Review copy provided by publisher
Hachette, March 2013
Synopsis- Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena’s emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever…
Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers – emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling.
Requiem is the much anticipated final instalment of the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver. There were mixed reviews about the second book Pandemonium among fans but I actually really enjoyed that story with its fast pacing and the way it all unfolded. The cliff-hanger ending was a little frustrating as was the love triangle, but overall it worked for me. So it was surprising to find that the third book wasn’t as captivating as the second.
Requiem alternates viewpoints between Lena who is trying to remain alive in the Wilds and Hana her best friend back in ‘civilisation’ who is about to marry her ‘match.’ I’m not quite sure what the author’s motivation was in choosing Hana as the second viewpoint but I think this is what ultimately let the book down. Though I liked her as a character earlier in the series when she wasn’t ‘cured’ I found her to be quite boring in this instalment. She’s quite robotic and rational early in the story until some of her memories begin to re-emerge but overall Hana’s viewpoint slowed down the pacing. At times it was boring and I found myself skimming over some sections of Hana.
Lena’s viewpoint was just as frustrating. There were times when the pace would pick up as there was quite a bit happening. The Wilds were fighting against the retaliation of the army so there is an undertone of suspense. However, with Alex back on the scene and the complication of her relationship with Julian it made for a lot of internalising and angst about both boys. The confrontation between Alex and Lena was an anticlimax and if they’d just sat down and talked about what had happened in the months since they’d last seen each other I’m sure things could have worked out. I felt sorry for Julian who obviously really cared for Lena and I felt at times Lena was just using Julian as emotional support because Alex wasn’t available to her. Much of the story is about Lena pretending she doesn’t love Alex and Alex pretending that he never loved Lena. The conflict of adding another love interest (Coral) for Alex was quite unnecessary and really only made me more irritated with Alex.
It seems like a lot happens in Requiem, but by the end it was like the story went nowhere. The ending is quite vague and left me feeling underwhelmed. The story would have been much stronger if the viewpoints altered between Lena and Alex and there was more focus on actually planning an attack on the city as the ending was quite rushed. The elements of the guerrilla activities I really enjoyed as the suspense was palpable in those moments, but it just didn’t really lead to anywhere.
There were some parts of Requiem that seemed to work, but many that didn’t which made for a disappointing finale to a trilogy I initially appreciated. Perhaps I could forgive some of the weaker elements of the story if the ending had provided some element of closure, but it didn’t and it left me feeling like there needed to be one more book to actually wrap up everything. From what I’ve seen on Goodreads there’s already a range of thoughts on Requiem, so if you are working your way through this series I encourage you to check out some other reviews before making up your mind.
“It was okay”
Requiem can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers