Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Sarah Drew
First line: Alex and I are lying together on a blanket in the backyard of 37 Brooks.
Spoiler alert: While this review will not contain spoilers for Pandemonium, it will contain spoilers for Delirium, the first book in the series.
So, I almost didn’t read this book. After finishing Delirium, I was so devastated by the ending that I wasn’t sure I’d continue with the series. But after almost a year to get over that ending, and to convince myself that Lena doesn’t know for sure that Alex died, I decided to do a reread of Delirium via audio, and then move on to book two, which my library also had on audio.
While I’m not sorry I listened to it, and I am definitely looking forward to the third (and last?) book in the series, I didn’t love Pandemonium. Like a lot of middle-of-the-trilogy books, it seemed less of its own story, and more of a way to get readers from point A to point B.
This book flips between two points in time: “Then,” which picks up right after book one ends; and “Now,” which has Lena living in a new city, under an assumed identity, working for the Resistance. Although both storylines seemed to drag in places, I think I liked the “Then” story better, mainly because “Then” is when Lena meets Raven, a hard young woman who has lived in the Wilds for a long time.
I can’t really tell you much more about Pandemonium, or the main reason why I wasn’t completely thrilled with it, without giving plot points away. I’ll just finish by saying that if you enjoyed Delirium, you should read this one – or better yet, listen to it – so that you can finish the series.
Audio notes: I mentioned in my review of the audio version of Delirium that I was concerned that my familiarity with Sarah Drew’s work as Dr. April Kepner on Grey’s Anatomy would be distracting. I was wrong. She is the perfect Lena, and I will be listening to the third book rather than reading it in print.