Friday, March 23, 2012

Pandemonium - a review

Pandemonium
Lauren Oliver
384 pages 
HarperCollins

This is a review of the sequel to Lauren Oliver's Delirium.

There are zero pandas in Pandemonium. I twittered Lauren Oliver about this while I was reading it. She tweeted back "keep the faith". My black and white friends never showed up.

But I am not disappointed. No. I am thrilled. Lena is back. She's still an uncured--a person who can fall prey to the disease known as love. Lena is a different person from the young girl we met in Delirium. She's converted into a badass butt kicking version of herself that I didn't see coming. She's in New York City--the home of Cats--not pandas, and the place of new beginnings.

Alex is not back, but he is still here, he haunts Lena's thoughts and she questions her every move by asking What Would Alex Do? (WWAD bracelets soon to come)  We flash from a now (which is in a future dystopian America) to a then (which is also in the future but happens before the now).

There are new characters and what feels like an entirely  new world--a much bigger world than the Portland only setting from the first book.  We learn more about the Wilds: the uncured population that live outside of Deliria-free regulated zones.

We learn about the resistance and its operations within in America. We learn how Lena came to live in New York City. We get a few answers. We get a few more questions: think of Pandemonium as The Two Towers meets an episode of Lost: there's a lot of walking, it takes place on an island, and everyone has a secret they're not telling.

Lauren Oliver's writing is sound as usual. I still don't like the book cover. The new direction pleases me because just like the chick with only half her face on the cover, I didn't see a lot coming.*

So, for an Alex free, Deliria-loaded, panda-less book: she did really well. I am, once again, apologizing to Lauren Oliver for judging a book by its cover. I even enjoyed this one more than Delirium because there's a lot more action** and a lot more twists and turns.

This is much more of a guy book than the first one and that made me happy. The whole no pandas thing, though? Angers the fuck out of me.

Note: I read this on my Kindle. 
*Seriously? Why are the faces on book covers always cut in half?
**Explosions are cool. Battling with knives even better.
No pandas were harmed in the making of this review. 

18 comments:

  1. I still haven't read the first book so I probably shouldn't have read this. At any rate, with my new second library card, I am on the waiting list for my Kindle. Because I am awesome.

    Also, hooray for badass butt kicking females and their character development across a series. High five for that.

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    1. I kept it as spoiler free as possible (as usual) so you don't know that much.

      I like badass butt kicking females that have well thought out logic behind their motives.

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  2. As a new follower of your blog, I must say this: I love your reviews. This one cracked me up twice. Once at WWAD (I'll totally buy the bracelet when it's available), and the second time about the half faces. I totally agree; what IS up with that trend? Although I suppose this is a step in the right direction from the previous trend of cropping the faces at nose level and only showing the BOTTOM half of the head. And I'm miffed that the cover design changed, so my hardcover Pandemonium does NOT match my hardcover Delirium. Grr.

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    1. Thank you, Melissa! I might make this WWAD a thing or something. Do you know where I could get about 10,000 of those things made?

      I don't have either in hardcover. I can't have creep faces watching me from across the room. I just can't do it anymore.

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  3. Hmmm.... your guess is as good as mind on that one, but do let me know when you get it figured out! And I can't see the creepy faces from across the room -- only the spines stick out. The day they start doing creepy half faces on book spines? I'm buying an e-reader.

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    1. I love my Kindle. No creepy faces and it has really helped keep the clutter down. Of course, the clutter is slowly coming back as I go to the used bookstore more.

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  4. Haha...Pandas. That would have been interesting. I did like this one better as well. Which is odd, bc I really like Alex. Can't wait for the 3rd book!

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    1. I was so hoping for a zoo scene of some kind. Or at least someone watching Animal Planet. I feel so let down.

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  5. I don't know why they put faces on the cover either! It's so off putting and boring. The new direction pleases me too because I wasn't really a fan of the first book but really enjoyed this! Love your review.

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    1. Thank you Elena! I like that she took it the opposite of where I thought it was going. It's refreshing when an author does that instead of sending them all down the same path: normally by this stage they become leader of a revolution or something of the kind. I'm glad that didn't happen.

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  6. ha, the cutting off faces on book covers thing made me lol!

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  7. "The whole no pandas thing, though? Angers the fuck out of me."

    You crack me up. I really liked this book, too, which is all the more surprising because sequels tend to be HUGE letdowns. (aka: Crossed, the sequel to Matched)

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    1. I haven't read Crossed yet. Please say it isn't so!

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  8. Haha, I saw that tweet from Lauren Oliver to you, cracked me up. :)

    I agree that this one is even better than the first and also loved Lena's development into a kick-ass heroine. That was such an awesome surprise. And even though I saw that ending coming, it still made me want to barf.

    Now where's my WWAD bracelet?!

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    1. I'm getting around to making those. After reading Lola I should be able to make an entire WWAD for you.

      Delete
  9. Eh, I didn't love this installment too much. I really missed Alex and wasn't a huge fan of the new boy in her life. I am excited to see how things get cleared up in the third book. The last scene of this book was intense and oh so sad for me.

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  10. I enjoyed this book, but I have to say I like Delirium better. I know what you mean about the missing piece. I did like how Lena really learns about herself through the course of the book. I enjoyed meeting a lot of interesting new characters, too. Great review!

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