Here's the summary from Goodreads: I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.
What I Liked: 1) I liked Lena much more in this book than I did in Delirium. She had more of a personality, and was more strong-willed. I always prefer strong female MCs. She starts to think more for herself and not need to be taken care of. It's a gradual type of growth that starts in the beginning of the book and happens over time. This made Lena much more realistic and relatable than I found her in the first book. 2) The new characters. So much of Delirium was Hana, Lena, and Alex (which was okay), but the addition of the new characters brought a whole new level to the story. 3) Specifically, I think the element of family was added to this story (though I can't tell you if they ever came out and referred to their group as a 'family'). It's funny, they talk about family so much in Delirium, it's an important part of how you grow up, and Lena's lack of real family kind of defines who she is, and all of her fears about 'the disease.' But in this book, they rarely talk about family, however the group of people that Lena is living with becomes more of a family than anything she's ever had. 4) Julian. I loved Julian. He was a little naive, and lets Lena guide him through the tangled issue they are caught up in. But there is a lot more to him, and I hope that we get to learn more about him in the next book. He grows in the book too, from a close-minded snob to a more open-minded and understanding character. Miz Oliver has done a really great job with all of her characters in letting them grow into well-rounded and interesting people. 5) The action. I realized after reading Pandemonium that this rebellion was a much bigger movement than a few people trying to escape a tyrannical rule. There was so much action going on, and so many people who disagree with the practice of "curing the disease," it really opened my eyes to the real story here. It was also great to see Lena's eyes opening to the cure, and what it was really doing to people.
What I Didn't Like: I didn't like it jumping from Then and Now. It's like I wanted to read all of the chapters from Then, and then go back and read all the chapters for now. Unfortunately the flow was disrupted every time we went back and forth. Blame my linear brain, but that kind of pacing just isn't for me.
Overall Thoughts: I definitely liked Pandemonium better than Delirium. There was more action, and a lot of things that were up in the air for me in the first were answered. The plotline came into it's own, and became a unique and interesting story. Pandemonium was a great extension of the first book, and added so much dimension to the series. And then, there was a twist at the end that will keep every reader aching for the next installment.
My rating: 4 shots