By: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Genre/Age: YA Dystopian
Source: ARC from Around the World Tours
Lauren OIiver captivated readers with Delirium, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.
Pandemonium continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive – and wonders if she may be falling in love again.
Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.
If you’ve read my review of Delirium, you know that I went into it with incredibly high expectations and was left feeling slightly disappointed. And while I still have a lot of the same problems that I had with Delirium, I’m happy to say that I liked Pandemonium a lot more. This may be partly because I had more of an idea of what to expect, or maybe I was just too harsh with Delirium, I don’t know. But Pandemonium has made me want to go back and reread Delirium, and I feel a new affection for it that I didn’t feel before.
The story is told in two parts, with chapters alternating between Lena’s life when she first arrived in the Wilds (picking up right where Delirum left off) and her life as a member of the resistance about six months later. I loved this format, because of course we all want to know how she immediately adjusted to life in the Wilds but it’s fantastic to see where she ends up and how she changes. A lot of the situations in the alternating chapters parallel each other, which was also really fun.
There is a brand new cast of characters in Pandemonium, and it was great getting to know the inhabitants of the Wild and see how they live. They take Lena in and she quickly becomes one of them, doing what she needs to do to survive without Alex. Alex’s absence is felt very strongly and Lena frequently thinks about him, using his memory as a source of strength. I absolutely LOVE the new, stronger Lena, she feels so kickass.
I’m still not totally feeling the romance in this series, but that’s okay. I have hopes that it might finally win me over in the third book. Another thing I had an issue with is that the Invalids still refer to love as a disease and talk about getting “infected.” I thought the whole point is that they want to rid the world of the idea that love is a disease, not just convince everyone that it’s okay to be infected. Ah well.
The last 50 pages are tense and race along at breakneck speed, and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what was going to happen. And at the end of it all, once again, Lauren Oliver leaves us with a heart-clenching cliffhanger. I can’t say whether I was surprised by the ending or not (because certain people know my theories and I don’t want to spoil it :P), but I will say that whether or not I was expecting it, the last page is an awesome, heart thudding moment that will leave you wailing for the next book.
I never even really felt that desperate for Pandemonium after finishing Delirium, but I NEED the third book now. I’m so excited with the possibilities and I really hope that Lauren Oliver delivers. Pandemonium is an excellent follow-up to Delirium and fans of the first book definitely won’t be disappointed.