Monday 12 March 2012

Book Review-Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Title: Pandemonium
 Author: Lauren Oliver
Series:  Delirium #2
Published:  1 March 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton
Length: 375 pages
Warnings: Profanity, violence
Source: Library
Other info: Book 1, Delirium, was published a year ago and was reviewed (badly) here. Book 3, Requiem should come next year. Short story Hana is already out. Lauren Oliver also wrote Before I Fall and Liesl and Po.
Summary : I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push, push, push,
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.

Despite the review I gave Delirium (which can be found here, and looking back, is rather harsh. If I re-read Delirium, it would gain strength 4 tea), I've been looking forwards to its sequel and finding out what happens to Lena after the ridiculously sized cliff-hanger at the end of Delirium.
As you may have gathered from other people's reviews, this is told with chapters alternating between Then and Now. Which, to start with, nothing happens in. The Then is boring character intros that take too long, and the Now isn't much of an improvement. Somewhere along the line we get a blow by blow account of Lena carrying water a mile and a bit from a river to camp. Considering the awesomeness of book 1, this is quite a step down. The first third of Pandemonium is generally boring, with not much happening at all.
From the start of the second third, it all becomes a bit more interesting. Lena is forced out of her camp and various things happen and there actually seems to be a point to this novel. The ending is semi-epic, with two rather huge revelations (which were slightly predictable) being dropped just before the end. Lauren really knows how to write cliffhangers.
I didn't really like the fact it switched between Then and Now. While it kind of worked with Pandemonium, it also really messed with my perception of time passing. Which made it a little harder to understand.
The romance in this...I'm sorry, no. I won't tell you how it ends up, but I will say that I'm not a supporter of this pairing. Alex x Lena forever.
The pace of the Now section was very good. Even if it did take me a bit of time at the start to get my bearings with who she was now, in contrast to Delirium Lena and Then Lena. I just kept wanting to know what was going to happen to her, and Julian and the whole resistance. The final Now chapter was...great. So much happened, and then we got that big cliffhanger and...I really want to see what happens in Requiem.
The Then part just wasn't as interesting. Maybe because we knew she'd survive all the terrible things that are happening (because how would she be able to tell us the Now story if she didn't?), or maybe because...I can't think of a valid reason, but I just didn't like those sections that much.
Lena definitely developed. It was kind of sad seeing her always think back to Alex, but nice seeing her move on and get on with her life.
I have a couple more words to say about this, but I won't tell you because I'm trying to keep this review spoiler free.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a book where, if you get over the slowest first third I've seen in a long time, you'll have a great time reading. 

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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