Posts Tagged ‘pandemonium’

Requiem Requiem. The conclusion of the Delirium trilogy. The book where everything that has been building, everything that has happened so far in this amazing story, comes together and we get to see how it finally ends.

I haven’t so eagerly awaited the release of a book, or gone into a book with such high expectations, since the final three Harry Potter books, so poor Requiem was under a lot of pressure right from the beginning. I read a few reviews before I even bought the book and that may have been a mistake because all of them criticised the ending and thought it was the worst book of the trilogy, but of course I had to make up my own mind about it.

If you are reading this thinking “what on earth is she talking about?” then I suggest you go and read my reviews of Delirium and Pandemonium then come back. There will most likely be spoilers from those two books in this review, which I can’t really avoid since Requiem is the final book of the trilogy, but I just thought I better give fair warning.

I went a bit crazy taking notes while I was reading this book because I was so invested in the story and there were so many “OMG!” moments that I sort of just wrote down every little thought or feeling I had as I read. As a result of this excessive note-taking, this review may be a little bit all over the place, so I apologise for that. It’s not often that I get so passionate about characters and their stories, so this was a pretty special experience for me.

The biggest way Requiem differs from the previous two books is that it features alternate chapters from Lena, our protagonist, and Hana, Lena’s best friend in Delirium. I haven’t read Hana’s Story (available as an e-book only) so I hadn’t seen or heard from Hana since Delirium. I was excited to be able to fill gaps and see what was going on back in Portland both with Hana personally and the city in general.  I was also very curious to see how she and Lena would inevitably come together again – why would they include the Hana chapters if that wasn’t going to happen?  It was particularly difficult to put down because I so desperately wanted to see how it would all play out.

Using alternate chapters was probably one of Oliver’s best decisions for this story¸ because I can’t even imagine how she could have included so much information from both sides – the Wilds and the controlled cities – without them. They did interfere with the continuity a little bit, because you were forever jumping from Lena to Hana then back to Lena again, but it didn’t negatively impact the overall story. They also enabled so many questions to be answered, particularly about Hana who played such a huge part in Delirium.

[Side note: It kind of blew my mind that Hana had grown and changed so much in such a short amount of time – it’s been less than a year since we last saw her – but then, so had Lena.]

From the fifth Lena chapter I could already feel something building, especially with the evidence of the governments ever-growing presence in the Wilds. This tension continued to build right up until the climax of the story when an all-out war broke out. I did note, though, that even though there was a rising tension through the story from both Hana and Lena’s sides, I felt like it should have been more intense considering the war that it was leading up to had the potential to change everything. I did get emotional around page 268 (yes, I actually cried) and there were many emotional reveals and scenes, so the lack of intense rising tension was easily redeemed by the emotional tension.

I was so torn between Alex and Julian that I did not envy Lena actually having to be in that situation one little bit. I loved Julian by the end of Pandemonium but Alex is Alex, the first boy, the first love, so I felt Lena’s pain as she loved both of them, struggling to figure out who she loved more. I’m glad about who she ended up with; I think that’s how it was always meant to be. Speaking of the end, despite many negative reviews, I loved it. Yes, it left HEAPS of unanswered questions, but it was perfect anyway.

The description and word choices are as beautiful as ever. I know I have said this before, but Oliver is a truly talented writer who has a way with words that I can only aspire to. After reading Before I Fall and now the Delirium Trilogy, I will definitely be checking out her other work.

pandemonium

The second book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy, this novel is definitely appropriately named. After my experience with Delirium – you can read my review HERE – I started Pandemonium with very high expectations. Luckily I was not disappointed. Right from the start it was emotional and intense and within the first few pages I was captivated (and not just because I was desperate to see what was going to happen post-Delirium).

Set in the same dystopian America we visited in Delirium, this novel delves further into the system of, and figureheads behind, the ‘love is a disease that we can and need to cure’ mentality. We see this world again through Lena’s eyes, but as a result of her experiences in Delirium – and the events that occur throughout this story – the way she sees things changes quite dramatically. For those who may not yet have read Delirium I won’t go into too much more detail about the plot of Pandemonium so that I don’t ruin the story for you. I will say, though, that there is another boy, another case of the deliria, and many more twists, turns and occurrences that I never, ever saw coming.

From a more technical view point, Oliver’s writing is as good if not better than Delirium. Once again I found her use of language and metaphor to be fantastic and continued to enjoy the way her writing lures you into a false sense of comfort before something huge an d usually unexpected happens. In this novel Oliver chose to use a slightly different layout and way of telling the story. Pandemonium is separated into ‘then’ and ‘now’ chapters, alternating the telling of Lena’s story between the events that followed on from the end of Delirium and where she finds herself months later. The seamless transition between these chapters left me pleasantly surprised. Jumping from past to present does not always work and it isn’t always particularly easy, but Oliver nailed it. It was very effective for this story and the impact would not have been the same if it had been written in chronological order instead.

The countdown is on for the release of the final novel in this trilogy, Requiem, so we can finally learn when, where and how Lena’s story ends!