Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Source: Personal Copy
**contains spoilers for Delirium**
Pandemonium picks up immediately after Delirium. Lena has fled to the wilds, leaving everything behind including Alex, who is presumed dead. Delirium ends with Alex suffering multiple gunshots wounds. Lena is all alone, and has no idea where to go or what to do, following her instinct she runs until she can no longer. An unconscious Lena is found by invalids who take her under their wing. Lena is heartbroken, and filled with grief. She wonders if this is all worth it without Alex. The Invalids are resourceful, determined and they don’t allow much time for grief. Initially, Lena is given time to heal but soon she must decide if she will begin to pull her weight in the group or move on. Her old life is gone; she will never be the same. Lena questions if she’s made the correct choice.
I really struggled with this review. I had very high expectations for Pandemonium, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected. The novel shifts between a “Now” and “Then” perspective which took awhile for me to get use to. The “Then” is when Lena initially entered the wilds, and the “Now” in present day. Lena and a few of the resistance members have crossed back into mainstream society. It’s not clear why they are there, or what they will be doing. I thought the first half of the book progressed very slowly, and I found myself rather uninterested. The novel does begin to pick up speed towards the middle, and the ending ends in another cliffhanger.
As Lena begins to develop romantic feeling for a new character, I really didn’t feel invested in this new love interest. I thought it was too soon, and it foreshadowed what would inevitably be uncovered. In the end, I was right. The ending really did make up for the slow beginning, but it wasn’t enough for me to give it an outstanding rating.
I really felt that “Pandemonium” suffered from middle book syndrome. Normally, this doesn’t happen to me. Overall, I enjoyed the book but wished I would have been more wrapped up in the storyline. Delirium was very fast paced for me, and I expected much the same for Pandemonium. If you loved Delirium, you will need to read Pandemonium, just be warned that the pace is much different.