Monday, March 18, 2013

Wither, Fever, and Sever (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) - A Review

I've spent the last week nose to book with this series. I've been feeling very tired so just sitting and reading was definitely a nice way to relax.

   In this first book we are introduced to Rhine Ellery. She is sixteen years old. This leaves her with only 4 years left to live. In trying to create a perfect race free from illness humans are now left with a shorter lifespan. Twenty years for a female and twenty five for a male. The country is falling a part as doctors and scientists rush to find a cure. Children from this generation often end up as orphans struggling to survive. Some girls are taken by gatherers and sold into prostitution or as brides to wealthy men, their purpose being to reproduce. When Rhine is kidnapped and ripped from her twin brother Rowan she thinks of nothing but how to escape and return home again. 
   Her new husband is Linden. She also has two sister wives, Cecily and Jenna. Although they live in a luxurious mansion with everything they could ever ask for things are not as bright as they should be. Rhine quickly learns that her father in law Dr. Vaughn Ashby has some dark secrets hidden within the place they all now call home. Rhine needs to find a way to escape before it's too late...

I LOVED this book. It was fast paced and had me very interested in the story. I cared about Rhine and what would happen to her from the very beginning. I liked her so much. She's very strong willed. She reads people so well and knows how to say just the right things to them. All of the characters in the book felt real to me. Vaughn scared the crap out of me. I'd hate run into him anywhere. Following Rhine on her journey to find freedom was exciting and scary. The ending leaves a great space for the second book to begin.

You might want to skip this next part if you haven't read the first book Wither.....

In Fever we are back to following Rhine and Gabriel on their escape from the mansion. Their freedom together doesn't last for very long. They are forced into Madame's carnival world. This isn't a happy carnival. This is a brothel really. They continue to push forward and try to find a way to escape and make to to Manhattan...  To Rhine's brother Rowan. Vaughn is back in this book. Yuck! I can't stand him. He gives me the creeps. He just can't seem to let Rhine go...

The second book made my head spin and not in a good way. I had such high hopes for this book. To sum up the book in one word I would say depressing. Page after page it just gets darker and sadder. I felt like there was no up.  They are constantly on the run which might be what saved the book for me. Something is always happening so it's easy to sit and read for long periods of time. There is an amazing ending that will leave you wanting to have Sever in your hands immediately!

You might want to skip this part if you haven't read the first two books...

As Sever opens we find Rhine still in the hospital accompanied by Linden and Cecily. Rhine learns that evil Dr. Vaughn has a brother. Linden's Uncle and his father do NOT see eye to eye. Uncle Reed has agreed to let Rhine stay with him for a while as she recovers enough to continue her journey to find Rowan. Linden and Cecily don't want Rhine to venture out on her own so they plan to tag along and help her find her brother. She needs to find him soon and convince him to stop destroying buildings and peoples lives! Also? Guess who baaack? Vaughn.... and he is as evil as ever.

This final book is definitely better that Fever but not as good as Wither. There are plenty of twists and turns. Things I never expected. The book starts out slow. At first it doesn't have that fast paced feel the first two books had. There is a lot of sitting around talking and planning. Finally around chapter 13 things start to happen and it becomes a page turner. One thing that got to me was the constant back and forth of capture and freedom. Rhine is caught. Now she's free. She's caught again. It got tiresome after awhile. Towards the end of  Sever it starts to have that doom and gloom feeling of the second book BUT the ending is its redeeming factor. 

I loved this series as a whole but not for it's individual parts. Wither was so great and set up the series so well. I was hoping the other two books would be just as good. They weren't but I'm still glad I read them all. 
Even though the 2nd and 3rd books are not amazing I would still recommend reading the series. 


  1. Yay, thanks for posting these reviews! I've seen a few people post reviews about this series and it really intrigues me! And I confess, I read all of your reviews, but that won't stop me from reading the books, hehe. :)

    Hope you're having a great day!

  2. I felt the exact same way about the first two books. I still haven't read Sever, but I have so much to read right now, so it might be a while.

  3. I never expected to love Wither the most, but I definitely did. The other two definitely had their high points, but all in all I think it was a great trilogy and it had a pretty solid ending considering how some other trilogies have ended in the past!


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