Pandemonium picks up a few months after the events of Fragment left off. Nell, Geoffrey, and a handful of others had barely escaped Hender's Island with their lives and the last five remaining hendros--the highly-intelligent and peaceful species they had discovered there and who had helped them survive. They had believed at the time that they had seen the last of the rest of the island's inhabitants--the menagerie of creatures that had evolved in isolation over millions of years, each of which could have led to the destruction of every other living thing on the planet if it had ever escaped the island. But of course there wouldn't be a sequel if that had been the case.
In Pandemonium Fahy brings back the spiglers, disk-ants, hender's rats and wasps, mega-mantises, and more. And this time he adds a whole host of new and imaginative creatures who have been evolving in isolation as well and who are equally capable of bringing about the end of the rest of life on earth if they ever escape their home--the subterranean caverns beneath the Ural Mountains.
Unfortunately I didn't enjoy Pandemonium nearly as much as I did its predecessor. Fahy packed as much action into this one as it could contain, even more than he did in Fragment, but for some reason I found myself repeatedly distracted and irritated with his characters' dialogue. I don't know whether it was just as bad in Fragment but I had been having too much fun to notice it then, or whether it was noticeably worse in Pandemonium. Corny dialogue is one of my pet peeves when I read, especially when it takes place during the direst of circumstances. People running for their lives generally are not in the frame of mind to engage in witty banter with one another.
I liked the story enough that I'm sure I'll read whatever he writes next, but I'm hoping he branches out with his next book and offers something new and original, and not just a continuation of this same story.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