It’s hard to review Torn without spoiling the big twist in the previous book, Tainted! So, I’ll just say that Torn follows the further adventures of Lily Carlyle, now Alice Purdue, as she attempts to keep demons from overrunning the Earth. Meanwhile, her thorny relationship with Deacon continues, her handlers have teamed her up with a partner, and now Lily has custody of her traumatized little sister, Rose.
Rose is now facing a violation that might well be worse than what she suffered in the previous book. The demon responsible for her rape has now taken up residence in her mind and body, sometimes possessing her wholly, sometimes lurking just below the surface. The parts of Torn that deal with Rose are pretty painful to read, especially when you think about Rose only being fourteen and what she’s already gone through in her young life. And it starts to seem like there’s no way for Lily to help her.
I was a little disappointed in the treatment of two of Torn‘s characters. One of them finally achieves his fondest desire, but I guess I was hoping he’d get a longer, more poignant scene when it happened. Then, there’s Lily’s partner, Kiera. She’s a really interesting character, from her sharp tongue to the never-quite-answered question of which side she’s really on. I wanted to see her explored more deeply, but instead I felt that she was kind of wasted and that she was only in the story for a particular reason.
Torn‘s plot is definitely a “middle book” plot. It picks up right where Tainted left off and serves mainly to set up the events of Turned, and to prepare the characters for what lies ahead. However, it’s a quick, suspenseful read filled with demonic intrigue and a bit of Indiana Jones-style temple-raiding. And we get to see Lily give one of the minor villains his just desserts, which is quite satisfying indeed!