What IS it about dystopian fiction that has me devouring trilogies in 12 hours or less? I don’t get the hold it has over me. So far my dystopian list includes The Hunger Games, Divergent (cannot wait for Insurgent!!!), and Ally Condie’s Matched/Crossed series. The plot patterns that run through these books are very similar, especially between Divergent and the Matched/Crossed books. The love stories are very heated and exciting, the societies are disturbing and relatively similar, but still fun to read. The main characters are interestingly similar as well–female, unsure of themselves at first and suddenly courageous reformed fighters, spurred on by love and the need for change. You would think that gets boring after the first couple of stories. It doesn’t. Which is how I came to finish both Delirium and Pandemonium in one night.
In all honesty, I thought the beginning of Delirium was incredibly slow. After all the action-packed chapters from the previous dystopian series’, I expected this to be equally fast-paced. The same rings slightly true for Pandemonium. Nevertheless, I was more than interested enough to keep reading. I think that’s partly how I read through these so fast; I was so eager to get to the good parts that I raced through the entire thing!
The part that captured me the most about Delirium was the love story. Alex (the male protagonist) had me rooting for him 100% and every time there was a scene with Alex and Lena (the female protagonist) together, I was excited. One thing that rings true for all the dystopian books I’ve read is that I also enjoy watching the female protagonist come to recognize her own mind is different from the collective mindset she was raised to practice. So watching Lena internally struggle against what was really right and wrong was also fun for me. As the end approached, I was wrapped up in the entire plot because everything got exciting and quick. I was completely scandalized when the book ended on a cliffhanger! Sigh, but don’t they all? Thank goodness I had bought Pandemonium on my Kindle as well, so I just began reading it instantly. I highly recommend you buy both at once, unless you enjoy the agony of not knowing what comes next.
Pandemonium was very interestingly constructed. Each chapter bounced back and forth between “Then” and “Now”. Then chapters focused on what happened to Lena directly after we left off in Delirium. Now fast-forwarded to what was currently happening to Lena, after all the Then activities. Are you still with me? It’s very easy to follow, despite being two different stories with the same characters. I found the plot to be overall more interesting than Delirium, but still a bit slow for my taste. OF COURSE the end is an even more tantalizing cliffhanger and now I absolutely cannot wait for the third book. See, this is why I should always jump on the bandwagon late–I’m too impatient to wait!
Also, now I’m all confused with all the various love story threads hanging loose–Divergent’s Tris and Four, Matched/Crossed’s Cassia and Ky and Xander, and now Delirium/Pandemonium’s characters (I won’t spoiler it for you). Let’s just say the sequels to all these better come out seriously soon.
Until then, it’s more than safe to assume that dystopian fiction has me completely and irrevocably hooked! I wouldn’t say that Delirium and Pandemonium are my absolute favourites, but they can definitely hold their own on my dystopian shelf!