Wednesday 2 May 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Borrowed from the library

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

I absolutely loved book 1 in this series Delirium, and waited with such excitement for the sequel Pandemonium to come out, desperate to find out what happened next. What happened to Alex?! Did Lena make it to the Wilds?!

Verdict?- I loved this book too. I felt for Lena all the way through all the struggle, all the twists and turns, and cried and loved along with her. Pandemonium has Lauren Oliver's typical focus on in-depth characters and back story, which gives such weight to the whole story.

It felt like a completely different type of story from the first book though. In Delirium Lena was living her life within the society- controlled and ignorant, and the book mainly focused on how horrifying it was living in a world where love is forbidden and feared. In Pandemonium we are looking at the society from the outside- and seeing some of the various resistance movements that are trying in their different ways to bring about change, or to just try to survive free however they can.

It's also told in alternating chapters switching between what happened just after Lena and Alex were seperated, and then living in New York as a member of the resistance many months later. I liked this style (even though it was a little confusing at first) because it was interesting to slowly discover how Lena got from one situation to another. Both threads of the story are totally compelling, and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through.

The world she escapes to is dark and harsh. She has to walk miles to carry buckets of water back, she is always hungry and cold, always in danger of being hunted or from dropping bombs, with her friends dying of sickness. But even so, she and her new friends living in the Wilds are free, and when we see back to how cruel living in the society could be, what she has given up doesn't seem too bad.

There is always something happening, and I loved the build up of suspense, as Lena and her new band of rebels infiltrate back into society as spies trying to break the government down from the inside. This is how Lena meets Julian, who is the son of the man in charge. He has not yet had the cure and has his own doubts about it. But I loved seeing them struggle to break free together.

In a society where love is seen as a sickness it is shocking how this comes across in the books. Lena has very happy memories of her mother singing to her, dancing and playing games together, and yet this behaviour was seen as wrong- a mother infected with the deliria sickness. Julian's father in contrast, beats his sons, and is abusive and cruel, and yet this is seen as the norm.

Lena's world is hard and cruel, which for me made this book moving and tense, and powerfully gripping. This is an incredible story about love and survival, with a terrifying but believable world, and strong complex characters. But it ends on another intense cliffhanger, so I have another long agonising wait for the next one now!


  1. Can't wait to get a hold of this book! :-)

  2. I haven't even read Delirium yet... It's been sitting on my shelf for far too long! :)

  3. This one is sitting on my shelf. I need to read it, I don't know why I haven't picked it up. I had no idea about the switching points of view.

    BTW, I love,love,love that cover !


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


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Elvendorf Valley and Make Believe kits by Irene Alexeeva