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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver

by Lauren Oliver
pub date 2/28/2012
product description from goodreads.com

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.

My Review:

Okay, I have to start by saying that I truly did enjoy this book. It was a nice follow-up to DELIRIUM, and I'm just as eager to read REQUIEM as I was this one. PANDEMONIUM is filled with excellent characters, creative plot lines and deep emotion.

But, there are a couple of things I actually didn't like about it. (I know, I know...please don't stone me to death!)

First off, no Alex. :(

That's right. The soulful, brilliant, charming Alex from DELIRIUM is all but non-existent throughout 99.9% of PANDEMONIUM. I understand the reason--a reason expertly shown through Lena's pain and heartbreak over her loss--but it didn't make Alex's absence hurt any less. One of the best things about DELIRIUM was the building relationship between Lena and Alex, and it was by far the thing I was looking forward to most in the sequel. So to say I was disappointed with this aspect is putting it mildly.

Second...the jump between THEN and NOW.

Don't get me wrong, I love when chapters alternate between characters or settings. And sometimes, even jumping from one time to another can be fun. But I was excited for the story to pick up right where it left off. Normally I don't even blink when the second book in a series jumps ahead (I do that myself in my own writing, so I completely get it) to move the plot to a more stable point for book two. But that final, heart-pounding, almost seizure-inducing scene in DELIRIUM was so intense and frantic and totally out of left field, I was desperate to find out what happened next. Unfortunately, we never got to "see". We were told through Lena's memories and pain (beautifully done, btw) of that fateful night, but the action and emotion I felt when I finished the last page of book one wasn't there. And I missed it!

Also, there was a time gap from THEN to NOW, which took some of the tension (IMO) from the THEN chapters. Kind of like when the main character begins telling their story with "This is about the night I almost died"or something similar. On page one, I know how the story ends...so why read it? (note: that did not happen with this book--I enjoyed every page!)

My Rating:

I know you're probably thinking that after such a downtrodden review, his rating is going to stink! Well you can rest easy...I happily give PANDEMONIUM 4 stars. Though a tad different in its style, PANDEMONIUM is still a beautifully written novel full of all the things that make fiction great. And as I said at the beginning of this review, I'm just as excited to read REQUIEM. Particularly after that final page! ;P


  1. I really enjoyed the first book so can't wait to get to read this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.