Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fever By Lauren DeStefano

Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #2
Release Date: 16th February 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback
Pages: 341

Synopsis: 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 woman 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 this 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.

Review: I'm somewhat annoyed with this book. Wither was a brilliant debut novel and i was so excited to read this book and now I'm disappointed. Wither was so brilliant, the world was great and the prose flowed together excellently. I loved all the characters who were so real and the mansion they lived in was so vivid. But in Fever a lot of that is missing. First I'll give you a run down of the story.

Fleeing from the mansion and her scary father-in-law, Rhine and Gabriel, run to find Rowan but things aren't ever that easy. They soon walk into a trap, Rhine is pulled into the Scarlett district where she has to perform for the horrible Madame. But Rhine's past is not far behind, Vaughn finds her easily and she has to escape while her mind is clouded by drugs. Rhine realises that things don't look as hopeful as they did before and soon she notices the world has changed since shes been hooked up at the mansion. Running for her freedom, trouble is chasing at her heels, one fall and it's all over.

In Fever Rhine seems to be unconscious for about half the book. Her character seems to be weaker in this book. Before she was a strong and determined. In Fever she's driven by hope, she still wants to find her brother. But realistically we all knew her brother would have left by now and I think Rhine knew that too but still she kept pushing on only to be disappointed. Throughout most of the book Rhine was disappointed or unconscious, she was pretty useless. Gabriel was also pretty useless, he too spent half the time unconscious. I felt so much guilt for him, Rhine had pulled him out of his comfortable home and taken him to the horrible world outside the mansion. Full of crumbling buildings, Scarlett districts, gatherers, and all sorts of horror. Why did she do this too him? I have so much anger toward Rhine for placing Gabriel into this horrible world outside the mansion. The thing that annoyed me even more was that their relationship didn't develop any more at all. I think there was one proper kiss near the end of the book and that was all. I loved Gabriel before and i still do but Rhine treats him like rubbish. Rhine has really lost herself in this book, she's no longer the strong person we first met in Wither.

We were introduced to a few new minor characters but they weren't too important for the story. There was Maddie, the malformed child from the Scarlett district. She was an obstacle Rhine dragged with her, but in no way pushed the story forward. There were too many places, Rhine managed to stay when they were running for their lives. Honestly if you were running for freedom, you wouldn't go up to the first house and knock on the door expecting to be welcomed in. Each time they were accepted and they stayed with strangers. Rhine has the world taught you nothing? you just spent about a month in a prostitution camp, you can't trust anyone for gods sake. I wanted to get inside the book and knock some sense into the girl as it happened on more than one occasion.

The world outside of the mansion is detailed and horrible. I just didn't like it at all, Rhine tells us in Wither how she has to take shifts with her brother to stop intruders and in Fever Rhine goes striding around the city where she was kidnapped like there's no danger. What the hell? Writing this now, i realise this book annoyed me a hell of a lot more than i realised. I spent the whole day reading this book and my thoughts were all jumbled. A few hours later things are clearing up and all i can say is what the hell?

I think one of reasons i didn't like this book was because it wasn't set in the Mansion and the familiar characters we loved in Wither weren't introduced again until the last chapters of the book. The mansion was one of the most vivid settings I've read about and this book totally lacks that. I miss the real characters and the complex relationships. Instead we're left with a whiny Rhine and a lost Gabriel.

One of the good things about this book was that DeStefano's writing style was as great as ever. Her prose was perfect, she does have a talent for writing but this book just lacks in all the other departments.

I'm going to give this book 3 stars because despite the weakness of characters and world building. The prose was as strong as ever and a few of our questions we're answered. I am going to read the next book to see what happens to the characters and hopefully it will be as strong as Wither and not weak like Fever.

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