Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA Dystopia
How I Read It: Hard cover purchased by me.
Synopsis: With time 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.
*Synopsis taken from the book jacket
My Review: Sever picks up right where Wither left off and takes us on Rhine’s journey to find her brother and essentially spend whatever time they have left together. While I do enjoy this series, I felt like this final book was a little rushed in some ways and I’m finding it difficult to review it without any spoilers. So be warned – if you haven’t read the book, you may want to skip my review!
Somewhat against her better judgment, Rhine agrees to allow Cecily and Linden go with her to find Rowan. This is something that confuses me quite a bit, because she already knows that Vaughn had implanted a tracking device in her, so the logical assumption is that he did the same with Cecily. And maybe I’m just paranoid, but if I were Rhine, I would also make the assumption that Linden was fitted with one too. At this point in the logic, if I were trying to run away from someone, I would do my best to prevent them from following me. That being said, Rhine does care about these people, so it makes sense that she wants them with her, it’s just a bit counterintuitive to me.
Next we’ve got the whole plot point that Vaughn knows everyone, everywhere. Conveniently, people that Rhine has run into throughout the series inevitably know Vaughn, and that just bothered me. See, even with the world as connected as it is now days, it’s not very likely that you would run across people in various places along the eastern seaboard who actually know someone in person like this. It just seemed awfully coincidental, and a little bit of an easy out in some ways. It felt more like a way to tie things together than legitimate connections. And honestly, we already knew that Vaughn was a bad guy, does he have to have done horrible things to everyone?
There was also a death in the book that just felt very forced to me. I get that in this world, people die young, but one in particular simply felt like it only happened so that something later on could happen. I’m not against the death of a character, I just like it to feel natural and fit in with the story in an organic way. It was almost like by this point in the writing, the author knew there were specific things she wanted to accomplish, but wasn’t sure how to get there, so just sort of threw some things out there.
And finally, the end – it felt rushed and not totally thought out. I was really disappointed by this because I truly loved the first book in the series. I thought this was an interesting twist on your typical dystopian fiction, so I would have loved a completely thought out plot through the end. It would have been great to get another 50 or so pages that give more details about what changes come about in the world, how people’s lives change, and even information about what happens with future generations of children.
I don’t want to sound too harsh, I did like the book fine, it just wasn’t my favorite in the series and I wish some things had been thought out more. I would have been happy to wait another year for the publication if it meant some of these things were handled differently.
That all being said, I’m curious to see what Lauren DeStefano puts out in the future, and I think she’s a promising writer. Her next series is slated to begin later in 2013, and I will inevitably pick that one up!
Read this book if: Not the most satisfying end to a series, but still worth reading if you want to know how things wind up.
My Rating: 3/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!
by Amazon Auto Links
Amazon Auto Links: Could not identify the unit type.