Fate and destiny as themes are explored in “Requiem,” the final installment of the Delirium trilogy, bringing Lena and groups of rebellion-fighters closer to an all-out revolution against an ascetically controlled government.
In the first book, “Delirium,” Lena has refused “the cure,” an inoculation relieving her of all life’s feelings and problems. She flees with the help of Alex — who sacrifices his life for her — to the Wilds and begins military-like planning with other resisters.
In “Pandemonium,” she secretly infiltrates back into the city disguised as a government regulator and lives a double life as she rescues Julian, a popular converter to the mutinous movement.
Finally in “Requiem,” the insurrection of Lena and the resistant fighters unfolds toward total rebellion. Groups of dissidents struggling with starvation and hardship in a burned-out Wilderness combine to break down the new border walls, defeating authority and government control.
“Requiem” is narrated in alternate chapters by Lena who is at the forefront of the rebellion, and Hana, Lena’s best friend prior to her escape to the Wilds. Lena has been away less than a year, yet the endless exhaustion and deprivation leave her devastated.
In one sense Lena feels abandoned and “left behind,” her life a series of unanswered — almost pointless — events. Hana, who stays in the city, admits that the cure did not work perfectly and begins recalling her past life, even sneaking away illegally to assist the “infected” friends cast off in abandoned parts of the city.
In total danger since she is “paired” to Fred, the up-coming mayor, Hana realizes she is to become a puppet-wife in Fred’s dictatorship plans for the city.
“Requiem” concludes with fast-paced movement of Lena in hand-to-hand combat juxtaposed to slow methodical images of Hana’s turmoil and self-realized conflict. The parallel struggles of the two memorable young women are readily felt in “a world of chaos and confusion and happiness and despair,” each seeking their own truths and renewal.
In “Requiem,” author Lauren Oliver has connected all three books of the dystopian trilogy with adequate back-story to make each book stand on its own merit. But all three collectively are a tour de force.
If you go ...
What: Pitch Black Dark Days tour with Lauren Oliver, Delirium series; other authors include Kiersten White, "Mind Games"; Dan Wells, "Partials"; ; Claudia Gray, "Spellcaster" and the Evernight series; Debra Driza, "Mila 2.0"; and Brodi Ashton, Everneath series
When: Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m.
Where: Provo Library ballroom, 550 N. University Ave., Provo
Note: event is free; no tickets required