Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Im 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. (Good Reads)

 Pandemonium (Delirium #2) byLauren Oliver hooked me a lot faster than Delirium did. The "now" and"then" alternating chapter setup was a perfect way to learn about Lena's transition to the resistance and also let us get to know the new fairly fierce Lena. Her grief about Alex is well done but not overwhelming since it is tempered by action (and the increasingly intriguing Julian) in the present as Lena goes undercover in New York City. I found Lena a bit grating and lame in the first book, but she proves here that she has some steel inside her. She is resourceful and physically strong--a welcomed bit of character growth! When you get to the part with the umbrella you too will be like, geez Lena you are MacGyvering all over town!!!

Originality: 9. I don't much about writing and story arcs, but moving two forward and making them both engrossing seems like a big challenge that Oliver excels at, and it really makes this book unique.
Absurdity: 3. The absurdity here is low. The life in the wilds is challenging and often dire and the threats seem real.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 6. This can only be so high, since Lena is dealing with her grief over Alex for most of the book, not looking for a rebound. Nevertheless, I liked Julian, maybe more than I liked Alex. It is because he is attracted to her because she is smart and strong in her beliefs. That, as a reason to like someone, was appealing to me. Lena was a much weaker person when Alex met her. (Didn't you just keep wondering if he would still recognize this Lena?!)
Levelof Harry-Potter-ness:7. Sometimes the second book in a series feels like filler, but this excellent sequel added new compelling characters, taught us a lot about the state of Lena's world, and moved the story along with GREAT twists and revelations.

PS.This has the most outrageous cliff hanger! I loved it. I GASPED out loud.
PPS.YAF and WS does not condone spoilers- I actually found out what happens at the end of a book because someone somewhere posted it in a comments section. Sad face. DON'T be that person.

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