Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Non-Stop Action Pandemonium Still A Bit Disappointing

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Pandemonium, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from Delirium.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Lena Haloway is dead.  That weak, clueless girl no longer exists.  After months of struggling to survive in the Wilds, all Lena's soft places have hardened and she can barely recognize the person she used to be.  She's now Lena Jones, a tough, ruthless fighter for the Resistance.  Posing as a twelfth grader at Quincy Edwards High School for Girls in Brooklyn, New York, she gathers intel, giving the information to the people behind the rebellion that's gathering strength in the United States.  

But Lena Jones is not, actually, as steely as she thinks she is.  Her mind won't stay away from thoughts of Alex, from torturing herself with the sure knowledge that she's at least partly responsible for his death.  As much as she wants to purge him from her memory, he's always there.  She just wishes he were here.   

When a political rally goes horribly awry, Lena has to focus on the task at hand:  saving herself and 18-year-old Julian Fineman.  Julian is the face of Deliria-Free America (DFA), the organization headed by his father.  He's also becoming Lena's friend and, maybe, just a little bit more.  The more she gets to know Julian, the more she's sure of one thing:  she can't let him get the Cure.  She'll save him—like she couldn't save Alex—no matter what it takes.

Alternating between "Then" and "Now," Pandemonium, the second book in Lauren Oliver's popular Delirium series, describes Lena's fight to survive after she escapes from the walled-in city of Portland, Maine and her subsequent work with the Resistance.  While it's pretty much non-stop action and emotion, which makes for an exciting read, the story doesn't actually go anywhere new.  It offers up a few plot twists, but nothing I didn't see coming.  So, while the plot kept me engaged, I still ended up feeling a little disappointed with this sequel.  It did make me anxious to see what will happen in the next book, though, and that's always a good thing.    

(Readalikes:  Delirium by Lauren Oliver; this series also reminds me of the Matched series [Matched; Crossed]by Ally Condie; the Uglies series [Uglies; Pretties; Specials; Extras] by Scott Westerfeld; and the Birthmarked [Birthmarked; Prized] series by Caragh M. O'Brien)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for violence and strong language

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Pandemonium from the generous folks at HarperTeen.  Thank you! 

3 comments:

  1. Argh! I still haven't read the first in the series but now I don't feel in a hurry. I hate when second books are just filler!

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  2. I felt pretty much the same way. Awesome action sequences, predictable twists, where is it going? I'm still pretty excited for the next book, though.

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  3. Very anxious to read this one. Soon!

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