Review: Pandemonium

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I show that I read the first book, and have a few vague memories of it ( I wasn’t writing reviews back then – just noting that I had read the books), but that’s all, so this was sort of like jumping into the series half-way. I would recommend reading Delirium first. This one involves the continuation of Lena’s adventures now that she is “outside.” Her friend Alex, that she escaped with, has either been taken prisoner or died in the escape. She barely makes it out alive, and tries to get as far away as she can from the additional guards patrolling the perimeter, and the raids sent out from the city. She stirred up a hornet’s nest with her escape. But she is found by Raven, a girl who is one of the invalids, or uncureds. Lena had been told all her life that the raids over the uncured areas had removed all invalids, but is seems that is not the case. Many were wiped out, but some survived. She is taken into one such encampment of mostly children, where she is fed, and nursed back to health. But she must pull her weight in this new and strange uncured land. She learns to get physically fit, and to make do, to scavenge, and hunt, and cook. Inside the city, meanwhile, life goes on for the cureds. They live a life devoid of love, emotion or anything, as each undergoes a procedure at 18 to “cure” them of such undesirable traits that the leaders feel are the reason that society got into trouble in the first place. They place their reliance on church and the Book of Shh, a compilation of the bible and their new strictures against love, etc. I was hampered by my lack of recall on how the society is set up from the first book, but I got the gist of it. Lena is determined to help her new friends, since she wanted to escape the cure in the first place, and works hard, and eventually is sent back to the city to infiltrate and spy. But things are not as they seem and Lena must figure out who she is, and who are the people around her that she has trusted, or distrusted. Another book in the series will hopefully answer the questions left hanging. I can’t truly judge this book, since it wasn’t a stand-alone. You have to read the first in order to really make more sense of the whole story line. I did, but since my recall is almost nil for most books, unless really great, I’m in the dark.

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5 responses to “Review: Pandemonium

  1. I often forget the first book too so I like it when the second is sort of self contained plot-wise.

    • I do too – with my memory problems, I could have read it 4-6 months before and recall almost nothing, so I at least like some basic plot refreshers thrown in, and they can be silently worked in, not a full recap on page one. 😉

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