Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

by Lauren Oliver

ISBN-13: 9-780061-978067
Publication: February 2012 from Harper Teen
Series: book 2 in Delirium
Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it!

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.


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is one of those sequels to a really great book that makes you glad it exists. Told in a then and now format rather than traditional chapters, the reader gets to experience both what happened immediately following Lena’s escape over the fence (then), and the more current situation where she is part of the Resistance and helping their cause (now).

The then and now format also helps to showcase the growth Lena goes through during the book. After being found by the Resistance and the early part of her time them, Lena is actually fairly unsure and a little wimpy. But she manages to showcase some courage and determination when it really comes down to it, and during the now sections we really get to see her display her intelligence and will to survive in order to make the best of some bad situations. She’s in a pretty bad place initially following her escape and Alex’s death, but she manages to overcome and grow into her ideals and beliefs. She copes admirably with all the crap she goes through in this book. Julian, the new male lead, is quite mysterious. You’re never really sure what he actually believes in, and though he seems incredibly trustworthy, it’s still up in the air as to whether you should like him or not.

The suspense and the unanswered questions in Pandemonium keep your attention glued to the pages and wondering what’s coming. There are so many things that require you to put the pieces together, and even then you’re not always sure if you’re right or will be proved wrong. There are some great twists, especially in how the Resistance, the Scavengers (like the Resistance, they’re uncured, but a little more intense in their opposition to the Cure), and the DFA (Deliria-Free America) all intertwine…since really, they shouldn’t intertwine at all. And of course the ending has the best twist of all, one I never saw coming and had to just stare at the last two sentences for a bit before it really sunk in.

In Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver has managed to wonderfully expand on the world she showed us in Delirium, bringing the reader deeper into the reasons behind the cure for love and the way society works, and yet still giving us more questions that need to be answered. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!