This is book two of a YA trilogy centering around Lena, who lives in a post-apocolyptic world where LOVE has been outlawed and considered a sickness that must be eradicated. In the first book, Delirium, we leave off with Lena escaping and Alex presumably dead. In Pandemonium, the action picks right back up from there. Lena falls in with a group of Invalids, those living illegally on the fringes of society, foraging for supplies and food with a little help from sympathizers “on the inside.” A political figure and his son are the focus of this second installment, as Lena infiltrates the organization and winds up getting captured with Julian, the son.
Although I enjoyed the book and its level of action and suspense, I had to keep reminding myself that it was a YA novel. And maybe was written with that audience in mind, rather than an adult who might stop and say, “Wait a second, there’s NO WAY that would actually happen!” Such as, when Lena just HAPPENS to figure out the code on a combination lock. TWICE IN THIS NOVEL!!!!! Or when she puts together the clues in a book just in time to escape. And how she just HAPPENS to have broken into Julian’s father’s house and overhears where Julian is being held.
It all had to happen for the sake of the plot, but it was like, really?!?
And then of course, the inevitable romance between Lena and Julian that you see coming from miles and miles away. As soon as Julian’s character is introduced, it’s like, ok, here’s the love interest for this book. And they’re from two opposite sides of the spectrum – Julian is the son of a high-profile politico, and Lena is a defector, although Julian doesn’t learn that until it’s too late for him to emotionally devest in her.
Then that final scene. As we know there is a third book coming, and everything seems to be wrapping up so nicely, what kind of monkey wrench could POSSIBLY be thrown? Let’s see … Lena and Julian are sharing an intimate moment where they declare their love for one another … who could possibly return from the dead and set up a love triangle for book three?
Hmm. Let’s ponder that.
Meanwhile, I’ll be reading book three because I’m hooked, despite the fact that the swiss cheese I had on my sandwich today has fewer holes than this plot. Ours is not to question why, ours is just to go along for the ride, and enjoy it. But you better believe I’m Team Alex from here on out.