Book Review: Pandemonium
By: Lauren Oliver
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Length: 384 pages
Source: ARC Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult
W.O.W. I fell in love with the story in Delirium. The whole idea of a world where love is considered a deadly, contagious disease, where a society has found a cure for love in all of it's forms, and to feel love makes you an outcast, an invalid. I was fascinated by the idea, by the world created and also by the Wilds, where the Invalids, those not cured, lived in camps outside of the country's borders and were slowly forming a rebellion. In Delirium, I fell in love with Lena and Alex, and my heart was broken at the end when they were separated. I had no idea what to expect from Pandemonium, but there was no doubt in my mind that it would be amazing.
Pandemonium begins as Lena makes it across the border into the Wilds. Alex, of course, has been shot and surrounded, assumed dead, on the other side. Lena is heart broken, scared, and soon sick. She must survive alone as she searches for a camp. She is rescued just after she passes out, finally giving up, and we are introduced to what becomes her new family, the residents of the homestead that takes Lena in. Lena soon learns that the Wilds aren't the romantic place she visited with Alex just weeks before. Life in the Wilds is hard, and the residents face challenges unimaginable to Lena.
The resistance is also building, growing, thriving. Pandemonium switches from "Then" (Lena's introduction to live in the Wilds, her self-discover and growth, her re-birth) to "Now", where Lena has an active role in the resistance. I know for some readers, the switch with each chapter, from Then to Now was confusing, but I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. I absolutely adored being able to watch Lena's re-birth and learn about the Wilds with her while also watching the resistance from an insider's point of view.
Lauren Oliver builds characters as masterfully as she builds worlds and stories. We are introduced to Lena's new family in the homestead, Raven, Tack, Hunter, Blue, and through the resistance we meet Julian. I missed Hanah and Alex, but I have to admit that I loved the new cast of characters even more. Except Alex; I missed Alex horribly I loved how Lena thought of Alex in almost every move she made. It was hard for me to accept a new love interest for Lena, even though I knew it was bound to happen.
Pandemonium was amazing, a page-turner from beginning to end. I was absolutely absorbed in the story and the characters; I could not put it down. Because of the way Delirium ends, I prepared myself for a cliff hanger at the end of Pandemonium. However, NOTHING prepared me for the way this book ended. My final words to Lauren Oliver - REALLY?!? You're going to leave us like that...until 2013?!? Nooooo!!!!!!!! My final words to friends who haven't picked up this series yet - Go get it NOW! This is a story that you don't want to miss. Trust me on this one. Have I let you down yet? ;)
Summary from Amazon:
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.