Monday, 11 March 2013

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Book: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver, 2012 by HarperTeen, 375 pages.

Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis from 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 she stands there.

Then she turns around.

"You might as well get used to it now," she says with quite 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 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.

My Thoughts:
This second installment of the Delirium series takes place both in the wilds and in New York during a resistance movement, moving back and forth in time. The chapters are pretty clear about where you are. 

The story starts soon after Lena escapes over the fence and how she survives in the Wilds. I loved the addition of some of the new characters, especially Raven. I have to say, though, that there were a few logistics about their life in the Wilds that drove me crazy, like: Why do they wait until winter's there before they move camps? Why don't they just live somewhere warmer and set up a homestead and try to become self sufficient? Why do they have to rely on the cities for so much? Why, if there is a hardware store nearby, do they only have one shovel? OK, enough of that rant. These are not deal breaker issues, the story was still great, just things that frustrated me.

On the other hand, this time in the Wilds was compelling, the dynamics of the community, the constant peril, the heartbreak of peoples stories...

In contrast, the story alternates in a future time as part of an underground resistance movement in New York. There were some great twists in this part and, again, the addition of some new characters. I liked Julian, the son of the DFA leader, and how he grew and how the alliances and betrayals worked out.

I really love this series, though I didn't like this book as much as Delirium. Oliver's writing is brilliant and absolutely beautiful - she crafts words like an artist. And, I love the premise behind this book - that of a dystopian future where love can be "cured", along with the consequences of that. After the dramatic twist at the end, I can hardly wait to get my hands on Requiem (one of the advantages to coming to a series late!)


  1. You are definitely right about the advantage of starting a series late...I haven't even read Delirium yet, but I am happy to know the other two are available when I do! I've heard so much good stuff about this series, I really need to get to it soon...

  2. sadly this one fell short on all accounts for me :/ And then I read the blurb for book 3 and was not that interested any more in that one either. Sad

    1. I just read a review for the third one that said the end of the third book makes it all worthwhile.

  3. I love this series and Pandemonium is my favorite of the series.

    1. It was great. I've heard good things about Requiem, especially the ending, but haven't got my hands on it yet.


I really appreciate your comments.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.