Pandemonium is the perfect name for Lauren Oliver's second entry into the Delirium series. While the first book had protagonist Lena slowly awakening to the fact that love should not be illegal, this novel has her paying dearly for having loved. Lena spends Pandemonium in a constant state of flight, unsure of who she can trust.
Pandemonium is another opportunity for Oliver to demonstrate her writing, which somehow manages to be both flowing and gripping. Confusing, I know, but it is a compliment. The tone of this novel is so different from Delirium. Lena is angry and strong, the Resistance movement is just as corrupt as the society they are protesting, and the action never lets up. There are many plot twists, all of which I predicted, but none of which I would have changed.
As much as I love warrior Lena and her adventures in the Wilds, my favorite scene involved her flashing back to a happy day with her best friend Hana. Oliver writes, "It seems impossibly, unbelievably long ago--when I could sit in a room with carpet, when we could spend days messing around, doing nothing in each other's company. I didn't realize then what a privilege that was: to be bored with your best friend; to have time to waste." This quote resonates deeply with me, as someone who has close friends all over the world and who doesn't always get to spend time with the people I love. It's a good reminder for me to take advantage of the time I have now with my friends and family in South Carolina.
The third book in the series, Requiem, comes out in February 2013. I can't believe I have to wait a year to find out what will happen next with Lena. Still, I am willing to be patient because I know beautiful writing can't be rushed.