Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release date: February 21, 2012
Source: Around the World Tours
Series: The Chemical Garden #2
Purchase: Book Depository

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.

I have to say, I vastly enjoyed Fever more compared to Wither. It just felt like things were moving more quickly, and there was more action, especially in the very beginning and at the end. And wow, that end. While the first novel was definitely dark, this one goes beyond the darkness of the first one.
There isn’t anything really revealed that was astonishing or a plot twist, but the action picked up right at the beginning. Fever also starts off exactly where Wither left things. As soon as Rhine and Gabriel escape the mansion, they’re almost immediately prisoners of another kind, temporarily. Despite how dismal the place was, Lauren DeStefano described it in such a way that made it seem colorful while decaying, which is an image that fits perfectly with her world.
I liked Rhine in Fever. She seemed to become more confidant despite the various circumstances they found themselves in, though near the end she seemed to do a 180, which kind of confused me. Even with her being sick around the same time as this 180, I didn’t feel the sudden change was smooth. I have to say I felt bad for Gabriel. A lot happens along their way to Manhattan, but man he stuck it out and never complained. I seriously hope we see more of him in the third book.
The only thing I didn’t like about Fever was the lack of information about the virus, or whatever this defect is. We still don’t know how it came about, or all of what’s being done to counteract it. We only know vaguely what Vaughn is doing, which we see more of definitely in Fever. I really hope this is finally explained the in the last book.
Like I said in the beginning, Fever better than Wither and kept me hooked until the end. And once I read that last page, and what is revealed there I knew there was no way I’d miss what is sure to be an explosive ending to this series. Even if you have lukewarm feelings to Wither like I did, I suggest you read Fever. It definitely changed my opinion on this series.

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