Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

PandemoniumPandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Published by: HarperTeen on February 28, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 375
Source: Traded
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★

The old Lena is dead.

The old Lena remains with Alex in Portland, Maine, behind a wall of smoke and flame, but the new Lena was born in the Wilds, transformed by hardship, deprivation, and loss.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena fights for a world in which love will no longer be considered a dangerous disease. Her inner life is as turbulent as the world a round her... Although consumed with grief for Alex, might she be falling in love with someone else?

In this riveting sequel to her New York Times bestseller DELIRIUM, Lauren Oliver sets Lena on a course that hurtles through the unregulated Wilds and straight into the heart of a full-scale rebellion. With her signature exceptional prose, Oliver masterfully weaves a bittersweet tale of star-crossed romance with high-stakes action that fans of The Hunger Games will love.

Pandemonium and I have a rocky relationship. It took me like two days to get through 150 pages. Finally, about halfway through the book, things started to pick up, and at least become more interesting, but at the end of the day, I’m still not crazy about the book.

The story switches between two different time periods: “then” (immediately after book two) and “now” (a few months later). At first I didn’t really like all the jumping back and forth, but I quickly grew accustomed to it. It is interesting to be able to compare and contrast Lena from then and Lena now, and see how she grows and changes.

I have two big problems with Pandemonium. My first problem is that I feel like nothing happens until the last 50 pages. The first part of the book is just a bunch of travelling, waiting, meeting a few new people, more travelling, clawing through the Wilds, waiting in some sort of underground holding cell, more waiting, a bit of talking… You get the picture. To be blunt: it was boring.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver - A world without love is a world without stakes

And my next big problem is Julian. The author didn’t make me fall in love with him. Somehow Lena did, but I didn’t. And honestly, I don’t even know why Lena thinks she loves Julian. If you ask me, she only “loves” him due to 1) a lack of options and 2) she so desperately misses Alex and wants that emotional closeness that she’s clinging onto the first new guy her age that comes along. I feel like there wasn’t even a falling in love phase; Lena just woke up one day and decided she loved Julian. They had like 5 half-mumbled conversations throughout the whole book and suddenly they’re in love? Okay, they saved each others’ lives once.. but there wasn’t that sweet, passionate, slow-brewing romance that we had in Delirium. In Delirium, Lena and Alex had ‘moments’. They had cute scenes where they fell in love. They shared poetry, adventure, stories, memories. With Julian, I felt like Lena just shared two nights with him in a prison cell and one night in a bed and then suddenly they were head over heels for each other… Where did that come from?

Pandemonium does end on a huge cliffhanger, but it didn’t totally wow me for the sole reason that I saw it coming. It is pretty easy to guess what happens. Although I am really curious to see how the story progresses, I was missing that big *BANG* of an ending because I wasn’t shocked or shaken.

Ultimately, Pandemonium felt very much like that second-book-in-a-trilogy filler book. It was all about biding time until we can wrap things up in book three. To be fair, the last quarter of Pandemonium was entertaining—it wasn’t boring like the first half was. My main problem with the book is just that I got zero passion from Lena’s relationship with Julian, and that was the biggest part of the book.

The Verdict


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    1. Yeah, I enjoyed the first one quite a bit. I gave it five stars! Some people don’t like it though because they find Lena boring or don’t like the romance.. but I really enjoyed it. It didn’t feel at all like insta-love to me (which is one of the complaints).

      And even though I wasn’t as crazy about Pandemonium, I do still think the series is worth reading. It’s got a pretty cool story and I have a feeling Requiem will end with a bang!

  1. AWWW. I was scared of this. You know I just read Dilerium and I am going to give it 3 or 3.5 stars. It was good but it didn’t blow me away. Too much downtime for me. And now the second book sounds the same but with even MORE downtime. I am not sure if I want to continue the series. The only thing that will make me read this is the fact that I hate not knowing what is going to happen next.

    Great review.

    1. I know what you mean! Sometimes I just get that nagging feeling and even if I’m not crazy about a series, I just want to finish it. Maybe that’s OCD.. LOL!

  2. No no no SAD!!!!!!! Aaw. That’s tragic. I really enjoyed Delirium, but I’m sad to see that you thought this one didn’t live up. I totally get what you mean though about filler books. I hate those ones. (Like Catching Fire). Easy to guess Cliff-hangers?! *GASP* *SHOCK* I’m thinking I’ll still read this one, but I hope it won’t kill it for me. Shame. Great review Ashley!
    XOXO, Inky

    1. Exactly like Catching Fire! That probably the most filler ‘filler’ book I’ve ever read.. LOL! Let’s repeat all of book 1 with slightly different scenarios.. O_O

      Anyway! 😛 I do still think it’s worth continuing the series. Pandemonium wasn’t a great book (for me), but I have higher hopes for book #3.

  3. Ah, Pandemonium. After reading this review I’m definitely a bit intimidated to go into this one. I thought Delirium was excruciatingly boring, but this one sounds even MORE boring. *sigh* And sorry that the ending everyone raves about was predictable for you. I hate it when I see a twist or ending that seemingly no one else did. And I just KNOW that the whole Julian thing will irritate the hell out of me. I’m no psychic (or am I? but really? No. I’ve already expressed my discontent about that romance, even when I haven’t read a page of it. No. Just no. Great review, Ashley! Sorry this was a disappointing read for you. 🙁

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    1. HAHAHA love that GIF 😀 But yeah, if Delirium bored you then I’m pretty confident that Pandemonium will too—probably even more so. But if you do get around to reading it, I’d love to see what you think! Who knows, you could end up loving it! I know a few people who hated Delirium and loved Pandemonium!

  4. This is exactly why I have been putting off reading this book for so long. The ending of Delirium nearly killed me and I don’t think I could stand having another guy shoved/forced on me until Alex comes back. (I assume he’s not really dead)
    I think I might wait until the last book is out to read both of them.
    Great review and as always, I love the pictures you do and the quotes you put in them.

    1. Thank you Nereyda! If the end of Deilrium killed you, then waiting for Requiem’s release is probably a good idea! I imagine it will be great reading Pandemonium and Requiem back-to-back!

  5. I was keen to read this after book one but like you, at first I didn’t like the constant jumping back and forth in time. Just when something would be about to happen in the past, we’d jump forward to now and vice versa.

    Also, I didn’t get Julian either, the love-tri felt a bit forced, but I did enjoy the book more towards the end. Great review!

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