Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano



Title: Sever
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy 
Book #: Three
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Local Library

My Rating: fullfullfullfullBlank

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

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. (taken from goodreads.com)
I'm always a little sad to see an amazing series come to an end. I've grown so comfortable with the characters that they feel like old friends. Even now, I miss Rhine's world, with its hidden horrors and moments of touching beauty. Sever, the third and final installment in The Chemical Garden series, is definitely different from its prequels. Dark and pretty depressing, the book takes a turn for the unexpected. I was shocked at some of the plot twists and the risky ending. This finale doesn't hold back.

This post-apocalyptic world is twisted in so many ways. From the horrid treatment of young girls to the sick experiments performed in secrecy, America has become a hellish place to live. I guess it's reasonable to assume a world filled with so much death would be like this. However, DeStefano takes it even further in this last book. Be prepared for more gruesome details and some pretty shocking deaths. 

One thing I loved about this last book was DeStefano's character development. She really elaborated on some of the more minor characters. While Fever focused mostly on Rhine and Gabriel, Sever brought characters like Linden and Cecily back into the spotlight. I adored Cecily's relationship with Rhine. They've been through so much together, and their loyalty was probably my favorite part of the series. 

Rhine is an amazing character. She looks at everything, even the simplest of objects, with an amazing sense of wonder. Still, she has changed so much since she was first abducted and forced into marriage. She is no longer a frightened, naive girl. Rhine has become an admirable heroine, and it most mostly because of her that I will have fond memories of the series.

My one teeny, tiny criticism would be that a few parts of the story dragged on. The lulls made it hard to press on at some points, but once I did, it was always worth it. 

Overall, I'd say The Chemical Garden series is one of the most impressive, original dystopian stories I've come across. I couldn't get enough of DeStefano's gorgeous words, and the characters will stick with me long after I turned the last page. 


“We'll squeeze every second that we can from our lives, because we're young, and we have plenty of years to grow. We'll grow until we're braver. We'll grow until our bones ache and our skin wrinkles and our hair goes white, and until our hearts decide, at last, that it's time to stop.”