*** This is a review of the second book in a series. If You haven't read Delirium you might want to look away NOW ***
Love, the deadliest of all deadly things. It kills you when you have it. And when you don't.
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.
Pandemonium is a poignant, explosive, recklessly romantic and utterly heartbreaking novel. Like Delirium, the first in the compelling trilogy, it will take you to the very edge. That's all you need to know. We'll let Lena do the rest of the talking . . .(From Amazon.co.uk)
One thing's for certain, Lauren Oliver knows how to leave a reader desperate for more. When I read Delirium over a year ago I couldn't believe I'd have a whole twelve months to wait for the next instalment. THAT ending! How could she do that? There was little doubt I'd be getting a hold of a copy as soon as I could and I almost jumped for joy when my pre-order landed on my door mat a few days early last week. I ditched everything else in my TBR and dived straight in.
Pandemonium is a book of two parts told in alternating chapters titled Then and Now. Then picks up almost immediatly where Delerium left off and follows Lena's story as she faces life in the wilds. Now is six months later when she's become part of the resistence and finds herself undercover in New York. Normally when a book is split between times like this I have a favourite period, but in Pandemonium each one is equally as brilliant.
It was fascinating to discover The Wilds beyond the fence we heard so much about in Delirium and we're introduced to some interesting new characters, Raven and Tack. Life in the Wilds is brutal, it's a fight against the elements to survive but what stands out in these sections is the belief and care in others the people have.They look out for each other, it's all about surviving together and they embrace their differences. In stark contrast we also get a glimpse into a political pro-cure organistation Deliria Free America (DFA) who are sterile, cold and calculating.
Pandemonium is far edgier and action packed than Delirium. Lena has come so far from the girl she was back then, Lauren Oliver has created and developed this character with intricate detail and care. There's also a new boy on the scene too, Julian, Lena's exact opposite and head of the DFA youth movement. Throwing them together the way Oliver does was ingenious, creating masses of tension. As much as I like him, he's no Alex though. And that's as much as I'll say about that.
I grabbed every available moment I could to read this book and got through it in one day. In a lot of ways I liked it more than Delirium, I liked the pace and the action which I found gripping. It shouldn't have been a surprise at all to get to the end of Pandemonium and be slapped with another gut wrenching 'omg' cliffhanger. I don't know whether to love or hate Lauren Oliver for doing this again! Pandemonium is a cracking sequel that lived up to the anticipation I'd placed on it and fans of Delirium won't be disappointed.
Published by Hodder & Stroughton March 2012 (UK)