May 11, 2012

Title: Fever
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Published: February 21, 2012
Pages: 341

From the publisher: Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price – now that she has more to lose than ever.

Celeste’s review: I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m rating this a 4 stars, but extremely close to 4.5 because of the ending. This is one messed up dystopian society and I can’t get enough. Amy and I reviewed the first book in the series, Wither, here. Fever picks up right where the first one left off; Rhine and Gabriel have just escaped the mansion where Rhine was forced to marry Linden, and Gabriel was as a servant (neither by choice). They think they are free from their prison, but almost immediately thrust from that nightmare into the next.

Once they are out of the mansion controlled by Vaughn, Rhine’s father in law, they get snatched up and trapped into an equally horrid situation with Madame. As terrible as it is, they put on brave faces knowing it is the only way to survive; they do not give up hope of breaking free and leaving the camp with Madame to get back to Manhattan, Rhine’s original home before she was kidnapped. Their goal is to find her brother, Rowan, which is what this novel is about.

I had the actual book when I read Fever, not an e-version. I have to say, I could not stop looking at the cover. I was fascinated with it. Rhine looks less glamorous here than the first book, but that is for a reason. And then, all the little things in the picture mean something. Sometimes books are just pretty covers that don’t really fit the book….well this one is very pretty AND fits the book so well! Loved that!

I adore, adore, adore Rhine. Not only is her name so very cool, so is she. Her situation is awful, desperate and terrifying, yet she keeps her chin up, determined to find her brother and a way out of Madame’s camp. Gabriel, one of Rhine’s attendants from the first novel, Wither, is loyal to her to a fault. While there is a romantic interest and some stolen kisses, the two don’t have time to focus on their romance since they have to fight for survival.

I knew that as I read this book, Rhine and Gabriel had to take this journey together….it had to be done, but I honestly couldn’t wait for Rhine to be reunited with Linden. I liked Gabriel a lot, but not in a romantic sense. I just couldn’t feel the chemistry. However, I know from Rhine’s time with Linden there absolutely was chemistry, even though they might not have known it themselves since Rhine wouldn’t give in to such notions because she felt forced into the marriage.

I understand this book laid more ground work for the final installment in the trilogy, so I was willing to read through it, but it didn’t evoke the same emotion out of me as the first one. I think that is because of the chemistry of Rhine and Linden…and Linden wasn’t present for this. I think it all goes back to the fact that I need romance in my novels. The ending of this book was fabulous and I absolutely shuddered at one point (can’t say because it would spoil!) but it moved very quickly and I can’t wait for things to happen in the 3rd book, Sever, due out in the spring of 2013. If you love dystopian novels this series is a must for your list!

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