Fever by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Book 2 in the Chemical Garden series
In the first book in the series I actually loved how closed off the action of this book is. Set in frightening dystopian world, the focus was all on this clutch of characters trapped together in a large luxurious house.
Fever shows us a much wider picture of the society, and the extent of the despair of the outside world, as Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the house and try to make their way back to New York to hunt for Rhine's brother. Because we gradually get to find out more about this dystopian society as part of such an exciting adventure along with Rhine and Gabriel, as they see it, I actually ended up loving this book just as much as the first, but for totally different reasons.
The world outside the mansion is dangerous and hard and the people are bleak and deceitful. The first hint of civilisation they stumble across is a carnival rife with prostitutes and drugs. Unlike in book 1 which was very enclosed within the house, we see a much wider segment of society, and see news speeches that hint at darker times still to come.
The story is dangerous, harsh and moves at quite a fast pace, but they never lose the sense that they are racing against time (their own short body clocks), or that they are still being pursued by Linden's sinister father. It is a very disturbing and dramatic book, but I love the emotions that power it, and cheering on the strong-willed characters as they struggle to survive.
It is also a very clever book, with some unexpected revelations, and twists that you would never predict. I love the descriptive, lyrical prose that felt almost dreamlike (nightmarish?). It flows very easily as well, making it a real page turner, and really gripping you in this story, feeling the anxiety, confusion and fear right along with these characters.
Fever is your typical middle book in the series- advancing the story along without resolving anything, but I love this series and am looking forward to reading book 3.