by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Published by: HarperCollins
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 book two in Lauren Oliver’s trilogy Delirium. Having recently finished book one, I was anxious to get my hands on this novel. Oliver delivered with Pandemonium and left me yet again craving more. She took me on an intense ride that had my palms sweating and my heart racing.
The novel picks up after Lena has been in the wilds, and the author cleverly takes us between then (her experiences in the Wilds since escaping) and now (what is currently happening to her). Oliver simplifies this by splitting the chapters between then and now. It was easy to follow, but a few times I felt like only reading now or vice versa when the plot became too intense.
In the chapters depicting then, we meet Raven, Tank and many more inlanders. Lena is injured and in a bad way at the beginning. Deep down she knows Alex is dead, but cannot admit this. Life is hard in the wilds, but Raven teaches Lena how to survive. Here we watch Lena mature, find her inner strength and grow into the character we see in now. The world that Oliver paints here is a tough and beautiful one. There is a beauty to the harsh landscape. The people are leaner, depend on each other and have made makeshift communities. Despite how hard survival is in the wilds, Lena finds peace here. These people become her makeshift family. I really liked these unique characters. Oliver made them each individually and gave them a voice.
The chapters that are dedicated to now are intense as Lena and the others assume identities within Manhattan, NY. They are following the movements of the DFA (a group that encourages young people to seek the Cure). At one of their rallies, Lena meets Julian, the son of the DFA leader. He is not yet cured but is eighteen. Medical circumstances have prevented him from the procedure, but he tells the youth group he will have it done at the convention. Lena is told by Raven to keep an eye on Julian “no matter what” at the gathering in Times Square. Lena and Julian are captured by a protester group, and the tale that unfolds is fast paced, action packed and romantic. Together they must find a way to escape their captures. Julian begins to have feels for Lena and Lena for the first time feels alive. She has feelings for Julian, even though it feels like a betrayal to Alex. I found myself swept up in their story.
The tale that Oliver weaves between the then and now is spectacular. I couldn’t get enough and just when I thought things would work out, that we could all breathe a moment….Oliver drops a bombshell on the last few pages and ends the book with a major cliffhanger. I was mad, but then I was excited, and then I was rushing to Goodreads to see when the next book will be available. I love when a book has me this engaged and I cannot wait to read the next book.
I highly recommend Pandemonium to fans of dystopias and romance. If you haven’t yet read this series, I encourage you to do so. Oliver’s writing style flows from pen to paper and takes you effortlessly into Lena’s world. She presents questions and provokes conversation into life without love and what it entails. Her characters have depth and are genuine. You easily connect to them and feel their emotions. Oliver has made my auto order list. Book three of the trilogy is entitled Requiem and will be published in February of 2013. Pandemonium is currently available in paper and eBook formats.
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