Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: February 2012
Pages: 384
Source: Library
For: Dystopian Challenge
Series: Delirium, Book 2

Lena has buried her past. The loss of Alex was nearly her undoing, but that is all behind her and she is moving forward. The story is told in alternating storylines between the present where Lena infiltrates society as part of her role in the Resistance, and the past where she adjusts to life in the wilds without her friends and family.  Will she be able to play the part she needs to in order to survive?

Things I Liked:
I'm kind of split on this one.  I was still quite blown away with the writing - I just love how Oliver makes every scene come to life and feel so real.  I thought it was a really interesting direction to take the story too - so different from the first book and not what one would expect of a sequel to Delirium.  The dual narrative (same character, different time periods) was both good and annoying.  I was impressed that neither storyline was more interesting to me than the other, as is usually the case for two alternating stories.  I loved the new characters, Blue and Raven and Julian.  I kept thinking it was very aptly titled too, since pandemonium described pretty much what was happening.  Very well written, action-packed, and a surprisingly different kind of sequel.  I'm very interested in what happens next, especially after that crazy ending!

Things I Didn't Like:
I think more so when reading this one than the first one (for some strange reason) I was annoyed at the completely implausible basis of the world: love is a disease and we need to have surgery to remove its effects.  The world is very believably created, except for that basic premise.  Also, I found it to be more predictable - I caught all the clues to what would happen long before it did.  It didn't have much subtlety in that department, since I'm not generally that good at picking up on clues.  The ending got to be a bit of a stretch for me too, but if I didn't think too hard on it, I was able to enjoy the story and characters and especially the writing.  And I'm still interested to see where that final book leads us.

Start with Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Reminds me of the Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano
The Matched trilogy by Ally Condie

s-factor: !@#
cussing throughout with a handful of f-bombs

mrg-factor: X
more sensuality than anything, but it's there

v-factor: ->->
a few scenes of brutality, but not descriptive in detail

Overall rating: ****

What did you think of this sequel?  And did you like it more or less than Delirium?
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I ended up reviewing Delirium twice, because I did a re-read before reading Pandemonium. The first time around, I felt like you did, that the premise was absurd. Upon re-reading however, I decided that “love” was actually just part of the larger picture of all aspect of *passion*, which would impact on society’s ability to control its citizens. So in order to get rid of revolts, revolutions, violence, wars, or even dissent, you get rid of *passion*. Emphasizing love is sort of a bizarre way to go about it, but I could see the rationale better when I read both books together in a row. In Pandemonium, I wasn't so enamored of the back and forth in time thing, but I got used to it. Totally with you also on the predictability aspects!

    1. I agree it was more about passion than love, but when they'd talk about "catching the disease" from each other or having the surgery for the good of avoiding love, I would suddenly be yanked out of the believability. Interesting thoughts, though. I'm eager to see where the last book goes.

  2. Oh dear. The world building doesn't make sense??? Sounds like another Wither! :(

    I have the first one just sitting on my shelf so I'm sure I'll get to it but I hope I like it.

    1. See, I never really had problems with Wither's worldbuilding, but the basic premise of this series is itself hard to swallow. Everything else seems to fit nicely, though. I'll be interested to know what you think of it.

  3. We felt about the same way on this one. I think I liked the writing itself better in PANDEMONIUM, but the story/plot was better in DELIRIUM. Wonder where the next book will go?

    1. Yes, I think I agree the writing was awesome in Pandemonium. I really have no idea what the last book will be like, but I'm definitely intrigued.

  4. I completely agree with you about the world-building in this trilogy. I struggled with the first one for this reason, but it's becoming more and more evident as the books progress. I really need some sort of justification for why this "anti-love" thing has happened, because I just don't buy the premise as it is.


Love it when you comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © melissa of One Librarian's Book Reviews 2008-2015