Friday, November 14, 2014

When the Sequel is Better: Pandemonium

The “originals” fight has existed for thousands of years. The first book is always better than the rest of the series, the film sequels have no solid story line, and the first 151 Pokemon are, like, ten times better than what’s popular now. Life seems to be the only exception to this rule of thumb, because otherwise our phases of life would resemble novels with our toddler years being the best years of our life.

Up until now, I haven’t read a novel that was better than its predecessor. I like Allegiant and Julie’s Wolf Pack because of the ending events in Allegiant and the complete change in point of view in JWP, not necessarily because all aspects of the novel were changed, improved, or radical. Lauren Oliver’s Pandemonium is the second novel in a trilogy and exceeds the expectations prepared by the first, titled Delirium, because of the way Oliver changed her storytelling method and developed more of the characters and plot.

Character Development

If the character doesn’t mature or change, then the series will bore the reader because even middle schoolers know that people change after experiencing a new thing. Lena, the protagonist, has grown considerably since the last novel, where she threw a tantrum because she let the stress of life get to her (and she’s supposed to be a couple years shy of eighteen). In Pandemonium, she has not only matured but also increased her intelligence, a welcome and much needed change after believing everything she heard in the first story. Now Lena questions the knowledge and facts given to her and judges them for herself, rather than letting someone else decide for her. She had so much potential, and she met it.

Plot Points

Two time sequences occur simultaneously, giving us questions and answers without the in between nitty-gritty, and its phenomenal in moving the plot forward without slow moments. Whether a reader is drawn into “then” and the survival instincts of Lena’s new life or is captivated by the stressful underground politics Lena is thrown into during the “now,” there is rarely a dull moment that is not quickly eradicated by its alternative story line. The history of the people is also explained in detail and both perspectives of the love cure are given a chance to tell their side, and it creates a more rounded novel than the single-sided viewpoint Lena provided in Delirium.

Point of View

The varying points of view in time offer questions and answers in a non-linear fashion that more young adult readers should experience because of the puzzles it provides as well as a more complete lens for the reader to judge for his or herself who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. Like with everyday people, the characters often change, sometimes over time and sometimes in seconds, and these make the characters more believable, trustworthy, and easier to relate to. Lena’s judgment is still present, but the reader will rely on her instincts because she has proven her intelligence with her growth and by the story of how she survived on her own.

Overall, Lauren Oliver’s Pandemonium portrayed a world that has found a cure for love and has found ways to prove it is what society needs while also illustrating the necessity of love, passion, and determination in preserving what makes the human race so versatile. If this novel surpassed Delirium in the first forty pages, then the third and final novel, Requiem, should blow everything out of the park (unless this is a rare case where the middle book is the best, in which case I have no idea how Oliver pulled that off). 

If you're interested, you can get the novel here.

No comments:

Post a Comment