***WARNING: Although I do not give away any spoilers for Pandemonium in this review, there are a few spoilers of Delirium. (And if you have not read Delirium yet, you need to go pick up a copy NOW! Seriously, it’s phenomenal!)***
There is so much I want to say about Lauren Oliver’s Pandemonium (Harper), the sequel to Delirium, but I will try to contain myself so as not to ruin it for anyone. First of all, let me say it was not at all what I expected. Or rather, it wasn’t what I had been hoping for. The sentimental romantic in me was hoping for some kind of relief after Delirium’s heartbreaking conclusion. I wanted someone to put my mind at ease, at least for a moment, and say “It’s not what you think. He’s fine!” But then what kind of a story would that be? So I tip my hat to Oliver for defying my expectations—for actually surpassing them with another heart-pounding page-turner.
When we last saw Lena she was left with nothing. Her family, her friends and her first love were all left behind in Portland, behind electric fences and walls of smoke and fire. In Pandemonium, Lena is reborn as a fierce member of the resistance, driven by grief and hate. The novel is divided into two alternating times: Lena’s experiences directly following Delirium’s conclusion and her time as a resistance member. I enjoyed the way the two time periods mirror the evolution of Lena’s character with her conflicting morals and her struggle for identity, all of which come to a head in the novel’s climax. This novel does an exceptional job of bridging the gap between the person Lena used to be and the person she wants to become.
Pandemonium is such an appropriate title to describe this novel. It is an emotional roller-coaster of adrenaline. Poor Lena barely ever has time to catch her breath before she’s thrown into the next hairy situation! The chaos and confusion that Lena has to deal with makes it near impossible to put this book down. As I was reading it I definitely felt like I was experiencing what Lena was going through (but on a much smaller scale obviously). Having to say good-bye to loved characters, meeting new characters in a foreign environment, and the uncertainty of allowing a new love… These are things Lena has to come to terms with in Pandemonium and, as a reader, you do too.
And the ending? Let’s just say book three is going to be a hell of a ride! I can’t wait!
Be sure to check out my review of Delirium here.