March 21st 2013
Hodder & Stoughton
Battling against a
society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds
herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no
longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the
rebels. And Lena's emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic
return of someone she thought was lost forever...
Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium
trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the
height of her writing powers - emotionally powerful and utterly
*This review will probably contain spoilers for the first two books in the trilogy, so read at your own risk!*
I know that a lot of people had problems with this book, particularly the ending, but I thought that it was fitting despite being slightly frustrating. Pandemonium is still my favourite book of the series, though.
Again, Requiem takes a different narrative style to the first two, with alternating chapters between Lena and Hana's perspective. When I first read that this was going to happen, I wasn't all that keen on it because I wasn't sure how it would all tie together and I thought that I would find Hana's perspective boring, especially after the ending of Pandemonium. However, as soon as I read Hana's first chapter I changed my mind. I think that it was the perfect way to end the series because it kind of brought it back full circle too the first book. In Pandemonium, there's about three mentions of Hana and Lena's life in Portland pre-Alex, so it was nice to get to see how they're all getting on, as well as seeing Lena's cousin, Grace, again. Though it wasn't all that nice because Hana isn't exactly in a great situation. She's been cured and paired to Fred Hargrove, soon-to-be Mayor of Portland and he is not a nice guy. I'll leave it there, but I really enjoyed Hana's perspective and I really liked getting to see that people don't turn bad or anything when they're cured. It was really important that we got to see the world from cured eyes because they're not all bad guys.
I liked Lena in Requiem, but not quite as much as I did in Pandemonium, I think. On the one hand, we really get to see her start to become a leader and realize that is going to have to fight and fight hard with the Resistance to even start to take down the walls (hah, see what I did there, people who've read the book? YEAH.) On the other hand, it was more about Lena choosing between Alex and Julian. Not that I was particularly bothered by these parts - I wasn't. I think that it was important for Lena's emotional journey to come to terms with her feelings about them both. The main reason I didn't enjoy those parts as much were just because I love Alex and Julian both and I didn't want her to have to choose and have to decide that yes I do love that guy more than I love that guy. This was my main problem with the ending, really.
The plot was good - I liked the developments made, though I think after Pandemonium I wanted to read more about the DFA and the Scavengers and their corruptness, though I guess that to move the story on and start with Hana's perspective and it all come together, then the book had to be more focused on Portland instead. I think that some of the stuff that happened in the Wilds was really interesting as well, because we only saw a tiny amount of the sort of the brutality that the cureds used against the uncureds in Pandemonium, and now that they know that the threat is real and the the uncureds really do exist, we get to see a lot more of what they're capable of. It's important to remember, though that the uncureds are a threat to the cureds, too, and do acts of terrorism as well - which is why I liked Hana's perspective so much. Just because the cureds don't fell in the same way, doesn't mean that they're unfeeling robots who are just okay with killing and doing bad things to keep their lifestyle preserved.
Now, the ending. I won't say too much, but I don't think that it's too much of a spoiler to say that it's very open ended. Like, really open ended. But I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would. I thought that it was fitting because I didn't know how I wanted it to end, and I don't think that there was a way that it could've ended without a) pissing people off about whoever Lena was with at the end and b) completely escalating the plot to have the whole society sort of ended with a nice cosy epilogue a la Mockingjay. I think that, for me, it was probably the best way the book could've ended, though on reflection there definitely were certain plot threads that I would've liked to have been a bit more closed so that not everything was sort of indefinite. The very last part, though, that last section was really beautiful. I loved it, and I think it's one of my favourite parts of the whole trilogy. Usually I find those sorts of things cheesy, but it just worked, y'know? It was just... Right.
Requiem was a really great last book to a fantastic, beautifully written trilogy that has won it's place in my heart But beware that ending! You may love it, but it may piss you off and ruin the rest of the book for you like I've seen some people react. But don't let that put you off! I'm probably not helping here... Just read it. That's what I'm trying to really say here.