Thursday, 1 March 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder&Stoughton
Released: 1st March 2012
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads description:

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 fame.

My thoughts:

I received this a proof copy way back in December. I didn't read it until a few weeks ago. Why? I was scared. I was SO scared because of the ending of Delirium...I was terrified to see what Lauren Oliver was going to subject us to in the sequel. But I did read it, and I am SO glad I did.

The first chapter takes place in the 'Now' and so was confusing but intriguing as you find out something about what must happen at some point in Lena's future. The second chapter takes place 'then', in the immediate aftermath of the end of Delirium. The book then continues on like this, alternating the now and the then. On the one hand I enjoyed this, it kept the story fresh and exciting and probably saved it from being too long. On the other hand I sometimes found it annoying because just as I got into one part of the story it would shift back and I found that to be frustrating and it affected the pacing of the story. It also seemed like a bit of a lazy way to get from point A to point B without having to write all the middle bit. 

Lena was a fantastic character again and I enjoyed her growth in this.  She did have a level of strength in Pandemonium but it felt partly like a stubborn strength and partly like a forced because of circumstances strength. In this book you definitely feel Lena becoming tougher, more resilient, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. Not only that, but she does so willing, actively, and that's something I really admired about her character. What she went through in Delirium was horrific and naturally she's shaken and upset but she doesn't spend an endless amount of time wallowing about it. 

I enjoyed reading about the time spent in the Wilds, about all the other characters she met there who all had distinct personalities even though we didn't get to see that much of them. Raven was a character I especially liked. She was very tough and driven, very emotionally-distant and willing to do whatever it took to further her cause. Julian was an interesting one for me.  A well developed character but not one I especially took too. I was worried about him being in the book, but I didn't find him as threatening as I thought, however, like Vicki mentioned in her review, he is no Alex. 

The ending WAS a huuuuge cliffhanger, I read it and was like "OMMGGGG WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW??!?!" I  predicted a couple of the smaller twists so ultimately  the story  was not all that surprising. Despite this though, I did really, really enjoy it and it is a fast-paced  and well written read. I will absolutely be reading the 3rd instalment and I wish we could have it NOW. 

Pandemonium is released today, 1st March in the UK.
Buy: Waterstones/Amazon/TBD

There's a totally awesome Facebook quiz to see if you're ruled by your head or your heart!! I got: Ruled by your heart...within reason haha. Try it out here 

Lauren Oliver also made a special little video for us UK it is:


  1. Poor Julian. But to be fair, Alex was a LOT to live up to! Great review.

  2. The ending of Delirium left me breathless so I understand your apprehension about reading Pandemonium. I'm not a huge fan of cliffhangers so I think I'll leave this book until it's closer to the next one coming out.

  3. I just scheduled my review for this today and yours, mine and Vicki's reviews are all pretty much the same agree with you on everything and yes Julian is no Alex!

  4. Everybody keeps talking about how huge the cliffhanger ending was and I'm afraid to read Pandemonium now! I might wait until closer to the third book...

    great review!

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.

  5. Great review, I keep reading about this cliffhanger...I'm not a huge fan of cliffhangers that just stop the story mid flow? Is it one of them? If so I might just wait to read this one until the third instalment is released.

  6. I started this yesterday!! I'm only around 70-ish pages in, so I've only encountered Jullian once so far and really, I'm not sure what to expect from him when he and Lena meet. I'm curious, but like you said, HE'LL NEVER BE ALEX! I don't even want to like him *sniff*

    I'm scared and excited and nervous about this cliffhanger ending. I want to dive back into the book straight away, yet drag it out as long as I can. AGH. Amazing review, Cait!

  7. I'm looking forward to reading this one. Great review!

  8. I haven't even read Delirium yet but if this one ends on a huge cliffhanger too I'm not sure I want to get there till the third one's out!

  9. ALL THE WAY BACK IN DECEMBER? You've done me a great disservice! *grumbles*

    I'm so excited for this... I can't even.. Gosh, I can't even explain it! There's espionage in this one, from what I've heard, and WOW. I'm just dying here.

    And I fall in love easily when it comes to the fictional fray of men in YA, so I doubt it will be difficult to fall head over heels for Julian. Yes, that might make me a bit traitorous (ADORED Alex!) but I can't help my tendencies ;P

    Lovely review! The anticipation is almost unbearable now.


  10. I got ruled by your heart within reason as well. Shocked. Thought the questions were a bit weird though...I don't like Romeo & Juliet, 500 Days of Summer or The Devil Wears Prada :P. They all suck!

    I'm still quite scared to read this but a little more reassured by your review now (still, don't think I'm gonna like Julian :P). The cliffhanger ending has me the most intrigued though, I wanna know what happens! Great review :).

  11. Thanks for this! I haven't read the series yet because I wanted to wait until she had everything out so I could read it all at once. Looks like I have a bit of a wait in store.

  12. Great review! I've been hearing so many good things about this one. Delirium was a little slow for me at times (I often find dystopians too slow moving for my tastes) but I liked it overall, and that ending killed me. I have a feeling this one might have the same effect...!


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