Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, #3
Date(s) read: February 18, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)
With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.
Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.
In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this series. I absolutely adored Wither, the first book in the series, but felt oddly indifferent about the second book, Fever. Of course, once I’ve gotten 2/3 of the way through a series, I kind of have to finish it just to see if the final book will redeem things.
I’m still really not sure what to think about this one. I was eager to get back to Rhine’s story and see how it all panned out, but it almost fell flat like Fever did for me. I felt like there was a lot of the same things going on in Sever as there were in Fever — lots of nothing. I wanted lots of something, but didn’t get anything.
Certain issues, or loose-ends, were tied up by the end of this story, but other things still confused me. I didn’t understand the reunion between Rowan and Rhine — honestly, I expected more from that. With Rhine being someone who constantly questioned and didn’t just accept someone at face value, I didn’t expect her brother to immediately fall in with the wrong crowd. And speaking of that wrong crowd, I felt like I wanted more of a struggle against them. Instead, we’d have one character go to this place, with the other character ALWAYS being a step ahead of them. It really got annoying at times.
I did really enjoy Linden and Cecily in this story and found that when they were in a scene, the scene was ultimately better than it would’ve been without them. While Cecily may have gotten on my nerves in previous books, she’s grown up quite a bit and it was such a joy to have her in the story so much. And Linden … *swoons*
I also am still not totally convinced about the romance in this story. I don’t want to give anything away, but I really didn’t see the whole “romance” idea being necessary. I also felt like the whole story was tied up a little too neatly. Things lagged around a bit, and then other things happened way too quickly, and then it just ended. I have to say that I wasn’t feeling the satisfaction I wanted to feel by the last page.
Of course, that’s not to say that I’m not still interested in checking out what Lauren will write next. I still think she’s a very talented writer and I look forward to seeing what other ideas she may have.