Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
Published by Hodder & Stoughton 2012

WARNING: I can't review this book without spoilers from Delirium, so if you're thinking about reading it, it's best to not read this review.

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.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, 'Delirium'. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

Pandemonium is set out very differently to Delirium, with the story being told in alternating chapters of "Then" and "Now". The chapters of "Then" refer to Lena's new life in the Wilds and how she adjusts, and the chapters titled "Now" refer to the present day and what Lena is currently doing. Pandemonium starts immediately after where Delirium ended, with Lena crawling through the woods and into the Wilds.

In the sequel to the amazing Delirium, Lena is faced with the challenge of adjusting to her new life in the Wilds, and what comes with being part of the resistance. There are many obstacles Lena has to overcome, and in the midst of it all, she finds new love.

Pandemonium is most certainly a better book than its predecessor. I think that choosing to tell the story in alternating chapters was an interesting and smart choice, and it definitely made for some amazing reading. In the chapters of "Then", we see Lena being introduced to a completely new life in the Wilds. I loved seeing her mature into the person that she presently is, and how she persevered in order to survive. I also really liked Lauren Oliver's descriptions of the Wilds and what it's like to live there. She showed the harshness and the hardship very well, and this was only strengthened by the number of deaths in the "Then" chapters. It was very sad and heartfelt. A whole host of new characters also came with Lena's new life. I enjoyed all these characters very much, and I liked how they were like a very tight-knit family; they looked out for each other and showed Lena the ropes. Lena also goes through the  grief of losing Alex while adjusting, and tears welled up occasionally as I read anything Lena thought or said that made her think of him. 

The "Now" chapters focus on what Lena is doing in the present day as part of the resistance. You can really see how much Lena has changed in terms of the way she acts and speaks. Life in the Wilds has hardened and defined her. She's no longer afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and overall she's very strong and smart. Oliver did the job of showing us how the resistance had managed to infiltrate the cities and "ordinary" life really well, and how many flaws there were in the government system. While doing work for the resistance, Lena meets Julian. It certainly is a forbidden romance, and at first, I couldn't really see how it was going to work. But work it did, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow. However, while Julian is a great guy, he is no Alex.

Pandemonium had masses of action in it, and quite often I was at a point where I wanted to immediately know what would happen next in each chapter. I literally couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And then, there are the last few chapters leading up to the ending and the ending itself. I was on the edge of my seat. There were a few revelations and all of them were quite explosive. I didn't see them coming. The ending literally made me scream -thank god I was at home when I was reading it - and I can't wait to find out what happens in the next (and final - sad face!) book. Pandemonium is a brilliant book filled with action, deep thought and romance. Lauren Oliver, you are an amazing, amazing writer. Requiem, hurry up and get published!

5 stars 


  1. Great review!
    I need to start this series. I've heard awesome things about it! :)

  2. Ohh...I sooooo need to read this!!! Delirium was really good and I have to find out what happens next!!!
    By the way, I left you a little something on my blog :)

  3. Great review Debbie - I'm dying to get my hands on Requiem!!