Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Yes; #2
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Nook Book: 384 pages, 1 MB
Where’d I Get It: Purchased
Synopsis (From Goodreads): I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.
My Thoughts: As soon as I read the last of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, I knew I’d be buying the next in the series. The cliffhanger-esque ending of that book left many a reader gasping and clutching at the pages, asking Why why why it had to be that way. So, yes, I had high hopes for this book. Often, when hopes are so high, they get dashed. Thankfully that was not the case in this instance and Pandemonium delivered a punch that, while it isn’t quite as breath-stealing as the first in the series, definitely got my attention.
I admit that initially I was a little put off by the format. The chapters alternate from “now” to “then”, and I really expected it to be choppy and vile. Ms. Oliver, though, pulled it off without a hitch and I feel like the story flowed well enough forward that the pauses to shift back to the past did not leave it feeling disjointed at all.
I did miss some of the characters from Delirium, and I didn’t really bond so much with some of the new ones introduced in Pandemonium, but I’m fairly certain that was by design and not because they’re badly written characters. Quite the opposite in fact – everyone introduced to the reader seemed well thought out and placed intentionally.
There -are- a few little things in Pandemonium that I feel were thrown in there just because they could be thrown in. Also, the story itself felt a bit less substantial than Delirium. There was just as much world building and we do get to see why things are happening the way they’re happening, but it just wasn’t portrayed in as succinct (and yet perfectly detailed) a way as the first book. In that respect, this book definitely has a middle-of-the-series funk to it. It’s not overwhelming, though, and certainly shouldn’t cause anyone to not read through. And really, despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the time between the end of Delirium and the “now” of Pandemonium. Lena’s life went from innocent and mostly carefree to epic and hard, and she GREW from it. She developed, learned, fought, feared, loved, and became a deep character with many layers.
Now – the ending. Hmm. I have so many mixed emotions about how this book ended. In one way, you’re surprised – but it’s also kind of expected. It really kind of boggled my mind that it ended the way it did.
Pandemonium is a beautiful story that explores the growth of self through trial and heartache and introduces the reader to the flux of emotions that can happen with all of the relationships in a person’s life.
I’ll definitely be reading Requiem, the third in the series.
Rating: 4 of 5
My review of Delirium by Lauren Oliver, the first in the series.