I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.
Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times best seller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
©2012 Laura Schechter (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
As an Audible Editor I listen for a living! British classics, YA novels, speculative fiction, and anything quirky, fascinating, or heart-wrenching.
As an editor at Audible there are a couple awesome perks of my job. One of the best ones is that occasionally I can get my hands on the pre-pub galley of a book before it hits the shelves of any bookstore . And sometimes there is a book I’m simply DYING to get my hands on as soon as possible, like Pandemonium. I read this book way before the audio recording was even ready – devouring it over a weekend, ignoring all but the most critical commitments. This is one of those series that crosses formats for me. I love it so much that I read it (twice) and am now listening to it too. If there was a movie I’d probably line up with girls half my age and squeal until being let into the theater. A lot of YA titles work like this – they are so readily consumable and the stories are so fast-paced that you just get swept along and want to experience the story over and over and in different ways.
Not everyone is going to love this book (and series) the way I do. I know it’s not for everyone, but it totally worked for me. Lauren Oliver has come up with a decidedly compelling dystopian concept: Love is illegal and surgically removed from everyone at the age of 18. Her heroine is perhaps less unique: Lena originally believes in the strict society and all of its rules, but as she falls in love she turns against them. But don’t dismiss this as a teenage first-love sob-fest – though Delirium could be accurately described this way. Pandemonium breaks the grand tradition of sophomore trilogy slumps. It is more mature and action packed than its predecessor and it appeals to my grown-up brain as well. Oliver explores other types of love in book two, notably parental love, in a way she hadn’t before. The characters in this book aren’t just rebelling against this society so they can make out in public – it’s so they have the freedom to love their children as well. There’s something really interesting and chilling about this.
Oh, and before I forget,Sarah Drew is one of my all-time favorite narrators. She captures the teenage psyche in a way that in the same instant reminds you why you never want to go back, while making you not want to put the book down.
Okay. I'll admit it. When I first started listening to this audiobook, I was doing so just because I read the first book and I wanted to know what happened to Alex and Lana, and to see if they made it into the Wilds safely. Once that was figured out (sorry, I'm not giving any spoilers), I did find the story, and the "Now" and "Then" perspectives just a bit confusing to me...but I quickly got with the program.
In this follow-up to Delirium, we see Lana's character grow immensely and really come into herself. We also see the introduction of an almost entirely new cast of characters.
There are so many things that I would love to go into about Alex, Julian, and her Lana's mom, but that would be giving away just too many potential spoilers...and it would totally ruin the experience for anyone about to listen to the book. Just know that Sarah Drew does a wonderful job at expressing the emotion in Lana's voice; and that is definitely needed in this book because poor Lana is put to so many tests, emotionally and physically.
Let me just say that by the end of the book I was (literally) sitting on the edge of my bed, wide-eyed, and by the last words uttered by the narrator, I was cursing out loud because the book was over and I cannot believe that Lauren Oliver expects us to sit and wait until February, 2013 for Requiem to come out so we can find out what happens next!!!!!
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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.
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
This series is simply the BEST! Of all the YA books I've read (and I've read a bunch) this is hands down my FAVORITE!! I am absolutely speechless after reading this book. It simply took my breath away and I'm not so sure I will recover before book 3 is released.
As with the first one in the series it is so well-written and brilliantly performed by Sarah Drew. I could go on and on gushing about this book, but I will spare you the details and just say GO GET THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!!!
This is bugging me! Why is the narrator pronouncing 'Hanna' different in this novel, as compared to the first? Seriously, nobody has noticed it going from the more American pronunciation of 'Hanna' to more of a 'Haaaw-na' that has a lot of guteral 'H' to it? I went straight from listening to the first book, Delirium, to this one, and noticed it right away. At first, I had no idea the Narrator was referring to the same character. Then it hit me she is just saying Hanna, but just so, so weirdly. What the? Whyyyyy? It's such a distraction now. Good thing Hanna isn't mentioned as much in this one.
