Book Review March 17
Pandemonium (#2 Delirium)
by: Lauren Oliver
Blurb: After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the "cure" - an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love - but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.
I probably should have written this review right after finishing the book. Instead, I finished Requiem and now I have to backtrack. In fact I put off reading this book for months until the release of Requiem was closer. It came sooner than expected and I am glad because I really enjoyed Pandemonium, it was more exciting than I thought it would be. I wasn’t sucked in right away and I wasn’t a fan of the Then/Now flashbacks right away. But I’ll admit - the ending, wow!, it was awful and great at the same time.
It was hard reading about Lena, alone and without Alex. Everything she deals with is so harsh and brutal that her experiences become much more realistic and her pain is reasonable. I don’t know how I feel about Raven. I’m in the air about her maybe because I’m biased with this being Lena’s story. I know being an outlaw leader can’t be easy but I may have been more hurt and deceived than Lena was when she learns her captivity with Julian was a known and planned setup.
Lauren Oliver does have a remarkable writing style in which the harsh realities of Lena’s new world become real and vivid imaginings the readers can transform from the likeness of their own backyard. And Julian, it was hard to accept him but as the story continues he goes thorough the same journey Lena did with Alex, where she has to decide if the world and society they live in is actually ‘Right’ and if the disease of love (deliria) is actually worth fighting for.
This book was definitely a thriller. There was action and adventure and more bad guys than I could count. I found the addition of the Scavengers to be well placed. For me they represented a group of people who defy one cause and don’t see fit to take up another. Survival of the fittest at its best. Even the people hidden the sewers were unique in their identities and brought a helpful edge to the cause as it turns out there were a lot more people aside from the Invalids and Scavengers alive whom were cast out of society.
I’m still very upset with Raven. I know she had to make a choice, for the good of her people, but I think it goes against the cause to go behind the backs of those who trust you and put them in danger without them knowing the facts. Also, now that I’m so worked up, I will point out that there was a character error when they are running in the Wilds. Hunter is apparently carrying Blue when he had not yet returned from the hunting party.
I am very proud of Lena in this book. She holds nothing back. Her weakness and her strengths are all tested and even when she fails she finds the will to go on. I found it interesting when she was up on the catwalk above where Julian was going to get ‘his procedure,’ very similar to Alex watching over her if I remember correctly in Delirium.
I really enjoyed Pandemonium, more than I thought I would. Life is not easy for Lena in the Wilds. It would not be easy for anyone who enjoys all the basic luxuries of everyday life. Things we normally take for granted like running water, toilets, silverware… Lena’s struggle becomes real and gripping. This book starts off a bit slow but begins to pick up pace and before you know it, you’re sucked in. I would recommend it to dystopian fans and readers of book one, Delirium.