Spoilers for Wither.
I need to take a step back from Lauren DeStefano's Fever. I've just finished and I thought it was amazing. It left me on much more of a cliffhanger than Wither did, but I'm sure that's intentional, being the second book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. I've come to see the
Garden as Rhine's
body. So much stuff has gone in and out
of her. I also wonder if through all of
this, from her parents to mad-scientist Vaughn, she isn't the Garden that is
growing the cure. This is all
speculation, of course.
Really, I just couldn't put it down. From the moment Rhine and Gabriel are out of the water, it is one scary situation after another. They are constantly looking for safety, for escape routes, for a way home to
brother, Rowan. Madame's carnival is
horrific. It just misses a worst
nightmare, but not by much. Having them
end up there is one of the most horrible things in the story. Fever
is actually rather violent. Someone is
always hurt, or sick or something. Fever
is an apt title.
I feel sorry for Gabriel. I don't think he really knew what he was getting into when he escaped with
Rhine. She paints an idyllic picture of what her
life was like before being brought to the mansion. He didn’t know she was fallible, that she was
remembering with love. I don't think he
would necessarily have changed his mind, but I think he wishes he knew more
about the outside world before he was thrust into it. Also, I think he's unsure of Rhine's
feelings for him, which is so sad, given what they've been through together.
I like the characters’ growth in the novel. I think
grows as a person; she's lost whatever rose colour she had to her glasses about
her home. Though, I think the bigger
change was in Gabriel. He learns what
the real world is like. He grew up as a
servant, but as a servant used to the safety of the mansion. Gabriel doesn’t understand why demonstrators
would bomb trees.
The Gathering of young women/girls in this book is awful and a problem that plagues our world. The kind of buying, selling and kidnapping DeStefano describes is eerily possible. That is part of what I think makes a good dystopian novel. It’s using the problems of now and amplifying them. I don’t think DeStefano holds back. There’s death, violence and tragedy throughout Fever. You can really see what people could be capable of if there were no hope left in the world. Her writing and subject matter make me forget that her book is Young Adult.
I could talk about all the amazing characters that Lauren DeStefano created, how she makes the decaying world believable, but it’s better if you read the book. If you like a good dystopian, good writing and interesting, characters, read Wither and then read Fever. I think it is an excellent continuation of the series and I can’t wait to read the conclusion.