“Pandemonium” – Is It A Bland Middle Book in The Series?

Book Review : Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Spoiler Alert!

Alex is dead! Lena drags herself through barely existing in the wild. Finally, Lena grabs back onto life in the wild as a way to hang onto Alex. Raven acts as a mother to Lena and this small band of humanity trying to survive in the wild. Everything changes on the day Lena discovers the signal, RED. And, red means run.

Lena is undercover as part of the resistance with Raven and Tack living in New York. Her job is to observe, and to not let Julian, the son of the leader of the DFA, out of sight. In the confusion at the rally Lena almost loses Julian and barely makes it into a corridor witnessing him being kidnapped. And worse yet, she is kidnapped too with only her backpack, The Book of Shhh, a few granola bars and an umbrella. Julian believes he will be ransomed, but Lena knows no one will pay a ransom for her.

Adult Point of View

In ways Pandemonium looses it’s edge, but it still gives the reader some new things. We learn that there are at least two factions within the people who live in the wild, the resistance and the Scavangers. We also learn of the DFA (Deliria-Free America), a new extremist faction within the city. DFA’s moto is “CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS. SECURITY IS IN THE DETAILS. HAPPINESS IS IN THE METHOD.”(p.105) Julian has had brain cancer and has already had several operations, he is now the poster child for the cause of the DFA, that everyone should receive the Cure at an earlier age regardless of the risks. It is highly likely that he will die from having the Cure and his father wants to set the example, even if it means sacrificing his son. I liked seeing the growth in Julian as he came to accept that Lena was an invalid from the Wild.

Lena is no longer questioning authority like she did in Delirium, and her perspective has flipped completely around now seeing the city as “zombieland”. As Lena builds a relationship with Julius it feels too similar to the situation with Alex, and as you could guess is a set up for a love triangle. (I am silently screaming because  I am so tired of love triangles.) I am really offended that once again Lena has her shirt off with the boy ogling her and she is okay with the situation. Is this realistic? I hope not. I was really glad to see that Lena takes a more active role in her own life, choosing to live, choosing to help Julian and being willing to leave the familiar if she felt like it was the right thing to do.

I also liked Raven, that she was tough on the exterior, but we discover it is just a way to mask the pain of everything she has lived through. Our natural inclination is to cheer for those that thumb their nose at society and seek freedom. Through Raven’s character we get a glimpse of the cost in hardship those who are free live with daily. Freedom is not cheap.

I didn’t originally like how the author was flipping back and forth from then and now, but as the two times became a reflection of each other I thought it added depth. As far as middle books go in trilogies this one is pretty good. I liked Delirium more, because everything was fresh, but Pandemonium was certainly not bland.

3 out of 5 stars

– the Mother

The teen will review this soon. I am going to let her read this series since she is nearly 15.

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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5 Responses to “Pandemonium” – Is It A Bland Middle Book in The Series?

  1. Brittany says:

    I agree – I think it lost a little greatness in the 2nd book, mostly for me because it was just a completely different story and I felt like I didn’t have a lot of Delirium to hang onto in Pandemonium. I still liked it a lot, but I think it could have been so much better if we got a little more connection back to Delirium.

    • You are right there wasn’t a lot of Delirium to hang onto in this book, and I liked it I just wanted to feel the same intensity as Delirium. I thought Lena’s connection to Julian seemed more contrived than her love with Alex. I’m guessing there will be a stronger connection in the third installment. Also, I am enjoying receiving your blog and seeing new books to try and getting a different perspective.Thanks!

      • Brittany says:

        I agree I’m defintely hoping to see a strong connection in the third book! I’m a little disappointed that it looks like we’re being set up for a love triangle because I loved how pure the relationship between Alex & Lena was in Delirium.
        Thanks so much for following my blog! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 It’s a lot of fun discussing books with you too.

      • I thought the relationship between Alex and Lena was more believable because it developed over the course of months and her “relationship” with Julian was only over a few days. I don’t see how Lena could be too tempted by Julian in the next book. I think love triangles are way overdone.

        Right now I’m reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It is really different, if you have read it I would like to hear your opinion on it.

      • Brittany says:

        I haven’t read it, but I’ve seen it around quite a few places and it did sound interesting. I’d definitely like to pick it up sometime.

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