Thursday, May 2, 2013

Requiem for a Dystopia

With the freedom of free will and the ability to love comes the consequence of loss, grief and pain. But for many, the freedoms are worth the consequences. In Lauren Oliver's final installment of the Delirium  series, Requiem, we find out just how far the resistance will go to stop a world only interested in keeping its citizens numb and uncaring.

Having saved Julian and reuniting with Alex, Lena now bears a heavy cross. Alex has been cured, which has left him a different person- closed off, reserved, and disconnected from everything he shared with Lena. With Alex so different, Lena is drawn closer to Julian, but even Julian knows she still loves the old Alex. Even if the old Alex is gone. But boys aside, the people in the Wilds are no longer safe. They used to be protected by the fact that the government didn't want to acknowledge their existence, but since their very public demonstrations, that is no longer possible. Now they are hunting down everyone in the Wilds with one purpose: total extinction for all uncured people. But the uncured must decide their path. Do they fight back, or do they run? The decision will change Lena's life forever.

Hana was cured, but it didn't take. She is still haunted by dreams and emotions she shouldn't have to worry about. But her pair has been made and she is to marry the new mayor. She should be happy about the favorable match, but all she can think about is Lena. Where is she? What happened to her? When rumors of rebels get around, Hana begins to see Fred's true colors. Determined to stamp out all rebellion, Fred clearly aspires to be a true dictator. But with the population scared of the rebels, they look to Fred to protect them, even if it means they will lose more and more of their freedoms. 

Again, I loved having two different perspectives to the story. With Oliver's previous novels, we have seen this alternating perspective, which she does particularly well. It really allows you to see both sides of the wall (pun intended) and doesn't bias the story. When you watch the rebels doing what rebels do best- fighting back- you realize this isn't the best situation for everyone. But still, there is no doubt what a monster Fred is. I always like Hana, so I was really happy to see more of her in this story. But Fred was the prize for me in terms of characters. He was the kind of man you LOVE to hate, which kept me coming back to see where his storyline went.

My biggest issue with this novel is that it is supposed to be a conclusion where everything is laid on the table. And it was certainly shaping up to be just that, but something got lost at the very end. Instead of a complete and satisfying conclusion, it felt rushed and empty. I wanted more. In fact, it ended like a typical chapter conclusion, not the end of a trilogy. I actually kept reading expected more only to realize that was the acknowledgments section. Where did the end of the book go? I am sad this didn't end in the best way for me because otherwise, I really loved this series. It was well written and read easily. But Oliver does like to put out those short stories, so maybe she will release something for after Requiem. It's just too bad she didn't put it all in the book. 

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