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Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
5 stars: Incredible /Keeper!
Series: Delirium #2
Hardback: 375 Pages
Publication: February 28, 2012 by HarperTeen

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.

Lauren Oliver has this magical ability to captivate her audience and transfer her characters' emotions to them. From start to finish of Pandemonium, I have been living with Lena, feeling her anguish, her pain, her desires. It is raw and beautiful.

The beginning had me baffled. If not for the chapter title (now), I would have thought I was transported to the past. As I read, I realized that Pandemonium tells the story of Lena (then) adjusting to life with the "Invalids" and the story of Lena (now) undercover as part of the resistance. Through this, Lauren Oliver both tells us what we want to know about Lena's days after escaping, learning to cope without Alex, and she hits the heart of the story--Lena's involvement with the resistance.

I missed Alex. My thoughts were one with Lena in that I didn't want to believe that he could be dead. When Lena runs, desperate to believe that she can bring Alex back by meeting certain goals, knowing the futility of it all, I felt my train of thought reflected here. This. This is where Lauren Oliver's strength lies, in developing character and transferring their emotions through the pages.

Lena's recovery takes place both mentally and physically. She is weak from days foraging for herself while fleeing Portland. She is sick with despair over losing Alex. Then, while settling in an Invalid camp, she must learn how to interact with a whole new set of people, and she must learn how to live without Alex. She must learn how to fight.

Heartbreak. Love. Desires. Action. Pandemonium has it all. And as with Delirium, Lauren Oliver has left us with a cliffhanger that will nag at the edges of your mind for the rest of the year. Scratch that. The cliffhanger is even more killer than that of Delirium. (Is it possible? Oh, yes it is.) My heart is crying for Lena. Needless to say, I will definitely be reading Requiem, book three and the finale to the trilogy. Until then, I will be rereading books one and two.

Have I mentioned that, even as she continuously tortures us with cliffhangers, Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors?

Note: My review does not tell you whether or not Alex appears or not because I can't tell you. That would be a huge spoiler. Knowing beforehand would have ruined it all for me. There are other characters that I have not mentioned at all. Because that too would involve spoilers. If you want to talk about Pandemonium with me after it's release or through email or messages on another social media site because you've already read and love it, YES I WILL BE UP FOR IT.

Related Posts
My Review of Delirium, Hikari's Review of Delirium, & Interview with Lauren Oliver


An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes

15 comments on "Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver"
  1. Great review. Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors. I guess I'll have to wait till publication date to read this one.

  2. I peeked ever so carefully through your review. :) Thanks for not being a spoiler! I'm looking forward to reading this one even with the torturous cliffhanger.

  3. I agree with you that the most important part is when you feel things along with a character.

    Lauren Oliver is awesome!!

  4. Great review! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. I had no idea this would be a trilogy. I loved Delirium (and Before I Fall). Lauren Oliver really does know how to make the reader connect with the character. I don't normally cry at books, but she always has me in tears! My eyes were so bleary at the end of Delirium, I almost couldn't finish the story. Getting my tissue box ready...

  5. I won't lie, I was nervous to read your review. Part of me wants to know NOW if Alex is alive, but then part of me doesn't want to know at all and wants to read it myself! Hahah.

    If I somehow manage to snag a free copy from here, that'll be awesome...I dunno if I can wait til the contest is over though! I wish I had waited to read Delirium until closer to the release of Pandemonium, because sometimes I just don't want to read anything after I read such a good book that's part of a series except for the next book! >_<

    Thanks for the review.

  6. No Alex? WTF! GAH! That's not good at all! And I shouldn't have read this because I might have just ruinned the book for myself. Oh well, still going to read it as soon as I get my hands on it.

  7. Thank you so much for not putting in any spoilers! I adored Delirium and the ending turned me into a soppy mess until I learned there was a sequel and I have been waiting with bated breath ever since. It is wonderful to know that Pandemonium will follow in the tradition. :)

  8. Exciting! Good review, haven't read this one yet, but now i want to!

  9. I love how an author can "captivate". Love your review.

  10. I skimmed the review because I have yet to read this so didn't want to be to spoiled.

  11. Ahhh! Couldnt help but read your review even though I shouldnt have! >_< I'm horrible with spoilers. I cant wait to read it :))

  12. Another awesome review! Though I gotta admit, the cliffhanger ending kinda scares me... Maybe I'll wait for the third book to be published then read the entire thing together...

  13. I am just DYING to read this! Waiting is becoming incredibly difficult. I'm so glad to hear it lives up to Delirium, though :]

  14. I am up to the last 20 pages of Pandemonium and your portrayal of the book is exquisitely accurate. Unconsciously, since beginning this story, I have just been waiting for Alex to come back – I don’t think I ever believed he died. I just kept fantasising about all these possible outcomes, in which he somehow survives. This review has really captured the true essence of Lauren’s book, so thank you.

  15. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG ARGGGGGGGGGHHHHH! Have just finished Pandemonium and... ARGH!!! I am dying - how in the world can I wait for the next book?! Wow. Sorry - just had to put that out in the open, and since no-one I know has read this series (try as I might) this was the only way. (I am DYING inside)!


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