Audiobook Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium
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.

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9 Responses to Audiobook Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I’m right there with you on this one. Delirium I loved (and yes I was upset but I also just refused to believe Alex was dead), but this one definitely fell into the “middle book syndrome”. I was really…dare I say? Bored? Until the last 50 or 75 pages. I just wanted her to GET ON WITH IT.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – me, too. I really hope the third book is more like the first.

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    Yeah, the second book of trilogies seem to be bridges to link the first and third ones together these days. I’m not sure this series is for me.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – when a second book is as good as the first, it’s impressive! The Ask and the Answer comes to mind as the perfect second book in a trilogy – all three books in that series are equally strong.

  3. Melissa
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks
    says:

    Oh…how disappointing!.. Guess I’m not so upset that I sat on this one anymore…I still want to listen to it but I’ll not rush now.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Melissa – yes, probably not one to jump on. At least wait until closer to book three coming out.

  4. I HATE middle-of-the-trilogy books that don’t really DO anything. That is good to know, makes me think twice about starting this series.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Jen – it’s really disappointing, because the first book was so very good!

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