Live free or die.
Note: Finished this book last July 2012
I remember loving Delirium, the first book of the series, and how refreshed I was on the simplicity of its plot being just a Dystopian love story. Well, somehow Pandemonium negated all of the things I loved from the first novel. Pandemonium totally jumped into the typical Dystopian formula. The simplicity of the first book was eradicated and the story now focused on the greater scope of the world, the life outside, the Invalids, the Resistance… basically the complex reality beyond Lena’s Portland hometown.
I was hoping for a simpler sequel but I suppose it’s inevitable for a Dystopian novel to just remain as a simple love story. Eventually, we’ll have to go further and delve into the politics and all that.
In this book we learn that there are different types of Invalids: The Resistance, Scavengers, and the people who dwell underground. Rejects who were driven to hiding to keep the surface “perfect”.
If you want something, if you take it for your own, you’ll always be taking it from someone else. That’s a rule too. And something must die so that others can live.
By the time I finished this novel, I got a more solid grip on the state of the world of this story’s era. Delirium’s little Portland town now seemed so far away, so perfect and so easy compared to the events in Pandemonium. Readers get to see how much dirt the government was hiding and how much people were suffering just to keep that pristine image of “The American Dream”. Lena’s initial problems on Book I about having The Cure and escaping with Alex seemed miniscule compared to the real conflict happening across the nation.
And then there’s Julian. A new love interest. To be honest I was not rooting for Julian. He’s likable and all, but I loved Alex’s strong character in the first book so I’m afraid I’ll be rooting for him.
Despite my initial doubts on this book, I ended up liking it. Probably not as much as the first one, but still liked it nonetheless. I especially liked how much Lena’s character has grown and how strong she has become since her unsure self on Delirium. I’m looking forward to reading Requiem (Book III) and learn what Lena chooses to do next especially with the revelations at the end being that Lena’s mom was one of the leaders of the Resistance and that dear-old Alex is alive. Until then.