Fever by Lauren DeStefano
That ending! Oh, she enjoys her cliffhangers. Small spoilers ahead.
Publisher’s Description: 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.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
I couldn’t fathom living in this world – one where girls only live until they’re twenty thanks to genetic tinkering that left a time bomb within the bodies of every boy and girl born with the “cure.” I was actually tagged in a Facebook post with a picture that asked, “You are now the character from the last book you read. Who are you and what are you doing?” Naturally, since I’d finished Wither, I was Rhine Ellery. I was looking for my brother after being kidnapped and forced to live as a bride, despite its luxuries. In a world where I knew I’d die in three years. Damn, what a life.
At the end of Wither, Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the clutches of Housemaster Vaughn – or so they think. They’re on their way to Manhattan when they are trapped within a ring of prostitutes led by a madwoman. For a while Rhine loses herself to drugs until fate leads her away and she, Gabriel, and one of the circus orphans manages to escape. Always on her mind is the fear of Vaughn, hope for her brother, and the life she left behind in the mansion.
Rhine is more emotional in this one as she faces new threats – the fact that she may never see her brother again, the fear she’s sick with something that could kill her worse than the virus could, and the fact that she can never have enough time to figure out how to give herself a happy ending. Her emotional responses are a fascinating blend as she goes back and forth from hope to despair. But despite all the things that happen to her, Rhine is a fighter and she knows how to make things right; even if they’re things beyond her control. When she and Linden meet up for a fateful night, she tells him the truth, even if it’s not what he wants to hear.
Gabriel and Linden are both wonderful characters. Poor Gabriel has been thrust into a world he never dreamed of, a world that is nothing like the promises of happiness Rhine promised him. But he sticks by Rhine’s side throughout it all, even through drug withdrawal and the news about Rhine’s brother and the terrorism he clings to. I love that Rhine begins to appreciate the man she knew even less than Linden. Linden’s reaction to Rhine leaving him was expected; he loved her so much he began to hate her. Though I would have loved to read more about him in Fever, I also know his overbearing presence would have distracted from the story.
Five again. This is a really cool dystopian trilogy about chance, hope, and the fight for bonds in family and friends that seem to always slip away.
Our reviews in this series…
- Wither Book 01
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