The ending changed everything for me. I could have said that Pandemonium can be read on its own, as a complete novel, without the "second novel" feeling middle trilogy books often have. I could have said that. I almost still want to say it. It's just those last few lines, a handful of sentences changes the entire novel for me. Part of me wishes Lauren Oliver could have saved it, left it for Requiem instead. Maybe I'm too critical of endings.
I loved Pandemonium. It is a wildly different story than the first book in the trilogy. In Delirium, Lena learns about love and how to love. In Pandemonium Lena learns how to fight and how to survive. In Pandemonium, she is the one to teach about love. We see two sides to Lena. We see what happened to her right after the end of Delirium, who she met, how she survived. In alternating chapters, we see Lena now, undercover in a different city, pretending to be cured, infiltrating a pro-cure group.
Lena, thinking that Alex is dead, meets a new boy. Apparently, when the description/ synopsis of Pandemonium was first released, there was an uproar from fans, upset, distraught, over the fact that Lena could possibly move on and find someone else. For me, this is a realistic part of the novel. I know it's more "romantic" to think Lena will love Alex and only Alex forever until her death, but in real life we wouldn't expect that, so we can't be surprised when an author makes that decision. I'm glad that I'm reading the story now and was spared all the complaining when the Delirium sequel was released.
The edition I read of Pandemonium was an enhanced eBook on my Kindle app. I was interested to know what "enhanced" meant. When I saw the Pandemonium eBook on sale, I knew that this was my chance. I wonder if other enhanced eBooks are different. This edition included videos of Lauren Oliver describing certain important scenes and what inspired them. I found the videos interesting, but I was not always happy with their placement. Several times the videos came before the scene she was discussing, thus spoiling the scene right before it happened. The most often broke the flow of the story. I liked the videos themselves, I liked hearing Oliver speak about her inspiration. If they came after the scene, it would have been much better.
Pandemonium was fantastic. It had me on the edge, eager to know what happened next. It's a good thing I have Requiem. I'm also interested in reading more by Oliver. I know she has more books, I'd like to see what other worlds her imagination has created.