I really wanted to like this book and I would say I enjoyed it for the first half of the book, but, it took a turn for the worst somewhere. The main character has too many skills and her flaws are her actually psychological problems. In other words, she is very hard to relate to, sympathize with, root for, insert whatever else that a reader feels for her main character. Don’t get me wrong, I like strong female characters as much as the next person, but I struggle with calling her strong female character. She is not strong but overpowered.
Vanessa Michael Monroe has the ability to extract information from what often seems like thin air. She uses her many skills and does whatever is necessary to learn what she needs to for her clients. Sounds cool so far, right?
Well, my issue is that Michael has too many abilities that enable her to obtain this info. She can fight with guns, knives, her hands, can kill, speak 20 something languages, obtain fake ID’s and passports in whatever country she’s in, ride a motorcycle from Dallas to Colorado Springs, disguise herself as a man, dodge the many bullets that are fired at her in this book, survive in the jungle for a couple of days with no shoes or food, get our of handcuffs by dislocating her thumb, survive almost drowning with a boat anchor tied around her feet, and I could go on. She’s also moody, mentally unstable, untrusting, manipulative, all while having multiple lovers. Personally, I’m not really sure what the guys really saw her.
Overall, this was all just too much for one character. It wasn’t believable and started to get funny after awhile. To describe Michael and develop her character, the author uses many chapters. In my opinion, many of those chapters could have been cut out and the book still would have been long. I wished the author would just pick a few things and be done with the character development. Your character doesn’t have to do and be everything. I will admit Michael did show weakness from time to time and I was grateful when she did. It showed she was human.
Another challenge I had with this book was the violence. I normally can stomach violence (I enjoyed Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) but this book made me a little queasy. I wished there was some warning before I bought the audiobook saying, “Warning: This book contains violence, sexuality, and sexually related violence.” I still don’t know if that would have warned me enough. It was too much for me and I kind of wish I could ‘unhear’ this book.
I won’t be reading or listening to another Vanessa Michael Monroe book. She’s not my type of heroine and Steven’s stories are just not for me.
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.
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