Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver | Audiobook Review

(Nope.  Not digging this cover.)

Throwback Review!

I originally listened to Pandemonium in June 2013... so just over a year ago.  I ended up giving it 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads, but I didn't write a review and I really can't remember why I gave it so many stars.  My lasting impression a year later is that I didn't care very much for this book.  I think if I were rating it now I'd give it 3 of 5 stars.  It's not the world's worst book by any stretch, but I did some struggles.  Maybe I gave it 4 stars out of peer pressure?  This whole trilogy was just completely blowing up the YA book blogosphere at the time.  And yeah, I can see a lot a lot of teen girls loving these books.  So that's probably it.

The first issue was completely my fault:  There were six months and dozens of books between finishing Delirium and starting Pandemonium and I didn't go back and reread the last chapter or read any book reviews of Delirium before I started.  Turns out there were a few details I wasn't clear enough on before we started.

The next issue:  in the audiobook you can't see differences in type to have any kind of visual clue as to who is talking when.  In Pandemonium the chapters alternate between being in the here-and-now and being in the not-so-distant past.  Yes, the narrator would announce chapter headings.  But I listened to this during my work commute.  I can't sit in my car and listen to books until it's conveniently between chapters!  I have to turn off my car now and go into work and just hope that 8 hours later I'll remember which time period we're in.

The next issue:  I don't know if it was the narrator's style of reading or the way the character was written, but I started to not really like Lena much anymore.  She's this weird mix of whiny and naive and adventurous.  

The last issue:  This is an in-between book.  It has an abrupt beginning and a cliffhanger ending.  This doesn't have to be, ya'll.  Go read Victoria Schwab's Archived books.  Or Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire books.  They have great beginnings, middles, and ends all on their own.  

I'm not going to say that this book isn't worth reading, but I would like to encourage you to read a physical book or ebook version of it so that you can see the type and see the time period changes.  And you'll definitely need to read it if you intend to go on to read Requiem.

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