Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is the sequel to Delirium. You can check out my review of Delirium here. If you haven’t read Delirium yet then come back to this review after you have as I would hate to spoil the book for you.
Pandemonium starts off several months after the end of the events in Delirium. Pandemonium alternates between Now (back in society, several months after leaving the Wild) and Then (in the Wild, shortly after entering) and gives you bits and pieces of each world, letting the story slowly unravel. Oliver does this perfectly, giving enough details to keep you interested and build drama while keeping enough back to create suspense.
The difference between Now and Then is so huge when I started reading the book I wasn’t sure how they would ever be meshed together. I generally dislike books that switch back and forth between different time periods as it frequently takes me out of the story but Pandemonium does it so seamlessly and it works really well in this case. The switching back and forth was done so well that it didn’t take me out of the story at all.
My biggest problem with the plot, actually pretty much the only problem, is that the ending is given away far too soon so it’s not the plot twist that it should be. It’s not given away in an overt way but it takes away some of the impact of the ending.
My other problem with the book is not with the plot, or writing, or characters. It doesn’t have anything to do with the content in the pages of this book- it’s the cover. I know, I know- don’t judge a book by it’s cover (especially this book!). If I was browsing through a bookstore checking out covers (and I hadn’t already read Delirium) I would never have picked up this book. The cover makes it look like a cheesy romance set somewhere tropical. It’s pretty but very bland and it just doesn’t mesh with Pandemonium’s plot. I’m not sure how a heavily made up and overly Photoshopped image of a girl’s face set against some tropical plants is supposed to represent Pandemonium. While reading about the danger of the Wild and it’s lack of resources I never really pictured them sitting around giving each other makeovers. It’s a small thing that doesn’t take away from the awesome of this book, it’s just curious.
Oliver’s writing in Pandemonium is absolutely beautiful. She continues to show us the world of the society while simultaneously opening up the Wild. It seems like a lot of details to absorb as well as several changes between time periods and settings but it is done so smoothly that the story never loses its momentum.
Pandemonium is an enthralling read that you want to read from cover to cover in one sitting. It’s a perfect continuation of Delirium and I can’t wait until the next book comes out. 4.5/5