Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver @OliverBooks

Title: Pandemonium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Series: Delirium #2

ISBN: 9780062130082

Synopsis (according to Goodreads): 
“So what was your name before?” I say, and she freezes, her back to me. “Before you came to the Wilds, I mean.”

For a moment you stands there.

Then she turns around.

“You might as well get used to it now,” she says with quiet intensity.

“Everything you were, the life you had, the people you knew… dust.”

She shakes her head and says, a little more firmly, “There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next.”

After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone 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.

Unlike Delirium which follows Lena’s romance with Alex and her struggles with what she believes about the world she lives and the disease she was taught to fear, Pandemonium chronicles Lena’s life among the Invalids and her struggle to fight to keep her feelings felt. Where Lena once felt that the disease was worse than death she now believes the CURE is much worse than she would have ever imagined. Along with a cast of new Invalids friends from the strong and authoritative, Raven, to the quiet and mysterious, Blue. These people Lena was taught to fear and hate accept her better than anyone else she knew in her previous life.

As well as struggling with her new role in life, Lena was face facts that Alex was not going to be there for her while she learned the ropes of the Wilds. She mends her broken heart to the best of her ability with a little help from a new character, Julian.

This book was interesting in the way it was formatted. Instead of having different character perspectives, it would switch back and forth through time. It would tell of Lena’s “rebirth”, as she put it, in the Wilds and then switched to the present where she was on a mission for the resistance, a band of Invalids who attempt to reform the society of the cured. Along the way is an interesting connection between Lena and Julian which left me feeling a bit uneasy. I was such a big fan of Alex from the first book and was not ready to let go of the Lena-Alex romance.

When I first picked up the book and started reading and realized that Alex wasn’t in it, I almost tossed it aside. That would have been an incredibly poor mistake. I am not one to leave things unfinished. Especially not a book series. So I pushed through and went along with the emotional rollercoaster. The book got better and the new cast of characters made for interesting back stories and interactions with Lena. I believe that this book did not fall into the dreaded slump that most sequels do. This one actually powered through and was about the same quality as the first book in the series. Overall, I liked the book and am hard-pressed to start Requiem because I am afraid it will be the end of the series. With fingers crossed that the series doesn’t end and two thumbs up for this book, I can safely say that Pandemonium and the Delirium series are a must read.

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

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