will be immersed in various “worlds”. Some near each other’s timeline, others thousands of years apart. Lauren did well on the description part. Although I have to say, as with her other books, she describes them a tad too much that it feels like a well decorated wall is just as important as the way a body is slowly turned into ashes. Yes, they are written almost as equals. Again, praise her for her effort but I just find it too prolix.
Daniel often arrives late in the story. I wondered why at first but I figured it was because of a greater power having control of their (Daniel and Luce) fate. And having Daniel always arrive 10 minutes to 10 days late is preordained. Fate here is very much in control. Although I’d like to think that Luce’s “friend” in the Announcers had a GPS tracker with him all the time and it would ring when Daniel was near. Let’s not explore this any further. It’ll ruin the plot.
The book, if I were to read into it, is about making choices; choices that at first seems obvious but when the time comes to decide, you struggle to find the answer. In this case, Luce is caught up on deciding whether their love for each other is real or not and if it is the right thing to keep it going. As I’ve mentioned, the answers are obvious and there wouldn’t be another book if the love died in the end. But Passion innately describes how a person’s feelings, even if it felt like true love, can waver at times due to certain circumstances one has and has no control over. So it’s basically about realizing if the love they have for one another is real and not some extended spark from when they first kissed. It’s about deciding if you’re gonna stay with this person until the end or if it’s just a mere fling; a hot encounter of kisses and passionate touching.
To end this review, this book’s story is not at par with Torment and the main character was portrayed as someone who has grown up a tad too late. The redeeming factors are the stories of their previous lives, the nice plot of time travel, and the ending. Yes, the ending seems promising. I’m really looking forward to that book just because of the ending. This book is just better than the first novel but since it’s a sequel (and sequels HAVE to be better than the previous title), it’ll get a lower rating than Torment. I’d give this a lower score than Fallen but I actually grew fond of reading this book despite its garrulousness.
PS: I honestly don’t know what to read after this. I think I’ll go for the Song of Fire and Ice series! 8D