Plus, seriously YA authors, stop with love triangles. Despite those 2 things, I did enjoy this book. I will most likely listen to the last one too, just to round it out :)
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - (young adult romance/action) Pandemonium is Book 2 in the Delirium Trilogy. Even though this is a young adult series and I'm not a young adult, I am enjoying it very much. The story is interesting and is beautifully written and performed. It takes place in an America where human emotions are deemed dangerous and procedures are done at age 18 to "cure" everyone from their deadly feelings -- except those who escape. The main characters must grow up quickly to survive, and there is lots of mystery, danger, action and, yes, sweet teenage romance.
There is mostly new characters in this book, even though the story picks up immediately where Book 1 left off, and there are two timelines going at once. At first the two timeslines were confusing, but just go with the flow and enjoy. It's easy to keep straight which is which, and it all makes sense in the end. You will want to listen to these books in order, starting with Book 1, but beware of cliffhanger endings in both books -- BIG, FAT cliffhangers!
PERFORMANCE - I can't recall any other narrator who puts as much emotion into a performance as Sara Drew does in these books. As she tells the story through the main character, Layna, you can really feel her joy, fear, strength, pain. Great job.
OVERALL - Highly recommended for young adults and for old people like me who occasionally enjoy a good YA story.
First, I have to give credit to Ms Sarah Drew. She was exceptional in this book and Delirium as well. I don't know if I would've liked this story or would've continued reading it if I wasn't listening instead. Sarah's voice got me through the dragging lulls in the story. As for the book, it was just okay. It definitely wasn't as good as the first and it wasn't what I was expecting, but not in a good way. Lauren Oliver is a great writer, make no mistake in what I'm saying. She can make any sentence a good one, smooth and flowing. I will continue to purchase anything from Ms. Oliver and listen to everything by Ms. Drew.
Audio books are the best :)
I find that a lot of dystopia book series kind of lose their luster after the first book, but was very pleasantly surprised by Pandemonium. It was just as exciting, if not more, than the first and had a great story line and of course a cliff hanger ending. I don't want to wait until next year for the third book!!
Unwasted Words Reviews
Fresh off her heart breaking escape from Lena's love lobotomizing society, she discovers the freedoms of the Wilds. And all the chores that come with them. Turns out she was pretty pampered in the enclosed cured community. Life on the outside is hard, hard work, little food, and lots of casualties.
But as the resistance is rising, the cured have renewed their efforts in eliminating the invalids, forcing Lena and her new friends to re-assimilate into the Manhattan colony. Lena soon finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy and finding love in the most unlikely places.
Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium is an eloquently written mess of thoughts and details strung together to form a coherent character and world in a very unique way. I think the sequel exceeds Delirium in story and structure. I always felt the eradication of love as a main motivator a little flimsy, and it was the linchpin that held everything together in the first book. In Pandemonium the story focuses less on the cure, in favor of a more active plot line. Plus Oliver needed less time working on world building and character establishment so she could focus on a more complex plot without sacrificing the romance and lyrical flow of her writing fans of the series love. Some of the pacing in the beginning was slow, but it gained momentum as Lena grew stronger. A few lingering questions were answered, but with them came more inquiries that are sure to bring readers back for the next installment.
Sarah Drew's performance of Pandemonium was good. Her portrayal of Lena was nice, maybe a bit dramatic at times, but she really knows how to capture the angst of teenage melodrama. I think her choices in voicing Julian was better than how she speaks for Alex, but overall she does a fine job with the series.
I did not even know Delirium was the first book in a trilogy until I spotted Pandemonium on the Audible front page a few days ago. What an unexpected thrill! I loved Delirium and really needed something good to listen to this week.
To start, the narration is perfect. All the emotion and poetry of the book is there in Sarah Drew's performance.
The structure of this story is different from the more straightforward one used in the first book. This one flips back and forth between "Then" (Lena's time in the Wilds) and "Now" (her adventures in New York as part of the Resistance). I think this helps keep the pacing even, spreading the romance over the entire book rather than squeezing it into the second half. It was not hard for me to keep track of where she was, and both narratives are equally compelling and heartbreaking.
Bits of it dragged, though, especially Lena and Julian's long trek underground. And some of the plot developments were predictable, like the Resistance having a darker side. But these are minor quibbles.
The ending was startling, though not unexpected. I cannot wait until the next book. Hope I'm not waiting too long!
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