Genre/Format: Young Adult, Own hardcover, 375 pages
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
I waited so long for this book! I adored Delirium, and have been pining for the sequel for over a year. The last pages of Delirium left me feeling like I’d been punched in the gut, and it was hard to imagine the direction the sequel would take. Pandemonium is a new beginning with a new setting and group of characters, and even the main character Lena has grown into a different person. So even though the story picks up shortly after the events of Delirium, in a lot of ways it’s like it’s starting over. I couldn’t imagine how I’d enjoy the book without some of the pivotal characters from Delirium. But I was happily surprised to find myself quickly caught up in this wild sequel.
The story alternates a “Then” and “Now” timeline taking us from Lena’s time entering the Wilds and transitioning to current day in New York where she is an undercover resistance operative. The jumping timeline is a little jarring at first – maybe because there are so many changes to get used to. It is a lot to digest. My curiosity of seeing the “Wilds” as compared to Portland, Maine was satisfied and brought a lot of interesting information about the “uncured.” The New York setting is also an exciting backdrop with familiar landmarks and dangerous situations.
I liked Lena’s new independence now that she’s out of her aunt’s control. The changes in Lena are striking and even though past events haunt her, her strength and resolve carry her through. The Wilds are quite a wake-up call for Lena, and she doesn’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for herself. She has to pull her weight and take charge, even though she’s still heartbroken from leaving her loved ones behind. New characters are also introduced and help move the story in new interesting directions. (How vague is that? This review is tough!)
Pandemonium is a dark and gritty middle installment to the trilogy. Where Delirium was more romantic, Pandemonium is more about the action and rebellion. The book felt like a necessary and natural progression from Delirium. It answers a lot of questions hanging from the first book and sets up the final installment in true Lauren Oliver fashion: with a shocking cliffhanger. I didn’t finish the book feeling like I’d been punched in the gut this time, maybe more like I’d been slapped, and there may have been some cringing and eye-rolling. Regardless, the wait for the final book, Requiem, will be unbearable. I hear that Requiem will be told with two points of view, Lena and another female character. Can’t wait! In the meantime, Lauren Oliver fans, watch for her new middle grade book coming out in September called The Spindlers.
- Book review: PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver (gingerjonesbooks.wordpress.com)
- Hollydiggity’s #CBR4 Review #02: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
- Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (bookjourney.wordpress.com)
- Audiobook review: Pandemonium (thelupinelibrarian.me)
- YA Wednesday: An Exclusive Interview with Lauren Oliver (omnivoracious.com)
- Review: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver (yabookscentral.blogspot.com)