Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem by Lauren Oliver.
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Published by: Hodder
Where to Find: Goodreads
Maddie has always loved the Delirium series and she has a whole video just explaining her reasoning, and almost defending the series, because you’ll see a lot of reviews out there that say the series went down hill and the ending wasn’t what they were expecting/wanted. So, my reading experience was slightly different to perhaps others, because although I knew about the problems people had, Delirium was hyped a lot by Maddie.
Personally, I really enjoyed the series. I don’t think it went down hill! What I can say is that Pandemonium and Requiem took on a different tone. My favourite part of any dystopian series, is always the initial world building. Even if it’s slow paced, you can guarantee that I’m going to like it because I love seeing how people live differently – this also applies for fantasy novels too. The world in Delirium begins quite mellow, if you’ve seen The Giver movie, it’s got the same sort of feel as that, and maybe even like The Host. Without love the characters are almost robotic and extremely sensible, which is so different to society now it’s very calming to read! However, with the second and third book the perfectly cliché ‘what’-beyond-the-fence’ trope comes into play and we’re dealing with a different world that’s more about survival and action, raw emotion and, let’s face it, bad decisions(!) Yet, I think this change was the only plausible thing to happen next. It drove the plot forward and pushed Lena, the protagonist, into new situations and really tested the limits of the society that was build. In Pandemonium we begin to see all the cracks in the system and everything just builds and builds, with more mystery being added constantly.
What I found most interesting about this series, is that each book has a slightly different narrative style. Delirium is made up of first person narrative from Lena’s POV with the addition of excepts from other fictional texts at the heading of each chapter that throw some light on the events that are about to take place. Pandemonium flips between Now and Then so the story takes some piecing together, and is one of my favourite styles because it’s so tantalizing! You’ve just settled into Then and you’re ripped back into Now. It can get frustrating at times, but it’s just so effective! Requiem has both Lena and Hana’s POVs. Hana was Lena’s best friend before she met Alex, the original love interest, in book one, and I really loved her sections because they brought back the original feel of Delirium. Hana also had her own story ARC which was both tense and intense, resulting in me liking Hana’s more than Lena’s POV.
Maybe people’s problems come from the love triangle? Yes there are two love interests, but Lena never has more than one boy in love with her at one time. Alex was perfect in Delirium so I was pretty annoyed when Julian popped up. HOWEVER, his presence shows that your first love isn’t your only love! A classic Pocahontas moral. Also, you should be glad to note, that Lena does not spend the rest of her life moping about Alex. Oh no! This girl picks herself up and moves on when necessary! Now, that’s a strong female character.
I’d say my biggest issue was probably the ridiculously ambiguous ending! What a way to end a series. Then again, I often find that with dystopian series, the stuff you really want to know is what happens fifty pages after the ending. I would especially want to know how the changes in the system that Lena brought about would change the rest of the world.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this series, when you really think about it there are a lot of hidden gems amongst clichés that might initially put you off. Give it a chance! I would rate the series as a whole a solid 4 stars. If you haven’t already then get reading!