Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) Lauren Oliver- Pandemonium (Delirium #2)

Format- Paperback

Source- Review copy

Publisher- Hachette

Publication date 8th March, 2012

Synopsis- 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.

Review- In the fast-paced sequel to Delirium (read my review HERE), where love is considered a disease, Pandemonium tracks Lena’s escape into the Wilds from the control of the city and her fate as a ‘cured.’

The chapters alternate between ‘then’ and ‘now,’ with then being when Lena’s escape in the Wilds and now being when she re-enters society in an undercover role as part of the resistance.

Lena was ‘reborn’ in the Wilds as an ‘uncured’ or simply a normal human being who can feel the emotions of love, compared to those who are ‘cured’ and have undergone the vaccine to prevent them from the deliria of love. In the Wilds, Lena is paralysed by an overwhelming sense of grief since the loss of Alex, who was captured at the border following their planned escape. But he has given her the opportunity to live a life freely, to love and to care and she is determined to pull herself back together and live the life that Alex had wanted. She joins a small community of ‘invalids’ (aka ‘uncureds’), controlled and strong Raven, friendly Hunter, innocent young Sarah and temperamental Tack.

Lena goes back into society and Julian, a well known ‘cured’ advocate is her target, she must watch and observe his every move, while keeping her identity secret. When a vigilante group known as The Scavengers attack the city, Julian is kidnapped and Lena is too. They are held captive underground and in this time Julian and Lena develop a friendship despite them both having secrets that could put their lives in danger. It was interesting to see how Lena reacted to Julian’s notions of the cured lifestyle, which she now opposes, but her resistance to living a life uncured was evident early in Delirium and she was faced with this ignorance in Julian.

Like Delirium, Pandemonium is quite beautifully written and the author has taken the time to develop the protagonist beyond a superficial teenager who is recovering from heartbreak. Lena is a lot stronger and less naive in this book and the conflict she faces both internally and externally are quite realistic. I kept thinking, surely Alex isn’t dead…. surely the author wouldn’t do thatI I kept questioning this throughout the whole novel…. and so it was not unexpected when I read the final page… yet again another CLIFFHANGER!

The only reason i didn’t give this book five stars, was because i became attached to Alex in the first book and kept waiting for him to return in the sequel… which left me with a similar feeling of loss as Lena because it was not how I expected things to turn out. I was completely engaged throughout the entire novel, reading it within a day. I thought the switch between now and then was actually really smart as it kept me turning the pages to find out how the gaps between the past and present come together.

If you read and enjoyed Delirium… then pick up Pandemonium ASAP.

4/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository

More titles by Lauren Oliver:

Delirium (Delirium, #1)

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