Friday, June 8, 2012

Book review: Pandemonium


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #2)

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. My review of the first book is here. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.

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.

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.



Because this is a sequel, my review will automatically involve some spoilers for the first book, Delirium. Read ahead with caution! Or, you know. Throw caution to the wind.

I enjoyed this book a lot while I was reading it. I was entertained the whole time and never wished to be reading something else. But. I liked it way less than I liked Delirium. I don't think Pandemonium is as well thought out or as cohesive as Delirium.

Thoughts:

1. Like Delirium, I listened to this one on audiobook. Also like Delirium, it's read by Sarah Drew. Yesss. That's a good thing.

2. This book alternates between "now" and "then." Sometimes, really exciting things were happening and I hated to switch between the now and the then. Actually, that was true a lot of times. I'm not sure I liked that. But sometimes Oliver did a really good job of using one time frame to inform the other one. So that was good. Overall, I'm not sure if I liked the technique. While useful, I think it disrupted the flow of the story.

3. There are a lot of new characters in this book. A girl named Raven stands out the most. She's the first person Lena meets when she's in the wilds and she saves Lena's life, so she becomes a big part of Lena's life. But I wish Raven was more fleshed out. In the "now" parts of the book, which deal with Lena's life about six months after her escape to the wilds, she seems to trust Raven whole heartedly and love Raven. But in the "then" parts, the parts that take place immediately after Lena's escape to the wilds, I never really see Raven earning that trust or affection. She also does something maybe out of character, maybe in character at the end, in a very important part of the book, and I wish we got to learn more about her so we could understand her motivation.

4. The two huge "surprises" of the book? Yeah, saw them coming a mile away. Some of the smaller things still surprised me, but I wasn't in shock like I thought I would be.

All in all, I don't think I'm very happy with how/where this book ended. But that makes me even more eager to read the third book. I do love the characters, and I'm sucked into the story enough to want to read them. But I think this book could have been better.

4 comments:

Lacey said...

I listened to the audiobook also and I really liked the reader! I agree with you about Delirium being better than Pandemonium. But I can't wait to read the third book!

Shoshanah said...

I really enjoyed Delirium, but I still haven't actually gone to pick up Pandemonium to get back into Lena's story.

Alyx said...

Sigh. My "to read" list is growing at an exponential rate.

Sarah E. said...

I loved Delirium, I've heard though that Pandemonium was more of a filler book in the trilogy.

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