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Delirium - Dee Shulman

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Paperback: 448 pages / Publisher: Penguin / Published: 2 May 2013 / Language: English

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      17.06.2013 10:41
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      Pretty awful mashing together of the 21st century and 12AD

      If you've been following my reviews, you'll know that I absolutely hated book one of the Parallon Trilogy, Fever. There was poor character development, a poor plot and the most insta-lovey insta-love I have ever seen. Suffice to say, Fever was a major disappointment for me which is a shame because it had so much potential. Unsurprisingly, I didn't have very high hopes for Delirium, though I had read some reviews which noted this book to have more plot twists which made it all a bit more exciting so I was hoping my rating of it would be at least one star up on Fever, but alas, Delirium was just as I had predicted it would be - awful.

      In Fever we saw Seth the gladiator fall ill to a mysterious virus, die and end up in Parallon, a mysterious place where everyone is immortal and you can shape the world however you want it to be. Sounds like a perfect world, right? Wrong. When Seth and his friend Matthias (also dead) arrive in Parallon, it is practically empty. There are very few people living there and it's rather empty, fast forward not too long and suddenly the place is full of people, and all these people have something in common: they are all young, and contracted a mysterious fast acting virus before dying and being transported to Parallon. Seth, who lost the love of his life only a few moments before he himself died, is determined to find out what this place is and whether or not there's any chance, Livia, his love, made her way to Parallon too. By chance, Seth runs into Zachary, someone who seems to know an awful lot about Parallon, and he accidentally gains access to all of Zach's memories. Seth learns from Zach that you can actually travel to other times from Parallon and so Seth, still determined to find out what the virus is, travels to the 21st century to conduct some research using the high tech equipment available during that age. In order to do this, he gains a place at St Magdalene's school for exception kids which is a private boarding school with an epic science lab. It is here that he meets Eva, a girl who looks exactly like Livia, except she doesn't have any of Livia's memories. Except she does. They just develop later - does this make sense? No. Way before Seth entered Eva's life, she'd been experiencing the same virus symptoms that Seth is looking for, but her reaction to it is ever so slightly different to everyone elses as she has not yet passed into Parallon. Being as Eva is sort of Livia, Seth is, of course, in love with her, and she is in love with him, and the two of them start working together to research the virus that turned both their lives upside down.

      Delirium picks up right after Fever and to be honest the plot isn't that different. There are some minor developments and the addition of a few characters, but essentially Seth and Eva are still researching the virus and still don't have a clue what's going on. Eva just gets sicker and sicker but still not sick enough to pass into Parallon. More and more people from all different times have been ending up in Parallon and a journalist, Jennifer, and her detective boyfriend, Nick, start researching the disappearances too. (Turns out when you get transported to Parallon, your body quite literally disappears). Cassius, Livia's ex-husband who was pretty irrelevant in Fever, is back in Delirium as he has now died and is in Parallon too. He's still the tyrant he always was and he has basically recreated Londinium (AD150) in Parallon and has enslaved all the other people living there. All these things sort of mash together and cause the vortex, through which Seth and Zach time travel, has started to break down causing chaos. Now Seth must try to find the cause of the break down, fix the vortex, cure his girlfriend AND get rid of Cassius. Or try to at least.

      I was really hoping that some of the gaping holes left in the plot of Fever would be filled in in Delirium, but really, more holes were added to the story. As far as I can see, the character's only moved an inch closer to finding out what the virus is or what it's purpose is, but basically noone has a clue about anything and they're all just trudging through. I don't actually know what any of the plot twists that people were talking about were, because I didn't really see any to be honest. Delirium is basically Fever all over again but slightly different. There were even more irrelevant things in Delirium than there were in Fever, for example, Eva and her band get a record deal, and this really just interferes with the main plot and it adds nothing.

      Lots of things in Delirium just didn't add up. Seth, for example, is a former gladiator, and yet he seems pretty comfortable in 2013 with his girlfriend, whom he frequently refers to as 'baby'. Would a gladiator really use the term 'baby'? I think not. Also he travelled to the 21st century to conduct research using scientific equipment which he is suddenly incredibly adept at using. I know he has all of Zach's memories now, but still - bit far fetched? I found the same problem for just about every other character in Delirium. Things about their personalities just didn't add up or make sense and they'd suddenly develop into completely different people that were complete strangers to their original selves. There are several new characters in Delirium which I thought would make things better, but they were just as poorly developed and just added to the jumble of characters that already existed.

      Due to the poor character development, I found the relationships between characters very hard to believe. Seth and Eva are the most annoying pairing in the entire novel simply because I don't believe that the character's are really in love at all. Their relationship is based on an insta-love between the old Seth and the old Livia and there doesn't seem to be much connection. All the romances are incredibly clichéd and cheesy and really I couldn't stand them. What's worse is that there isn't just insta-love, but insta-friendship, which, it turns out, is just as irritating. All the character dialogues seem very forced and I simply couldn't like any of the characters because they were all so 2D.

      If I'm perfectly honest, I don't think I've ever hated a series more than the Parallon Trilogy. I read Fever and Delirium back to back, hoping, praying, that it would get better but it didn't. There are some very mixed reviews of this book and unfortunately, I'm at the highly negative end of the spectrum and I wouldn't recommend this book at all. It is supposedly about time travel, though that features in it very rarely and "the love worth dying for" is just clichéd, unrealistic and annoying. This series had a lot of potential and the blurbs make them sound like interesting reads, when really they are monotonous and frustrating. Read at your own peril.

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