Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review: Pandemonium

*Some spoilers to Delirium*

Pandemonium is the second book in Lauren Oliver's Delirium series. The first book, Delirium, introduced readers to a dystopian future where love is outlawed. Known as Amor Deliria Nervosa, love is a disease which every citizen in the future United States is inoculated against. Those who choose to refuse the vaccine are imprisoned, killed, or escape the fenced in cities for the wilds and the life of a fugitive. Love, we learn, is a killer and the stability of the world is only secured when people are free from its clutches. Our heroine Lena is only months from receiving her 'cure' and can't wait for an adult life away from turmoil and feelings.Of course, this was all before she met Alex. Beautiful, uncured, and dangerous, Alex teaches Lena that life without love is a terrible substitute. Love is what sustains, heals, and yes, hurts, but it is worth it to Alex to be free to feel.

Delirium ends with Alex and Lena's botched escape from the city of Portland, Maine. Lena makes it out to the wilds without Alex and runs across a group of uncureds trying to live free from the influence of the heavily governed cities. We meet a brand new cast of characters, some good, some bad. The story of Lena's arrival and assimilation with the group of outlaws is interspersed with her new life posing as a cured girl. Lena has adopted the role of freedom fighter in New York and has the task of taking down the system from within. It is unclear what Lena's exact role is, but she joins a radical group called the DFA which seeks to cure the population earlier than the standard age of 16. Through her spying, she meets Julian, son of the leader of the DFA. When a rally turns into a riot caused by a radical group of uncureds, Julian and Lena are forced to work together to survive.

I really liked the premise of Delirium when I read it last year, but it was a slow start for me. I put off reading Pandemonium, but eventually picked up my copy. Once I started, I finished with a couple of days. It was packed full of action and the pacing flew through Lena's changed world. I was completely taken in by her new, stronger self and was cheering for her success the whole way through. I can't wait for the next book to come out. If you're looking for a new dystopian YA to read, check out Delirium. Be prepared for a slow start, but stick with it. It's worth it. Promise.

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