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Pandemonium had a completely different feel than Delirium, the first book in the series. The story, all told from Lena’s perspective, alternates between different times. This was a little jarring to me in the beginning but I eventually got the hang of it. That aside, I loved it. Couldn’t put it down. Ate it up with a spoon. It Leaves you on a total cliffhanger too. The kind that makes you scream, “WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR FOR THE NEXT ONE?! AHH!” So. Good.
Contrary to Delirium, Lena is a little more rough around the edges in Pandemonium. After escaping from the police in Delirium, she is now on the run and fighting for her survival in the ‘wilds,’ as it’s called in the series. On top of that, she is recovering from the abrupt separation from Alex, the boy she loved so much that she ran away from everything she knew. She meets up with a resistance group living in the wilds. The story switches between Lena finding her way to the group and living with them to a future time when she is a member of the resistance.
Pandemonium is definitely grittier than Delirium. There is way more action and conflict. Alternating from Lena’s past and present kept the pace moving and made the book completely unpredictable. I really had no idea what was going to happen and this made the book difficult to put down. Out of the two books, I still think I liked Delirium more, but Pandemonium is still fantastic. It’s just different than the first.
I will leave this review short and simple because I know readers of Delirium will pick up Pandemonium at break neck speed. I know I did. If you haven’t read Delirium, you should.
From the title and genre, I thought I had this book figured out. Just another teen vampire romance novel to go along with all the others. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It starts very similarly, girl meets boy vampire, boy vampire tries to hook up with girl, girl denies him but secretly likes him, yada yada yada. What’s different? This book is hysterically funny and the characters are fantastic.
On the first day of Jessica Packwood’s senior year, in walks mysterious and slightly creepy, foreign exchange student Lucius Vladescu (It’s so fun to say his name) from Romania. Lucius informs Jessica that she is a vampire princess and the two have been betrothed since birth, you know, minor details that Jessica’s parents failed to mention.
At first Jessica is repulsed by Lucius and disgusted at the thought of being betrothed without her consent. But, as time goes on, she sees the good in Lucius and begins to care for him. However, in the time it took Jessica to realize her feelings for Lucius, he seems to have gotten over her and their betrothal. Lucius begins to rebel from his family’s arrangements and expectations and pushes Jessica away. In his rebellion, Lucius turns dark, almost evil, and Jessica must fight for him back or lose everything connected to her birth family.
The narration was fabulous and I'm actually glad I listened to the book instead of reading it. Katherine Kellgren is one of my favorite narrators and I loved the narrator for Lucius. Hearing Lucius’ Romania accent made this book for me and let’s face it accents are fun. The book alternates between Jessica and Lucius’ point of views, although Jessica’s is the primary perspective. Lucius’ perspective is introduced in the letters he writes to his uncle about his experiences in courting Jessica. His letters are an important part of this book and without them I’m not sure I would have liked Lucius.
Although Lucius’ dark side pulls at your heart, I enjoyed his unexpected change in feelings because it compelled me to keep listening. When Lucius rebels from his family, his character changes drastically, more so goes through a metamorphosis. Lucius’ change in character also forces Jessica to go through some changes of her own. I love character growth so I ate this up with a spoon.
Many people gave this book a not so great review all stating that they’ve read this book before. I have to disagree, I thought this book was different and had a lot of originality. This book was funny, dramatic, romantic, and so much fun. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun a read.
I adored Shiver and Linger, the first two book Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and I’ve been looking forward to reading Forever for awhile. Only, I didn’t love Forever the way I did the previous two and I can’t exactly explain why. It might be because I tend to like the first few books in a series way more than I like the last one. That aside, Forever seemed to lack the magic, the je ne sais quoi, that had made me swoon over the first two.
So what was it that I didn’t like? Hmmm. It wasn’t the writing. No, Stiefvater’s prose were as eloquent as always and the tone continued to be distinctly bittersweet with a hint of melancholy. The characters were their usual selves. Sam was a poetic, loyal, and charming boyfriend while Grace remained cute, smart, and independent. Their roles were reversed this time and it was interesting to see the difference in their perspectives. Isabel and Cole were the same, fickle and snarky, yet at times redeemable. Nothing changed there. The overall story was good and intriguing. I honestly can’t think of any other way it could have gone.
Maybe I didn’t like the way the story told. It started off slow and then seemed to drag a little. I felt generally unhappy while reading it. If there were moments of happiness they were quickly ushered out to be replaced by serious, sad ones. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect everything in a book to be happy and perfect all the time but I missed having moments that made me smile or laugh. There were some of those moments, but they were rare and I can’t think of any off the top of my head. The ending also lacked luster and things didn’t feel wrapped up.
If you have read the first two books in the series, you definitely should read Forever. I recommend rereading parts or all of Linger before reading Forever. I wish that I had. I still gave Forever four stars because I still liked it. The overall story was good and as usual it was very well written. I love Maggie Stiefvater and it pains me to say anything negative about her stories but I was really hoping for a lot more.
YA literature addict
Although The Raven Boys is quite different from Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and The Scorpio Races, it highlights her amazing characters, exciting suspense, and that intriguing sense that the words could almost be poetry.
Each of the characters in this novel are both utterly deep and (despite the supernatural themes and plot) utterly real. For fans of Stiefvater's other works, this is expected. The bonus of this novel is that we get so many characters and yet can feel invested in all of them. Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronin, & Noah (the most central characters) were especially wonderful because they were neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Each had his/her own idiosyncrasies and failings as well as moments of heroism and compassion. I fell in love with all five!
I'm not generally a fan of the supernatural genre, but this story had me mesmerized and on the edge of my seat. I would have listened straight through if it weren't for those pesky distractions of sleep and work. You can tell that this is the beginning of a series ("The Raven Boys Cycle," according to the audiobook), but it does not end in an annoying cliffhanger.
The prose itself is captivating. I'm not even sure how to describe it, really, except that you can tell that Stiefvater's writing style is influenced by her love of music. I highly recommend reading/listening to any and all of her works.
Note about narration: Will Patton did an excellent job; he really brought the text to life! I wasn't sure if I would like his narration because I expected the narrator to be about the same age as the characters (late teens) and Patton is definitely much older. However, the 3rd person point-of-view and his engaging narration really made it work and, I think, added to the whole experience.