Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: HarperCollins / Hodder & Stoughton
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon / Book Depository
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.
In Delirium, Lena caught the deliria, love, in a world where such a phenomenon is treated as a vile disease. It took her on an exhilarating ride that altered her very core. And then... it was brutally torn away from her in an ending that shredded not only her heart, but each of ours too. In Pandemonium, we see her attempting to recover from the grief of that loss and finding her inner strength to fight back against those who control her world with a cruel, loveless rule.
Pandemonium alternates between the past and present - Now and Then. Other books I've read that use the past/present method haven't always been able to pull it off successfully, but rather than feeling disjointed or confusing, Pandemonium shines for Lauren's flawless ability to shift back and forth between old Lena and new Lena's life. It helps keep the story constantly moving, full of intensity and emotion, as we discover exactly what happened to Lena after she escaped to the Wilds and how she grew into the survivor of 'Now'. Even when you're left on a chapter with a mini-cliffhanger and suddenly transported months back in time, the frustration is of the good kind. In the sequel, we're not only introduced to the harsh and freeing landscape of the Wilds, but also the bustling Manhattan, the centre of Deliria Free America where we join present-day Lena in her fight alongside the Resistance. We're also greeted to new characters. Raven, Blue and Tack especially intrigued me and of course, there's Julian.
Julian is the face for Deliria Free America, the son of Thomas Fineman, the man heading the cause. First impressions are definitely not what they appear with Julian. He is definitely no Alex, but it's unfair to compare them because Julian is a very different character, compelling in his own way and one that will be hard not to grow an attachment to. As much as I was screaming, "Noooooooo! Don't go there, don't go there!" when I first heard there was another potential love interest, I love the way it unfolded. I don't think Lauren did it for the sake of a love triangle, but to show the many different kinds of love and the painful, yet inspiring journey to recovery. Because there is always hope, even after it feels like your heart has been ripped from your chest, it's still possible to find happiness again. I like the message that was sent here, because the DFA are telling people that love is a disease, a terrible, disgusting thing that will eat away at you if you become infected. And rather than have Lena completely give up on love after her first was so tragically stolen from her, her heart remains open. She doesn't deliberately go looking for a new guy and at first she's reluctant, frightened of it, guilty. But love is not something you can control, much as those in power try to. And everyone deserves a second chance at happiness. I liked that Lena could find comfort in another, a reason to smile. They live in a cruel world where man has tried to suffocate something so pure and for her to lose that, yet still find it again, is a beautiful punch in the face to the entire DFA.
Lena has definitely grown a lot since Delirium. Love and loss will do that to you. She's less naive, more intuitive and much more headstrong. I can so understand her emotions, her actions, the fire within that drives her forward, screaming for vengeance, searching for hope. She has such an admirably brave spirit and while she's not always the toughest physically, her desire to keep on fighting is what makes her so strong. She doesn't spend a few weeks in the Wilds and suddenly become a hardened rebel. I like the fact that Lauren made her journey much more realistic, her vulnerabilities are what make her feel so human.
There is much more action and edge-of-your-seat intensity in Pandemonium. So often I found myself turning the pages faster and faster, then having to physically force myself to slow down because I did not want it to end so soon. And when it did end.... *SCREAMS* AHJKSADLIFJKSJHFDKF. Another awful, pull-every-hair-from-your-head cliffhanger, one that I cannot possibly wait another YEAR to see how it will play out!
Pandemonium is a novel of fighting back - taking a stand for what you believe in and rebelling for hope, for justice, for change. It's about recovering and learning to move on. Lena's entire story is one of love. It's painful, it's beautiful, it's ever complicated, but in the end, who are we.... what are we, without it? An empty, uncaring shell with no passion. Lauren Oliver has once again blown me away with her poetic writing and stunning ability to weave a tale so full of emotion, every page breathes with life. This is a sequel that wholly lives up to its incredible predecessor and will leave you begging, wailing, banging your firsts in rage for more more more more more more more!
5/5 Golden Apples!