Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Dystopian Pick: Fever (Book 2, The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
by Lauren DeStefano
Simon & Schuster
Available February 21, 2012
Watch the book trailer for Wither (book 1) here
Dark, dystopian, and disturbing, book 2 of The Chemical Garden is much darker than the first novel--Wither. In Wither we met Rhine, a young girl kidnapped, taken far from home, and forced into marriage with other sister- wives and we met Gabriel, a servant who works on the grounds of the fine mansion. Rhine hates it it the mansion; she doesn't want to be the wife of a man she doesn't love. She wants to go home and see her twin brother Rowen. Gabriel agrees to help Rhine escape and together they run.
Fever picks up where Wither left off. Gabriel and Rhine are on the run but with no plan, no money, no clothes, and no idea how to get to Manhattan and find Rowen. They see tents in the distance and hear laughter and party noise, so they think they can spend the night there, but they are taken prisoner by a strange madwoman who calls herself Madame. She runs a circus-like and macabre group of prostitutes with her hired muscle--brutal bodyguards who enforce her rules. Madame drugs Gabriel and Rhine with mindless opiates and plans to get top dollar for selling Rhine to the highest bidder.
Again, the two escape but are on the run again. They take Maddie, a malformed child of Lilac, a woman who helped them escape. The three flee and finally make it to Manhattan but are terrified when they find that Rhine's home is burned to ruins and Rowen cannot be found.
Rhine falls victim to an unexplanable fever and has strange memories of her parents and some long-held secret of her and Rowen's birth. Vaughn (Rhine's evil father-in-law) finds Rhine and takes her back to the mansion where he tells her he has been tracking her all along. Rhine is once again a helpless victim of his cruel experiments.
Book 3 promises to answer all the story's questions: What experiments were Rhine's parents working on when they were killed? Who is behind their deaths? Why does everyone keep saying that Rhine is "special?" Where is Rowen? Will Gabriel and Rhine ever be re-united? Does Linden believe that his father (Vaughn) is experimenting on Rhine and the other women of the house?
Teens who love a well-written and scintillating story--action packed and chilling--will love Fever. It's cutting, caustic, and creepy--thrilling right to the satisfying last pages.
The shocking cliffhanger at the ending has me hooked--I will be first in line--fighting off teenagers--to get my hands on this book!
Highly, highly recommended grades 9-up. Very dark, dystopian fiction--not for the faint of heart-- and not a flowery romance. For mature readers only. Mentions genetics, the government wants to artificially inseminated girls as young as 10 to insure their race will survive, girls are forced into prostitution and marriages, girls are basically being used as breeders, one scene where Rhine narrowly escapes rape, shocking "medical" experiments, and children get killed if they are not genetically "correct."
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.