Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Published: February 28th, 2012 (HarperCollins)
Source: ARC, won
Series: Delirium, #2
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Note: this is not the first book in a series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, 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.
Pandemonium is the thrilling sequel to Delirium, one of my most anticipated titles for 2012. While it was a great book with a great story line, for me personally, it didn't live up to the awesomeness that was Delirium.
The first book set a really high standard and after that ending I was eagerly anticipating the sequel. Where Delirium explored the setting and the characters, Pandemonium focuses on Lena and her survival in the Wilds and her involvement with the Invalids she meets there (this is not a spoiler imo, the blurb reveals just as much). I didn't like Raven, who is a pretty important character in this book, and I couldn't relate to her in any way. She appeared inhuman, being as harsh as she was, and I didn't like that she wasn't made more believable. I quite liked the other new characters, who include Tack, Julian and Sarah.
The story is less dystopian than its predecessor, focusing more on Lena's survival instead of on the dystopian society that's in place. Lena really grows up in this book, learning how to survive and how to resist the 'cure' and make a statement against the people who believe in it. I really liked her development and her way of adapting to her new life.
Don't let my slightly critical review put you off reading this book - it's a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I'm just being a bit critical, since I loved the first book in the series so much and this book isn't as good, in my opinion. Having said that, Pandemonium is a fast paced, twisty tale of survival, full of suspence and betrayal, love and desperation, hope and a strong female character who will ensure you will want to read Requiem right after you flip the last page.