Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden #2)

Title: Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Published: February 21st, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Challenge(s): Finish the Series 2013, Dystopian
Grade rate: C

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 any means necessary.

My Review
I’m not quite sure what to make of Fever.  I liked Wither more (see my review here) because of the plot and Rhine’s interaction with Linen and her sister wives and that part was missing from the second book in the series.

Fever starts right after the end of the previous book and finds Rhine and Gabriel in a big mess.   It seems like they cannot manage to get out of trouble.  For all the time that Rhine spent plotting her escape, she did a really poor job of it.  I just can’t get over the fact that the book was an (extensive) narrative of one calamity after another.  I don’t want to tell you of all the details, but it is very clear what the virus has done to society as a whole, not only to the ‘first generations’, but to everyone.  Seeing so many people die and the short life expectancy seems to create a complete disregard for life, feelings, and rights.  It is a very dark, hopeless world.

I’m sorry to say that I really don’t care for Rhine. I find her selfish and unprepared for the life outside the mansion.  I don’t know what it is about her, but there is something that doesn’t ‘click’ with me.  I’m also sad to say that Gabriel is the same way.  I can find any depth to his character; Rhine and him as a couple is just plain unappealing to me.  They don’t even act like a couple, and there had been not declarations for feelings.  What’s even worse is that Rhine is constantly missing and comparing everything for the easy life of her year as Linden’s bride.

What I missed the most was the interaction of Rhine with her sister wives and with Linden.  I know he is supposed to be a ‘bad guy’, but I just don’t see him that way.  Sure he’s lost, gullible, and lives in ignorance (or pretends to), but he has his share of sadness and he truly cares for his family.  I think that Rhine should have trusted him more instead of assuming the worst.   I’m curious to know what will happen with Rowan in the last book of the series.  Cecily makes an appearance during the book, which I really appreciate. Of course our villain and mad scientist, Vaughn, has free rein during Fever and he is truly an awful human being. 

As I’ve mentioned before, I just didn’t like the plot; nothing really happened besides all the catastrophes.  A good portion of the book was spent on Rhine’s disease and the experiments she was subjected to. It would have been nice to shed some light into the importance of Rhine and Rowan and what is really going on in the rest of the world.  The best thing about the book is the writing; which is, in a word, exquisite.  The expert use of simile, metaphor, and images gives the book an almost lyrical feel.

Even though Fever was not my favorite, I am now invested on the series, and I will definitely read Sever, the last book in the series.  

About the cover:  I like Wither’s cover a lot more than this one, but it is still very pretty and full of clues about what the book is about. 

Have you read this series?  What do you like about it?  Do you like dystopia?

1 comment:

  1. See, I didn't read Fever because I thought Wither was just so-so. I really just don't think I'll go back and read Fever and then Sever. Sigh. Just not my favorite dystopian.


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