Published: February 17, 2012
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian
My Rating: 4.5/5
Summary (from chapters.ca):
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.
Review:**NOTE: This review may contain spoilers to those who have not yet read Delirium, book one in the series.**
A choice has been made. You are giving up your old life for the new and then, suddenly, it all goes wrong. You are left with yet another life altering decision... what do you do?
Now this, my friends, is what I was expecting when I read Delirium. That gripping story that made you want to forget about everything else in your life and read like there was no tomorrow. I often say that going into a book with little to no expectations is the best way to fully be able to judge it. It is fully possible that after Delirium left me with a slight sour taste, I was expecting Pandemonium to follow suit. I am happy to say... it absolutely did NOT! It was AWESOME!
As I said in my review of Delirium, my intention was not to jump right in to the second book. However, the cliff hanger ending left me no choice. Is Alex dead? Is Lena safe? What is going to happen... will she go back or stay in the Wilds? Too many unanswered questions.
The pace in Pandemonium was so fast that I felt as though I was on the top of the biggest roller coaster as I ended every page. I had no idea what to expect next and after hearing some reviews saying that it was obvious how it would end, I kept expecting it to jump at me and yet it never did. The way that Lauren Oliver broke this novel into two different timelines - 'Then' and 'Now' - really allowed the reader to get a full understanding of everything that Lena was going through. It allowed the story to advance much easier and with a smoother flow than it would have if we had been reading in real time throughout the story. Like all other novels that choose this format, I often found myself reading much longer than I had set out because I needed to know what was happening THEN and two chapters later... I needed to know what was happening NOW. It really is a dangerous format.
The new characters in Pandemonium added greatly to the storyline. Where I found the supporting characters (other than Alex and Hana) in Delirium to be either hit or miss, that wasn't the case in this book. Each and every character was well developed and well utilized.
Again, a cliff hanger of an ending has left me sitting her dumbfounded... when is book three going to be available... what will happen now?!?! I simply must know.
Overall, a stunning follow-up to Delirium. It is not often that the second book in a series trumps the first but I am happy to say, this one surely does!