Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver
The eagerly anticipated sequel to the international bestseller DELIRIUM, one of the most addictive books of last year. Unflinching, heartbreaking and totally addictive, this novel will push your emotions to the limit.
Lena's been to the very edge. She's questioned love and the life-changing and agonising choices that come with it. She's made her decision. But can she survive the consequences? PANDEMONIUM is the explosive sequel to the critically acclaimed and bestselling DELIRIUM.
My Review: 5/5*
(May contain spoilers)
Wow. Wow. Wow. What on earth just happened?! It's official, Lauren Oliver is the Queen of suspense! I was hanging on for dear life following Delirium and I am now in the exact same position as last time, eagerly awaiting Requiem. Frustratingly, it's pre-ordered and is probably sat in my university accommodation RIGHT NOW just waiting for me to pick it up. Where am I? In Yorkshire, 200 miles away from Swansea and my lovely copy of Requiem. Arrgh!
This book was amazing. It's very difficult for an author to top or even equal the first book when it's as incredible as Delirium. Lauren Oliver, I take my hat off to you. An incredible writer, an original take on the Dystopian genre absolutely packed with twists and turns, excitement, sadness, hope and action. I loved it! This review is just going to absolutely rammed with gushing about this series. Please, please, please, if you haven't read Delirium yet, read it!
The book takes up from where Delirum left off. Lena is found and taken in by another household of 'Invalids' in which she slowly attempts to come to terms with the death of Alex and her new life. Oliver's depiction of Lena's struggle is so incredibly intense and emotional that we, as readers, are struggling alongside her. When she cries, we cry, when she struggle, we struggle. Our adaptation to this new life that Lena has been forced into alone is equally as isolating as what she as a character is feeling.
The most appealing factor is that we also have no idea what to expect from life in The Wilds. The new rules and expectancy from everyone is completely different from anything Lena expected to embark upon with Alex. Now, without Alex by her side, she is learning the rules. The rules vary from the expectation of contribution when gathering water to the monitoring of the paint which colours the birds for when a food delivery is due from sympathisers. This seems like an entirely different, straight back-to-basics microcosm of society including hierarchies, rules and expectations.
The key characters which we are introduced to are Justin, Raven and Tack. Raven and Tack are the 'leaders' of the new 'family' Lena is a part of in The Wilds. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about both of these characters. Weirdly enough, I'm pretty sure I prefer Tack to Raven. She is such an ass most of the time! (Despite the ending, one of her few redeeming moments!). Julian, ahhhh where to even go with him. Conflict, conflict, conflict. I didn't want to like him. Not at all. But, I do. AND THAT ENDING! What on eaaarth?! I don't want to go into it all too much just incase. It's on hell of a cliffhanger.
I loved Lena's maturation process throughout the book. She is no longer a law abiding, naive, goodie girl. She's independent, headstrong and absolutely packed full of rage. This rage is what keeps her going following the death of Alex. It also helps her later in the novel when she's caught in a very difficult situation. I hope, hope, hope she eventually gets her full happy-ever-after!
I enjoyed Ms. Oliver's use of the 'Then' and 'Now' headings for each alternating chapter. It displayed to us how far Lena has come along between her first arrival in The Wilds and her first big mission for the resistance. It's such a good narrative technique and managed to hitch the suspense up another notch. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Why oh why did I put off reading this series for so long?! Get me back to Swansea and back to Requiem!