Saturday, February 16, 2019

Audiobook Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 375
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Review for book 1

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. In this electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller Delirium, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a dangerous course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and into the heart of a growing resistance movement. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

I am always, always wary of reading second books. More often than not, they're a real drag and are just filler to get from book one to book three. Thankfully, that did not seem to be the case with Pandemonium, although I am now really concerned about reading the last one since several of you have warned me about it...

Pandemonium is told in a series of flashbacks mixed with present events, which can sometimes be a little confusing. The flashbacks are of Lena's life in the wild with the people who find her after her escape. Alex is gone and these people are her new family, eventually making her a member of the Resistance. I really enjoyed the flashback portion of the book. Getting to see glimpses of the world before the Cure was fascinating and I really wish there was even more information on what happened and how much time has passed.

In the present Lena is living in New York infiltrating a group, the DFA, that is so loyal to the cure that they're willing to sacrifice one of their own. Another group of Invalids is also introduced in this book. Not surprisingly, not everyone living in the wilds or infiltrating the cities is in it for the same reasons. The Scavengers are a much more violent group that Lena and the others in the Resistance want nothing to do with.

I loved Lena in this book, possibly more than in Delirium. She's a strong character who still has major flaws and occasionally makes really dumb decisions. Basically, she's a somewhat believable teenage girl. I loved her relationship with the Invalids she found herself living with, Raven and Tack, and her growth since the beginning of the series.

Something that seems to have divided people over this book is the fact that Lena has a new romantic interest, Julian. I can definitely understand why some people may have an issue with this, can Lena be faulted for moving on from a (very short-term) boyfriend six months after his assumed death? I will say that I didn't love Julian like I loved Alex, but he was fine. I definitely foresee a love triangle in book three.

The ending of Pandemonium was a bit over the top, even for a YA dystopian romance book. I could have done without the melodrama and I would definitely be upset with the cliffhanger if I didn't have immediate access to book three. As it stands, I do, and I'll definitely be continuing the series soon! I really hope the warnings were unwarranted.