Pandemonium picks up where Oliver’s previous book, Delirium, left off. Lena is on the run after escaping into The Wilds. Her boyfriend, Alex, didn’t make it, killed by the regulators, but Lena must put her grief behind her and try to survive. The novel is divided into passages marked “then” and “now.” “Then” chronicles Lena’s escape from the regulators and rescue by a group of “Invalids,” people who don’t believe in the government’s orders that everyone must receive a surgical process called “the cure” to protect them from the disease amor deliria nervosa, aka love. “Now” finds Lena living in Manhattan and working as part of the resistance trying to bring down the DFA (Deliria Free America), led by Thomas Fineman, whose son, Julian, becomes the face of the DFA’s campaign when he agrees to undergo the cure even though it will likely kill him due to his past medical history. When a group of resisters attacks a DFA rally, Lena and Julian are kidnapped and must learn to trust each other despite being on opposite sides in order to escape.
I really enjoyed Delirium, so I was anxious for the sequel. I’m not sure I enjoyed Pandemonium as much in the beginning, as I found the pacing a bit slow and was less interested in the “then” sections. I suppose it’s important to know how Lena came to be involved in the resistance and how she survived out in the Wilds as well as what the conditions are like out there, but I found myself much more interested in the “now” and watching Lena’s relationship with Julian develop. Lena finds herself in many sticky situations throughout the book, and at times things seem to come together a little too easily to allow her to escape and move forward. However, there is a twist at the end of the novel that sets up what is sure to be a drama-filled final book in the trilogy. I can’t wait to see how Lena’s story will end!