I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,I don't know what to rate this book. I don't even know what to say about this book. Holy crap, it was a crazy adventure from beginning to end, and some parts I loved but other parts left me dissatisfied.
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.
Let's start with the obvious. Lauren Oliver's writing is absolutely gorgeous. Always has been, always will be. Her descriptions of everything, just Gah! I was there. I was right there next to Lena. I saw everything she saw, heard everything she heard. I felt everything she felt. I felt how broken Lena was, despite her trying to stay strong. It was clear how much she missed Alex. Dammit, I missed Alex. His absence was my least favorite part of this book. Because I love him.
The narrative was a little jarring at first. The way it kept switching between "then"--right after Lena and Alex escaped-- and "now"--six months later--. Once I got into it though, it did end up working for the story, and I liked how by the end I liked how the "then" and "now" almost paralleled each other. It ended up working really well, actually. And through this layout, we got an in-depth look at both life in the Wilds, and life still on the inside. I think that stylistically this was a risk, but in the end it paid off.
We're introduced to many new characters in Pandemonium. I loved Raven's character, her strength and will amazed me. I wish Hunter and Tack were a bit more developed--I didn't get to see them too much. Also, I loved Hana in Delirium and wish that we got even a glimpse of her. I hope she'll be back in Requiem (and I really need to read her short story). I liked how Lena related some of these characters back to her old life, like how Blue made her think of Gracie.
And then there was Julian. I liked him. I liked what Oliver did with him. How he was all for the cure, how he totally believed in the amor deliria nervosa. I liked how she slowly pulled back the layers of Julian throughout the novel, and we got to see inside him, and realize that he's a bit broken inside. But I mean, of course a love-triangly thing had to be thrown in there. I suppose it's acceptable because of Lena's state of mind throughout the novel, how she truly thinks that Alex is dead. I really felt for her, and Julian is this character that you can't help but like.
BUT I'M STILL TEAM ALEX.
And okay, the plot twists were crazy! Like something would happen and you'd just be sitting there like lol wut? There's lots of action in Pandemonium, and it was all executed very well. It's just, there's something about this book... that just was lacking the magic that Delirium had for me. But then in other ways it made up for it. I'M SO CONFLICTED.
But, there is one truth.
Lauren Oliver, you are a cruel, cruel person for leaving us hanging like that.
This cliffhanger was worse than Delirium's! I mean, jeez.
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT A YEAR?
(Note that this is what I said in my review for Delirium last year.)
Still can't decide between a 4 and a 5 for this.
So a 4.5
But I round up.