Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium


So I finally read Pandemonium, the sequel to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series, and I can’t say I enjoyed it as much as the first book, but I am anxious to read Lauren Oliver’s third book in the series. The book did take me a while to get into. However, it really did pick up towards the end but didn’t have the same intensity as Delirium did throughout. Lauren Oliver is an extremely great author. She sets up a scene like no one else and commits to getting her readers to care about her characters. I think I just cared too much about Alex to be convinced that Lena could care about anyone else. I guess I’m just too loyal.  

So Pandemonium leaves right where we left off. Lena not wanting to be cured of deliria, the disease of love has crossed over to The Wilds. But without the love of her life Alex, who has been killed by the cured during their escape. Lena learns how to survive with the help of a few new characters and has to figure out how she will go on without Alex. Lena is reborn as a tough as nails girl who will face even harder choices then before that will have her facing even more secrets on both sides of the fence.

In Pandemonium we get both versions of Lena. The book is written in chapters of then and now. Then chapters describe Lena’s story right after her escape and at her most vulnerable. The now chapters take us to Lena after she has a bit of a thicker skin and more survival training. I preferred the now chapters just because they had a faster pace when it came to Lena’s story.

Of all the characters Raven struck me the most. At first I didn’t like her that much but when I found out more about her and her backstory I thought she was a remarkable character. You like her one-minute, then she makes a mistake that may forever blemish her but then she redeems herself like no one else. I’m not saying that the characters lack humanity but I just feel Raven’s story is thoughtfully realistic to what Raven has seen as a young woman. I can see why she is harder on Lena because she was Lena once.     

Julian a boy who lives with the cured is a lot like Lena just before she met Alex. Julian is at the brink of deciding what he should fight for and if it’s worth the risk. He has a hard past but I feel his story is more unpredictable and original. I was expecting his personality, but not his story. His father’s ideal of perfection is Julian’s curse. As a reader I think Julian’s purpose was to simply make Lena stronger. If Lena convinces Julian that there is a better life, then somehow she hasn’t let Alex go entirely. He sort of goes on living because he started Lena on this very path. I think that’s why I carry a soft spot for Alex. He challenged the lead character in the series to change. Sorry Julian.

I think the characters in the book were insanely good. Each one had a unique story that complimented the lead character Lena. Raven the girl she could become, Julian the person she was, and finally Lena who is a reflection of Alex and what he did for her that would forever change her life. That’s fantastic writing when characters have that much power over a story. BUT, I am afraid the story took to long for me to get into. I finished the second half of the book in a day or two because of…well life. The first half took about a week to finish. I think in a movie it would have had me glued to the screen. When watching a movie I think there is just a bit more patience. When reading a book that is slow you can just close it and go back to it. A major character dies in the previous book! You just expect the next book to start with a bang. This isn’t just my opinion either. I spoke to a couple of other followers of the series and they agreed…regretfully. Seriously their faces cringed. BUT, the ending of Pandemonium is so juicy good that I will be reading the third book. Lauren Oliver you pulled me back in. 

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