Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

 Book: Pandemonium
 Series: Delirium #1
I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
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.

Female authors are just variant. They think differently. On another level. Look at some my favorite author names EVER: J.K. Rowling, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, etc..
Lauren Oliver is NO exception. She's officially topped my list of favorite authors. And no, I am not being sexist. There are many male authors who have breathtaking books, but books by female authors have a different touch. Their minds go on a completely different path that men can never go there. Don't get me wrong, men go different places. EPIC places, but right now, I'm just sucked into the women's imagination. I don't think this spell will leave me anytime soon.

Let me start talking this review by saying that this book feels ABSOLUTELY different from Delirium in many ways.

First of all, the setting was completely different.

This time, Lena is in the Wilds. She's living elsewhere, with a completely new life. She's in what we call "nature". She's facing problems from the freezing weather. I really loved how in this book, we got to see different types of conflicts; not only problems caused by the "perfect" society.

Second of all, the writing style stood out.

In Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver has entirely changed her writing style. She divides her chapters in a "Now" and "Then" format. Each chapter shifts accordingly. "Then" is where Delirium ended, and "Now" is a certain time in the future. This technique was pretty confusing for me in the beginning to figure out what was really going on. However, that's nothing to be worried about. Everything is perfectly explained.
Oh, and be prepared for a KILLER cliffhanger. I was annoyed because of the ONE-WORD sentence at the last page, which was the HUGEST cliffhanger, so I knew about the OMG moment. But, it doesn't matter, I was still looking forward to how the cliffhanger would come up in the story.

Thirdly, it was wonderful to get to see new characters.

I think it was well-thought out that there were bunch of new characters. New life=new characters.
Some characters bugged me. Some, I fell in love with. This made it all so realistic. The relationship between the characters were so real as if the scene were happening right in front of you.
Notable characters: Blue and Raven.

I was generally on a roller coaster while I was reading this book. I read this book in 24 hours (maybe less). I couldn't put it down. I carried it with me everywhere I went. Yes Lauren Oliver, you managed to get me break records. I haven't ever read a book that fast.

That's everything positive I have to say.

However, there were a few extra things I was expecting, but I never found them in the story.
  1. A chapter where the time shift wraps up. Where we see what happened "Then" that "Now" is going on. Maybe we will find some of that in Requiem.
  2. Characters from Delirium had no appearance in this book. I kept thinking, perhaps Hana will suddenly appear somewhere in this story. But no, there never was an appearance. Again, maybe, and most probably, we will get to see the characters in Requiem.

These are very minor issues, and they did not affect my reading experience. I loved this book TOO MUCH.

Memorable quote from Pandemonium: "That is what hatred is. It will feed you and at the same time turn you to rot. It is hard and deep and angular, a system of blockades. It is everything and total. Hatred is a high tower. In the Wilds, I start to build, and to climb."