Fever (The Chemical Garden #2)
by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers // Recorded Books (for Audiobook Edition)
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Source: Purchased Audiobook (via Audible.com)
Listening Length: 9 hours and 30 minutes
My Rating: ★★★★★
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.
As we have come to expect from Lauren DeStefano, Fever is another beautifully written masterpiece. Fever picks up right where Wither left off with Rhine and Gabriel escaping from her father in law’s, Vaughn’s, mansion in Florida. Just when Rhine and Gabriel believe they are out of the woods, they are both captured again and fall into the hands of a madam running a prostitution business. Unable to escape this new prison, Rhine and Gabriel’s relationship tenses as Gabriel begins to resent Rhine for convincing him to escape the mansion and falling right into another trap.
In the meantime, Vaughn doesn’t give up his search for Rhine and finds her. With the help of others, Rhine and Gabriel manage to escape and take a malformed child with her in order to save her too from the horrible fate that awaited her. The road to Manhattan in search of Rhine’s brother, Rowan, was a treacherous one as the three of them endure many hardships. Eventually they reach their destination, only when Rhine makes it to the house she shared with her brother, she finds that it’s been burned down and upon further investigation finds out that her brother might be in fact looking off looking for her. Filled with sorrow with the idea that she might never find her brother now that he has left Manhattan, Rhine spends her days trying to think of ways that she can find him.
Her search plans are halted as Rhine falls ills, exhibiting signs of the deadly virus that takes the life of every girl at 20, only Rhine is not that age yet. No one knows or understand why Rhine is sick, wasting away slowly. Vaughn finds her and reveals the source of her illness, revealing in the process that he has been tracking her and the atrocities he had been doing all along, and plans to do in the future. Rhine is blackmailed I to going back to the mansion, only this time she won’t be a bride, she will be a lab subject.
Words cannot express how much I loved this book. Listening to it on audiobook was a special treat, as the narrator, Angela Lin, does a wonderful job of capturing Rhine’s solemn and somber voice. The overwhelming sense of sorrow I felt as I listened, out me right into the story, and I felt that I was there, holding Rhine’s hand all along the way. That said, DeStefano’s writing is a hit out of the park. If you enjoyed Wither, Fever as a middle book will answer some questions, but leave some more along the way. This is definitely a 5-star book for me. A MUST READ.