Monday, February 20, 2012

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.
Pages: 352.
Release Date: February 21st, 2012.
Source: Publisher.
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

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 any means necessary.

Second books in a series, for me, are usually the worst. More times than often, they come across as nothing more than a bridge between the first and third book, lacking the excitement and story built up in the original. It's because of this that I almost didn't pick up Fever. I enjoyed Wither very much, but enough to read its sequel?

I am so glad that I did. So, so glad.

From the very first chapter, Fever sprouted a new love - one of those WISH I HAD LIGHTNING SPEED READING SKILLS SO I CAN HAVE IT ALL RIGHT NOW kind of loves - that Wither failed to instill in me. Every paragraph, every twist and turn and epic action/romance scene, the love grew bigger and bigger. One of my biggest complaints about Wither was that, for me, it didn't feel like the action and the story began until the very end. In Fever, there is never a dull moment. We start where Rhine and Gabriel left off in the first book, and we're with them throughout the entire escape from the mansion and through their search for Rhine's brother. And I really love that since pretty much the entire length of Wither took place in a mansion, Rhine and Gabriel are able to explore new settings and sceneries. We always hear about this crumbling world they live in, but now we get the chance to actually see it (err ... read it, you know what I mean) and wow. DeStefano's descriptions of the now sad, desolate country are simply heartbreaking.

Something else I loved - more Gabriel, less Linden. Gabriel's personality shined throughout these pages, something we didn't see a lot of when he was just a reserved servant in Linden's mansion. Take him away from that mansion, from everything he's ever known, and his character really evolves and the author did a brilliant job at showcasing his difficulty at coping in the real world for the first time.

Overall, Fever outshines Wither, hands down. The Chemical Garden went from a series I liked to a series that I'm now twitchy with excitement for more of. With its new eerie settings and demented, evil characters, this book takes a huge leap from Wither as a fast-paced, heart-pounding adventure that gives the series a new kind of edge. If you were on the fence about Wither, I definitely encourage you to give this one a shot - it might just give you a new love for these books and characters as well!

Other reviews for Fever:
Owl Tell You About It.
Mermaid Vision Books.
Into The Hall Of Books.
A Beautiful Madness.


  1. Ooh, now you've got me excited to read Fever. After hearing so many amazing things about Wither, I was really disappointed by it for many of the same reasons you mentioned...hopefully I'll love Fever!

  2. I can't wait for FEVER! I'm worried that it's not going to live up to Wither but your review just makes me so excited to read it more! :)

  3. I'm so going out and buying this book today. It will be my birthday present to myself. I haven't read Wither yet but from what I'm reading this series is sort of like the Hunger Games, once you read one you have to keep going.

    Not Your Momma's Book Blog

  4. I totally agree with you on second books... :( It's sad that many of them are that way. YAY for more Gabriel, right?! I liked Wither more than Fever though to be honest, by 1 star :) Great review!

  5. I Fever outshined Wither then I CANNOT wait to read it because I absolutely adored Wither! This book has got to be pretty freaking awesome. :D

  6. Recommended for fans of: characters who are in some kind of haze or delusional; sequels that take completely different directions than the first book only to have us start the 3rd about where we left off; carnival imagery; fortune-telling; bleak dystopian worlds; interesting brothels.

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