I’ll be honest: I was pretty disappointed with Pandemonium as the sequel to Delirium. I fell in love with Delirium right away. It simply blew away all my expectations and held me in a death grip made of excitement and beautiful writing, and I hoped Pandemonium would do the same. I know Pandemonium is the second book in the Delirium trilogy, so I still have high hopes for Requiem, but I will say my overall impression of this series is lower now.
Pandemonium is not a bad book; it just doesn’t compare to Delirium in the slightest. Firstly, the writing in this book was not nearly as captivating as the writing in Delirium. Remember this amazing passage from Delirium?:
“You can build walls all the way to the sky and I will find a way to fly above them. You can try to pin me down with a hundred thousand arms, but I will find a way to resist. And there are many of us out there, more than you think. People who refuse to stop believing. People who refuse to come to earth. People who love in a world without walls, people who love into hate, into refusal, against hope, and without fear.”
I missed that prose quite about through Pandemonium. This book is also told in two different in two different timelines: “Then” chapters and the “now” chapters. “Then” chapters follow Lena straight from the end of Delirium and document her time in the wilds, while the “now” chapters deal with Lena as part of the resistance and her interactions with the cured and the DFA. I am normally a huge fan of timeline and POV splits. I know many people don’t like them as a rule, but many times they’re my favorite way to read and to tell a story. However, I really just didn’t feel it in Pandemonium. I found the “Then” chapters much less compelling because they were interspersed throughout the book, so I already knew that Lena survived to the current point in time. It made them feel unnecessary. I think I would have liked this book a lot more if the story had been told chronologically.